Michigan, Rick Snyder — March 11, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Michigan’s “Nice Guy” Governor’s dirty budgetary trick


I said all along last fall that Rick Snyder’s persona as a “Nice Guy” is a bunch of bullshit. Well, if you didn’t believe me then, perhaps you will now.

As most of you know by now, Snyder’s proposed changes to our state’s tax code do all sorts of nasty things. Rachel Maddow has been highlighting all week how Republican governors are executing an epic and historical transfer of wealth from the poor and elderly to corporations. In Michigan, nearly $2 billion in tax breaks are being funded by raising taxes on private and public pensions and by raising the Earned Income Tax Credit that benefits the working poor.

Well, as you might imagine, there has been quite the hue and cry over this. The AARP is staging a monster protest at the Capitol building next Tuesday. The AFL-CIO has one the following day. Even tea partiers are pissed off since this budget proposal raises taxes on citizens.

Well, normally, Michigan residents would be able to have a ballot referendum on a change to our tax code like this. But the Snyder administration has shrewdly pulled a fast one : they have put a single appropriation of $100 into the bill. What is so shrewd about that?

Any bill that has even a single dollar in expenditures in it is not subject to a citizen’s referendum.

One $100 bill could block voters from a chance to stop more than a billion dollars in higher taxes.

Whether you think it’s a dirty trick or a smart move, a House bill to implement Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposal to eliminate tax credits and exemptions contains a $100 appropriation — enough to make the plan immune from a voter referendum.

The plan has incensed some Michiganders. On Tuesday, AARP is holding a rally at the Capitol for senior citizens angry about Snyder’s plan to tax pensions and other retirement income while cutting business taxes.

In 2001, the state Supreme Court ruled that legislation with a state expenditure — even just $1 — can’t be repealed by voters.

Dirty trick or a smart move? Ummm…I’m going to go with dirty trick.

So we can all stop pretending that Rick Snyder is some sort of nice guy. He’s not. He’s a hardcore Republican wearing a nice guy mask. And let’s not any of us ever forget that.

Update, 5/5/2011: The Detroit Free Press article is no longer available online. A similar Detroit News article is HERE.

I’m just sayin’…