“You will know a tree by its’ fruit” – Jesus of Nazareth
Tax increases on Retired persons, and a $4.2 million annual cut to the Veterans Home of Grand Rapids were passed into law by the GOP controlled State Government. These financial assaults on the middle class, on the poor and on vulnerable Veterans offset tax cuts for businesses and the wealthy. Add the mentally ill to the list of people for whom Michigan Republican leaders have little regard.
Community Mental Health in Ottawa County provides services to about 2,500 people with developmental disabilities and mental illness. County residents will vote for or against a first ever millage 1 (tax) for mental health in the State of Michigan. With a budget of $38 million, Community Mental Health needs the millage to offset funding cuts by the State that have already caused reductions in staff and programs. The $3.5 million raised will prevent further losses as future budget cuts by the State take effect.
As one mass shooting after another is ultimately attributed to a mentally ill person, it goes against common sense and self-preservation that budgets for mental health services are cut. Mentally ill persons who have nowhere to turn for help end up as victims of violence, on the street or thrown into jail and a danger to their overwhelmed and helpless relatives.
Compassionate Conservatives talk endlessly about their concern for average citizens of Michigan. I find their words to be as empty as their hearts. Quoting a proverb attributed to Native Americans:
“I cannot hear your words over the thunder of your actions”.
1 Ottawa voters face mental health tax
Grand Rapids Press November 29, 2015 page A5