May 30, 2011
What Rick Snyder, the Governor of Michigan calls a “high quality budget” passed the legislature and awaits his signature. “Quality” is a strange word for a budget that increases taxes on retirees and even stoops to eliminating money to families for indigent burials!
Worst of all, this budget hits children and young people the hardest.
It cuts more than one billion dollars from K-12 schools, community colleges and universities. For students in grades K-12, the minimum “foundation allowance” will drop from $7,316 per pupil to $6,846 next year, less than half what is needed.
On top of cuts to education, the state’s neediest children will be robbed of household income. This budget imposes a retroactive limit on welfare to 48 months in a lifetime. According to state estimates, more than 12,600 children will see their families stripped of cash assistance – $492 a month for a family of three – effective October 1, 2011.
This is not going to mean that welfare families will have to start working. As one Michigan Senator recently testified: “Ninety% of families on [welfare] are working, but not earning enough to leave assistance.”
Adding insult to injury, 124,000 of the state’s lowest income children will lose their $80 per year grant to buy school clothes.
Adding it all up – all these various cuts on top of 1.5 billion dollars in new income taxes – it comes to nearly three billion dollars that the population is losing. And why?
To pay for the newly passed 1.7 billion dollars in tax cuts for businesses, an amount that will surely increase over time.
What kind of “quality” is that? It’s piracy – pure and simple.