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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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Where Are All the Patriots on Tax Day?

Where Are All the Patriots on Tax Day?

NOTE FROM CHRIS: Today is the soft-launch of our newest Eclectablogger Judy Matlock. As “judyms9″, Judy has been the most prolific commenter on Eclectablog for two years running according to our WordPress stats. And she’s not just prolific; her comments are insightful, often getting to the heart of the matter and bringing in angles that the author of the post did not include in their piece. Some of her comments, in fact, have been worthy of stand-alone blog posts of their own. Judy describes herself as an activist, retired teacher, social worker, and project manager

That’s why I invited her to join Team Eclectablog.…

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When You Vote Republican

Why this solid anti-Proposal 1 advocate is voting YES and why you should, too

In less than 10 weeks from today the voters of Michigan will be asked to vote on the ballot question titled Proposal 1, or as it is commonly being called the “road fix bill”. Here are the main elements of Proposal 1:

  • An increase in transportation revenue of $1.3 billion, with $1.2 billion a year going to roads and about $112 million going to mass-transit.
  • Removal of the sales tax from fuel sales.
  • An increase in wholesale fuel taxes that will result in about a 3-cent-a-gallon increase from the average fuel price.
  • An increase of $45 million in vehicle registration fees and $50 million in fees for heavy trucks.
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Corporatists benefit most from fight over increasing Michigan's sales tax for road repair

Corporatists benefit most from fight over increasing Michigan’s sales tax for road repair

Let’s you and him fight…

Thanks to the division within the Michigan Republican Party, the state legislature which is dominated by Republicans was unable to find a way to fund our roads. Their internal disputes led them to toss the decision to voters who will decide if we should the state sales tax by one-percent to pay for road repairs, help low income and working poor people, and to ensure our schools don’t take a financial hit.

That internal rancor has now manifested itself in the formation of at least two conservative/tea party groups who will fight the tax increase and a promise by a third – the Koch brothers front group Americans for Prosperity – to join their fight.…

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