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Gov. Snyder unveils his budget plan
Proposes deep cuts in spending, business taxes
by Todd A. Heywood, -- Feb 17, 2011

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, before a joint session of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees this morning, unveiled a budget plan full of deep spending cuts and new taxes on seniors, the poor and the middle class to offset a business tax cut.

[...] Snyder says the proposal will result in “shared sacrifices,” his plan to restructure the tax system will strongly shift the tax burden away from businesses. Under Snyder’s plan, the Michigan Business Tax (MBT) will be axed and a new six percent corporate tax will replace only part of the MBT revenues. Overall, businesses will see a reduction in their taxes of nearly $1.8 billion.

That $1.8 billion business tax cut is being offset by tax increases and steep cuts to other parts of the budget, including a new tax on public and private pensions for retirees. Under current law, public pensions are entirely untaxed in the state, while private pensions are exempt from taxation up to $45,000 for individuals and $90,000 for couples. That tax would raise about $1 billion a year in new revenue.

Snyder has also proposed a cut of 15 percent to state university budgets, and proposes a four percent — or about $470 per pupil — cut in local K-12 spending. Snyder says his plan protects community colleges. He would also provide a pool of cash as incentive for universities to keep tuition increases below seven percent.

Unsurprisingly, his budget met with immediate criticism.

No Kidding!  

Quietly, shifting the State's Tax Revenue stream from Corporations to Seniors, could raise a few eyebrows.

Note: in even Michigan's very Conservative Livingston County, 'the locals' are up in arms, about it apparently ...

Pension tax raises fairness questions
Phil Power, -- Feb 24, 2011

As things stand, pensions for retired Michigan public employees — teachers, police and other government employees and former elected officials — are totally exempt from the 4.35 percent state income tax. Private pensions and other retirement income are exempt up to $41,200 for individuals, $90,240 for joint filers.

That would all change under the governor's proposed budget. Henceforth, income from both public and private pensions, including IRAs and 401(k)s, would be subject to state income tax, though Social Security will remain untaxed.

Not surprisingly, lots of seniors are enraged at the idea. That's a nontrivial political consideration; older folks tend to vote at a far higher rate than younger ones do. Some retirees have told me they intend to leave the state -- PDQ [Pretty Darn Quick] -- if any tax on pensions is passed.

Michigan AARP President Eric Schneidewind said Snyder had "declared war on senior Michiganders."

"The Constitution doesn't talk about the net after-tax benefits from pensions," one told me. Attorneys do think, however, that this matter "almost certainly" will be challenged in court.

According to our new governor, all this has to do with fairness.

At present, according to an administration analysis, a retired senior couple with household income of $59,000 from pension income and Social Security, would owe no state income tax. In fact, they'd get a refund check for several hundred dollars from the state.

However, a nonsenior working couple with children whose household income is $10,000 less than the seniors would have to pay more than $1,000 in Michigan income tax!

The Republican Governor, former Gateway CEO, knows an untapped Income Stream when he sees one.  He knows when Seniors have barely managed to tuck away $1,000 for a "rainy day" each year -- and HE WANTS THAT Thousand Dollars, of Senior 'Mad Money'!  It belongs to the State of Michigan apparently, according to the GOP's new Austerity Game Plan.

This hits home for me.

My mom lives in Michigan;  my mom is a senior;  my mom is a cancer survivor.

{Hi Mom! ... my mom is also a fan.}

She doesn't need any more of this "Shared Sacrifice" that the New Republican Governor is trying to sell her.  (Don't they know, worrying about paying all those Chemo, and Doctor, and Utility bills, is enough of a 'Sacrifice' already!?)

What she needs are those COLA increases on her Social Security, that have been "frozen" the last few years, BACK AGAIN.

What she needs are her meager pension payments -- that she HAS EARNED from a life-time of hard-work on the assembly line, to be LEFT ALONE.

Enough of this new Austerity B.S. the GOP is trying to sell us.

Enough of this "Shared Sacrifice" idea that everyone is pretending is the New Normal!


Quit making Seniors, and Public Employees, and Federal Employees, and Universities, and School Teachers, the ONES who always have to be doing the 'Sacrificing'!


Corporations experienced Record Profits last year -- make them 'Share in the Sacrificing'.

Make them give up a share of the Record Profits -- back to the States that allow them to exist, in the first place, through their Corporate Charters.

Go after their Tax Loopholes -- Stop picking on Seniors and Workers and Unions.

Stop pitting the 'Have-Nots' against each other -- Start go after the 'Haves'.

The 'Have-Nots' -- have Sacrificed enough, already.  

The 'Haves' -- have NOT.

Enough of the Corporate Tax Giveaways -- Enough of the 'Corporate Welfare', already!

Quite honestly THEY don't need the help.  They need to Pony up ... and pay their Tab.

They need to start Hiring Americans again, if they ever want to see another Tax Credit again!


Originally posted to Digging up those Facts ... for over 8 years. on Fri Feb 25, 2011 at 05:19 PM PST.

Also republished by Michigan, My Michigan.

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