Michigan Republicans on course to cut income taxes by an astonishing 0.1% (after raising them 23% last year)

Michigan Republicans: Making an art form out of pandering to the stupid.

Last year, the Michigan Republicans raised taxes on over half of the residents of Michigan. In fact, the tax increase was an average 23% according to a report by the Michigan League for Human Services (pdf).

Yesterday, they reached an agreement to lower personal income taxes. By how much?

0.1%.

They raised taxes by 23% now they are cutting them by one-tenth of a percent. Just another example among many of Republican FAKE CONCESSIONS.

Here’s what I wrote in a piece last February titled “The tax timebomb that explodes in Michigan in 2012 is MUCH worse than you thought”:

At the end of the day, here’s a very important thing to remember: Thanks to the new Republican budget, 51% of all Michigan tax payer will pay MORE in personal income taxes in 2012 and beyond. Read that again. Over HALF of Michiganders will pay MORE TAXES because of the Republican budget. This is not Democrats. This is not even the Republicans of yesterday. This is, in fact, a mostly tea party-driven legislature who came in on a small government, less taxes bandwagon, tooting horns and banging tambourines.

And they just raised taxes on over half of our residents. Oh, yeah, and that whole smaller government thing? Republicans passed an unprecedented 323 laws in Michigan last year. Think about that.

The same report MILHS, by the way, showed that businesses in Michigan received an 83% tax CUT.

So, how much will this tax cut put back in your pocket? If you are a family of four living on $50,000 year, you’ll get back a tasty $23 a year. Woo hoo! That almost comes close to making up a tiny fraction of the $296 they raised your taxes LAST year!

In an excellent piece yesterday, MLive journalist Susan Demas put it this way: “House Republicans have an important question for voters this year: How stupid are you?

[T]he easiest and most likely way that they’ll play the tax cut card is by lowering the income tax to 4.25 percent in July — six months early. They could also give you more money than the current $3,700 personal exemption, but politically speaking, the income tax rollback is an easier sell. And the numbers appear to add up.

Bolger and company were hoping to offer up a whole grab bag of tax cut goodness to Michigan voters, but that didn’t get worked into the budget deal. Of course, the House could still pass bills just to tell voters they did, even though they have little chance at becoming law.

Given the way Bolger’s already neurotic spokesman, Ari Adler, was running around on Wednesday like a chicken with its head cut off, it’s clear that the House GOP doesn’t have a clear plan at all.

What they’re banking on is that voters just generally believe that Democrats are tax-and-spend liberals and Republicans are paragons of fiscal responsibility. So Michiganders will take their $23 tax break and they’ll like it, dammit — and vote GOP to show their thanks.

We’ll have to see if voters are as stupid as Republicans so obviously think they are.

Governor Rick Snyder, always the steadfast leader, is against the tax cut but “may go along with his fellow Republicans as part of a larger budget deal.”

Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer issued the following statement:

Yesterday, Governor Snyder and legislative Republicans reached an agreement on our state budget for the upcoming fiscal year. This budget continues their attack on middle class families, retirees and public education, but that isn’t stopping them from actually trying to claim it provides “tax relief for individuals.”

Their budget was clearly designed to provide their House members with talking points to use in their upcoming elections this year, but they forget that Michigan’s voters elected them to come up with real solutions, not political gamesmanship.

Make no mistake, this is not a budget that will move Michigan forward. This is a budget that continues the divestment in the things that matter most: our schools, our communities and our people. For the Governor and his Republican friends to claim otherwise is simply being dishonest with the people of Michigan.

Progress Michigan has set up a Pinterest site for people to share things that $23 won’t buy and have been tweeting them using the hashtag #23Dollars.

There’s a monumental pile of things that the Republicans in Michigan have done over the past year that should be enough for everyone in our state to send them packing in November. The key is to make sure that those of use who aren’t “as stupid as Republicans think we are” to outnumber those that are at the polls.

I’ll see you there.

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