I got most of a robocall from Snyder's people today asking me to call Joe Hune and tell him to support the budget and the pension tax, saying that it doesn't touch social security (you gotta be shitting me with that being the justification, and that's the edited version of what I said). It was a rather pathetic talking point. I was frankly embarrassed that this guy is supposedly from my party. I called Joe's office, thanked him for his opposition, and told him that I opposed this and why I did. I skipped the profanities in the call, but I'm irked enough to use them here.
The Bill Milliken saying is that Good policy is good politics. I rarely agree with anything Milliken did, to the point where I'd vote for most democrats over him. That saying is true, and the inverse is even more true. Bad policy is bad politics. Snyder is pushing bad policy right now. It's horrible politics.
Democrats are gleeing right now as a democrat polling firms numbers on Snyder.
Public Policy Polling. Now some are wondering, why I'm posting a dem poll on a conservative GOP leaning blog. Because I think if the numbers aren't true, they are close, despite high democrat sampling of voters. Their numbers.
Virg Bernero 47, Snyder 45. Approval 33%, disapproval 50%.
Among Republicans - 68% Approval, 13% Disapproval, 19% not sure. (and I think many of those 19% are being polite to the pollster)
Among Indys - 32% Approval, 44% Disapproval, 25% not sure.
That ain't good, and I see that here on the street. A lot of social conservative independent populists (IE - Seniors) remember the bad things about their perceptions of republicans. They are normally false perceptions. "Republicans are corporate stooges for the rich." In Snyder's case, it's tougher to defend.
The problem is that Snyder's budget, like everything else that comes out of Lansing the past 20+ years is based on a false premise. The false premise is that only the so called "discretionary fund" is allowed to be touched. That puts about 82% of the budget as off limits. That's an unacceptable starting point. "Why isn't discretionary" was my question to a legislative aide. "Because of either the feds or constitution" "State Constitution?" "Yes" "That can be amended."
If Snyder wants to reinvent government instead of more of the same, he needs to start with opening up the entire thing. By announcing this tax increase, he lost much of his political capital to do that and needs to earn it back. This budget - at least the tax portion, is already likely DOA due to conservatives opposed to this teaming up with democrats who want to see him fail, and look good opposing the tax increase. Seniors, many who whom live off their PENSION, are going to vote democrat or stay home after they see their checks decrease, which were earned mostly for 30+ years of hard work. Why won't they. They'll mistake Snyder for being a republican in general.
As to our legislators, the question to them is this. Do you want to do the right thing and lead with your own plan, or be followers to someone who really isn't your boss. Being followers is what cost our party in 2006. We can not make the same mistake again.
What Snyder needs to do with this budget, is 1. Admit that he blew it and 2. Push for a constitutional amendment opening up the entire budget so we can fix the structural problems, and not raise taxes. People don't usually care about the process. They care about the pain. They see pain coming their way, and also see a government with a history of being FUBARed giving it to them, once again asking them for a bailout.
We don't need Granholm II. We don't need the Snyder plan. We need an actual Republican plan without more of the same, and tax increases. Start by opening up the entire budget. If that can't be done, fix it so it can. Anything else will kill us in 2012.