Like a drug dealer handing out freebies, Gingrich had the business community, politicians and right-wing radio loudmouths like WJRâ€™s Frank Beckmann gobbling up the free tax goodies idea.
Fortunately, Governor Granholm was on hand to add a dose of reality to all this intellectual bubbly coming out of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerceâ€™s annual champagne event (paid for, in part, by taxpayer dollars shelled out by the legions of public officials who simply canâ€™t miss an opportunity to get giggly on Mackinac Island at public expense).
Broadcasters also love sipping champagne, so Beckmann was interviewing Granholm this morning from the Island and old Magic Frank was positively titillated with Newtâ€™s Detroit bailout idea. Ole Frank reported that Compuware CEO Bob Paul was â€œeffervescentâ€ over Newtâ€™s remarks, and there was talk of getting all sorts of important people together to make the tax-free Detroit idea happen.
In an oh so very nice way, however, Granholm threw a little water on the fired up business crowd looking for more tax breaks (after all, Michigan only gives businesses $8 billion a year in tax breaks now). The governor told Beckmann that sure sheâ€™d love to have the feds declare a tax free zone for Detroit and pick up the tab for Detroitâ€™s police, fire, water treatment, garbage pickup etc. â€œThe issues is getting it done in Congress,â€ she pointed out.
Oh, yeah. The U.S. House. The U.S. Senate. Bailout. Detroit.
Hmm, what are the odds of that? Maybe better if Cleveland, New York, LA, New Orleans, Miami etc etc are all declared tax-free zones and subsidized by the feds. That adds up to some fairly big bucks even by federal government standards. No doubt the Friends of Newt aka the far right will go along with a huge federal subsidy for cities, right? But reality wasn’t the issue yesterday at the Mackinac Island conference.
It was bubbly, intellectual or otherwise.
For those who want to find real solutions to the real problems facing Detroit, and Michigan, check out the 2010 Michigan Summit: Blueprint for Change. Itâ€™s less than 8 days away, itâ€™s in East Lansing, it wonâ€™t cost you big bucks to attend, and we promise, no Newt Gingrich. You can get more info and register at www.themichigansummit.org.
David Holtz and others blog about issues from a progressive perspective on Progress Michigan.