Sep 24, 2007
The politicians from both parties agree that the State of Michigan has a budget crisis. The only thing they have been bickering over is how to pay for it to avoid paying the political price for what they are about to do to solve it.
The Republicans have been pushing for bigger spending cuts, including eliminating medical care for young adults from poor families and deep cuts in public transit for senior citizens. The Democrats propose slightly smaller spending cuts, but they favor a bigger increase in the state income tax, from the current 3.9% to 4.6%. Under the guise of opposing more taxes, the Republicans say they might favor a sales tax or a smaller income tax increase.
Does the State of Michigan have a budget crisis? Yes, but only because the politicians created it by giving money away to big business.
The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth gave away 8.2 billion dollars, just in 2006, in the form of uncollected taxes on businesses, according to a study by Good Jobs First, a think-tank that follows tax breaks to corporations.
Some of the biggest winners were the auto companies. Ford got grants of at least 143 million for its Auto Alliance plant, its plants in Wayne, and its “former” parts division, Visteon, from 2001 to 2004. General Motors received at least 105 million dollars in grants for three plants in the same period. Parts companies like Covisint, Johnson Controls, and Siemens also got big handouts. Other industries were not left out, either. Dow Chemical, Quicken Loans and Warner Lambert all received big tax breaks as well.
And that was not all. The state gave out millions more to these companies in job training grants and tax breaks to those operating in “Renaissance Zones.” On top of that, in 2006 alone, local governments handed out another 700 million dollars.
Now, in order to pay for hand-outs to business, Democrats and Republicans will take money and services from the working population.
Throw all the thieves out!