It seems when we hear lawmakers or candidates campaign, we here them talking about leaner budgets and cost savings - fiscal responsibility, to use the buzzwords. Michael LaFaive, fiscal policy director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, tells The Richard Piet Show on WBCK he has plenty of ideas - but lawmakers aren't open to them, most of the time.

In fact, LaFaive regularly issues opinions on potential cost savings for the state, and even says lawmakers have approached him asking for budget-cutting ideas. He says, though, they don't usually like his ideas.

"In 2004, I got a call from several lawmakers who said 'I'd like some ideas to help cut the budget,'" LaFaive said.

He told them he had just issued a list of 200 of them worth, he says, $2 billion. LaFaive says the response from one lawmaker was shocking.

"'Oh yeah, we know about those - give us others'" LaFaive recalled one lawmaker responding, saying lawmakers were looking for a "silver bullet" rather than options that might be politically difficult.

Hear the whole interview by clicking the player below.