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Michigan Chamber of Commerce lobbyist insults retirees with pensions, derisively saying they "got a free ride"

Michigan Chamber of Commerce lobbyist insults retirees with pensions, derisively saying they “got a free ride”

Yesterday, the Michigan Board of Canvassers met to decide on a variety proposals destined for the 2016 ballot. One of them is being submitted by Citizens for Fair Taxes that would restore corporate taxes for the largest corporations to 11%. The move would raise roughly $900 million for road repairs in our state.

After the meeting, Michigan Chamber of Commerce Senior Director of Tax & Regulatory Reform Tricia Kinley held a press conference where she continued the doomsday scenario freakout that her group has been engaged in for the past couple of weeks.

Then, in response to a question about corporations being given monster tax breaks that have created a giant crater in our state budget, Kinley decided it was appropriate to insult retired seniors, saying with palpable derision that they “got a free ride” with their tax-free pensions.…

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OMG_ONOZ

Michigan Chamber of Commerce in freakout mode over ballot proposal to make corporations pay their fair share in taxes

As the group Citizens for Fair Taxes is rolling out its effort to put a proposal on the ballot to compel Michigan corporations to pay their fair share in taxes in order to get our roads fixed, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce is in panic mode. And well they should be. Internal polling by the group shows that 69% of Michigan voters support the effort to rescind $900 million in tax breaks so that we can get our roads fixed without putting it all on the middle class and poor folk in Michigan.

On Monday, Chamber of Commerce president Rich Studley went on the Frank Beckman Show on WJR to begin the fear-mongering that this proposal will kill economic development.…

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Citizen-initiated ballot proposal would bypass Michigan legislature & governor to fix roads by restoring corporate tax fairness

Citizen-initiated ballot proposal would bypass Michigan legislature & governor to fix roads by restoring corporate tax fairness

Michigan legislators met for two days this week (without taking attendance or casting any votes) then folded up shop and went home for a one-month recess. They did this as our state’s roads continue to crumble and without passing any legislation to deal with the ongoing road and bridge repair crisis.

UPDATE: @EmptyWheel reminds me that they did actually take a vote to declare July “Ice Cream Month”. So they aren’t completely useless.

Why does @Eclectablog hate Ice Cream month? https://t.co/GvcSvJbOP3

— emptywheel (@emptywheel) July 24, 2015

With the inability for state Republicans to take action on the abysmal state of our roads – we have the fourth worst roads in the country – a group of citizens is taking matters into their own hands.…

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Michigan Republicans plan raise $1.4 billion for roads AND cut the state budget AND cut the state income tax

Michigan Republicans plan raise $1.4 billion for roads AND cut the state budget AND cut the state income tax

Not just predictable. Predicted..

Republicans in the Michigan Senate have a plan to fix the roads and they are going to raise $1.4 billion to git ‘er done. It’s going to happen by raising the gas tax, something I am 100% unequivocally totally completely entirely supportive of. That’ll raise about $700,000,000 by their reckoning.

So, where does the other $700,000,000 come from? By cutting existing programs:

Sen. Mike Kowall, the GOP floor leader, said an emerging plan calls for a 15-cent gas tax hike over three years to generate $700 million when fully implemented and earmarking $700 million in existing general revenue for road repairs.
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Michigan Democrats propose changing constitution to create a graduated state income tax

Michigan Democrats propose changing constitution to create a graduated state income tax

Thirty-four states along with Washington, D.C. have graduated state income taxes where wealthy people pay a higher percentage than people who make less money. This is also how our federal taxes are configured. Michigan, however, does not. We are one of only seven states with a flat tax.

A recent EPIC-MRA poll shows that an astonishing 66% of Michigan voters would support this change, including a majority of Republicans. According to Democratic State Rep. Jim Townsend, we could raise an additional $700,000,000 of revenue in the state and still lower taxes for 95% of Michiganders.

There are three ways to put the issue before votes which is necessary because it requires a change to the state constitution.…

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As if on cue, Michigan House Republicans announce plans to start slashing state budget to fix the roads

As if on cue, Michigan House Republicans announce plans to start slashing state budget to fix the roads

Not just predictable. Predicted.

The dust hadn’t even settled on the epic crash and burn of Michigan’s Proposal 1 yesterday when Republican House Speaker Kevin Cotter began discussing his plans for slashing the budgets of other areas to come up with over a billion dollars needed to rebuild our crumbling roads and bridges.

He gave a glimpse into his thinking on the House Republicans’ webpage:

Yesterday, the people of Michigan were heard loud and clear: focus on the roads, find a simple solution and keep taxes low. Today, the challenge is to follow their direction and find a way to properly invest in Michigan’s infrastructure and fix the roads.…
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With the failure of Prop 1 Michigan voters gave Republicans a mandate to continue their dismantling of our state

With the failure of Prop 1 Michigan voters gave Republicans a mandate to continue their dismantling of our state

“Proposal one goes down in flames!,” gloated Todd Courser last night on his Facebook page. “Time to get to work and come up with a solution that will fix our roads without raising taxes! The money is there… all we lack is enough legislators with the political will to make the hard choices necessary to prioritize spending.”

“The taxpayers sent a very clear message today with their rejection of Proposal 1: no new taxes,” said state Sen. Jack Brandenburg. “We in the state Legislature now need to move in the most aggressive fashion to free up funds badly needed for road repair.”

With these comments and many others like them from the Republicans who control our government, the era of post-Proposal 1 Michigan was kicked off.…

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Vote YES on Proposal 1. It's the progressive choice.

Vote YES on Proposal 1. It’s the progressive choice.

Part 3 of series. Part 1 is HERE and Part 2 is HERE.

I have been writing about my strong support of Proposal 1 over the past couple of weeks. I have found few issues that have so divided the progressive community as much as Prop 1 has. Those of us, like me and Tony Trupiano, who have advocated for it have been widely maligned by people who we would normally consider allies.

As I have said before, I believe that the progressive choice is a YES vote. For those who say they don’t trust Republican legislators to do the right thing if it passes illogically seem to trust them just fine to do the right thing if it doesn’t.…

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Debunking some common progressive liberal excuses for not voting YES ON PROPOSAL 1

Debunking some common progressive liberal excuses for not voting YES ON PROPOSAL 1

Part 2 of a series. Part 1 is HERE and Part 3 is HERE.

Before I get into this piece, I want to clarify a couple of things. First of all, in the conversation on Proposal 1 in Michigan, at least on the progressive side, we are starting from the position that Republicans are hideous leaders that created gigantic hole in our budget by slashing taxes for corporations. And they are now compelled to fill that hole by cutting essential programs and services – including education – or by forcing Michiganders to raise taxes on themselves. That is self-evident and, if we as citizens are doing our jobs – something we too often fail to do – they will be ridden out of Lansing on a rail in the next election.…

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Proposal 1: The issue that has turned too many Michigan progressives into tea partiers

Proposal 1: The issue that has turned too many Michigan progressives into tea partiers

Part 1 in a series. Part 2 is HERE and Part 3 is HERE.

There are few topics that unite tea partiers with progressive liberals but Michigan’s Prop 1 has not only united these two disparate groups, it has, for all intents and purposes, turned many progressives into tea partiers in their own right. What I mean by this is that they have allowed their hatred for our Republican governor and his colleagues in the legislature to cloud their judgment on Proposal 1, turning them against it when the truly progressive position is to support it.

When I am discussing this with my progressive friends, the ones who are against Proposal 1 say they will never support something Rick Snyder supports.…

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