State Representative Paul Opsommer (R-DeWitt) criticized regional Fed bank presidents for their testimony on Capitol Hill yesterday, saying their efforts to block inquiry into Wall Street bailout details continue to stymie needed financial reforms.

“We continue to see strong bi-partisan efforts to audit the Fed at both the state and federal level that is being continually ignored,” said Opsommer. “In Michigan we continue to work on a variety of important budgetary issues that are being impacted by actions taking place at the federal level that we are not being allowed to inspect even after the fact.”

The Michigan budget continues to receive a higher proportion of its revenue from federal funds, yet the mindset that this is free-money is a myth that is coming home to roost in Michigan.

“The fiscal year 2001-2002 monies we received from the federal government represented 27.5 percent of our revenues,” said Opsommer. “That went over 30 percent in FY 2004-2004, over 35 percent in FY 2008-09, and with the latest figures coming in at 38 percent, I am concerned it won’t be too much longer until a full 40 percent of our revenue comes from the federal government. Pressure to continually match such money means that federal dollars are driving the Michigan budgetary process in a manner where Michigan priorities only receive whatever money is left over.”

Opsommer introduced HCR 36 in December of last year in an attempt to lend support to audit the Fed. The concurrent resolution is currently in the Banking committee.

“Unlike the federal government, we have to have a balanced budget,” said Opsommer. “As we work to craft budget solutions here we are increasingly handcuffed at the local level by federal policies that rely on the printing of money and the borrowing of foreign debt. More people need to wake up to the fact that the connection between what happens in Washington and what we can do in Lansing increases a little bit more everyday.”

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