The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Michigan:
Take Snyder’s Dirty Hands off Grandma’s Pension!

Mar 7, 2011

Rick Snyder, Michigan’s new Republican governor, wants to increase taxes on working people.

Retirees would pay income tax on their pensions – $900 a year more on a $20,000 pension. Low and medium-income homeowners would lose their Homestead Property Tax Credit, with seniors losing the biggest amount. Minimum wage workers would lose their Earned Income Tax Credit.

Altogether, Snyder’s plan would steal 1.86 billion dollars from working people through these increased taxes.

And what does Snyder want to use it for? What else? To give a 1.42-billion-dollar tax cut to business.

Snyder says it’s only fair!

It’s not fair at all – it’s the usual politicians’ trick of robbing working people and the poor to give to the wealthy!

And the robbery doesn’t stop there. Snyder would cut 1.2 billion dollars scheduled to go to public schools, cities and counties. In other words, there will be big cuts in the services they provide: road and bridge repairs; snow removal on roads and state routes; water and sewer maintenance; garbage removal; parks; public transport ... and on and on.

Public schools would lose $470 per pupil per year. Snyder’s own education commissioner is trying to force Detroit to close half its schools and to cram students into the remaining schools – with 60 students in every high school class. He says Detroit schools have a budget deficit. Yes, they do – one created by cuts year after year in the money the state owes to the schools, and added to by all the very profitable contracts that the state’s “emergency financial czar,” Robert Bobb, signed with businesses everywhere in the country – plus all the boomerang loans he made with some of the same banks that caused the mortgage crisis.

The state itself will cut back people working in its departments, meaning longer lines for us.

Finally, Snyder is demanding wage and benefit concessions from state workers and teachers, amounting to about $6,600 per employee. He is pushing the idea they are overpaid.

No, they aren’t! They are overworked and underpaid.

All this talk about “privileged” state workers is nothing but a pretext to steal services from every one of us, so the state can give more money to the corporations.

It’s the same game auto companies played four years ago – talking about “privileged” auto workers. Remember how they used that not only to attack auto workers, but, after them, everyone else!

Well this stupid blame game stops here! The only privileged people are the super-wealthy who own the corporations – and the millionaire politicians like Snyder who serve them.

State, city and county workers and teachers, joined by parents and students, have been demonstrating in Lansing. That’s a start. Every other worker in this state needs to support them and join them. We are all under attack. The massive demonstrations in Wisconsin show what strength we can have when we stand together.