Republican Senator Jack Brandenburg has solution to Michigan’s financial crisis: cut the state income tax

Republican state Senator Jack Brandenburg has an idea with what to do with the budget surplus created by taxing seniors’ pensions, cutting funding to cities and stripping $1 billion from schools: lower Michigan’s income tax.

I’m not kidding.

A proposal at the state Capitol would cut the Michigan income tax rate to 3.9 percent over the next five years. Right now the rate is 4.35 percent.

Republican state Senator Jack Brandenburg sponsored the measure. He said people in Michigan were promised the reduction during messy budget and tax deals made in 2007. Brandenburg said he told his Republican colleagues about his plan earlier this month.

He said an estimated $450 million budget surplus convinced him it’s a good time to propose the rollback.

He has potential support from the Senate Majority Leader:

Republican Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville cautiously supports the proposal, but he said he’s hesitant to spend money that could be added to the state’s rainy day savings fund.

So let’s review: Michigan’s schools are failing all over the state. In the Upper Peninsula. In the Lower Peninsula. In urban cities. In rural villages. In white communities. In black communities. Everywhere.

The impacts of the $1 billion that Republicans took from schools in their budget last year and gave to corporations haven’t even hit yet. In 2012, the epidemic of failing schools will hit and it will hit HARD.

On top of that many of our older, manufacturing-based cities are going bankrupt. Their tax bases have been destroyed and they are dying. The impacts of the loss of revenue sharing that the Republicans included in their budget last year haven’t even hit yet. In 2012, the epidemic of failing cities will hit and it will hit HARD.

If you are a retiree under the age of 60 with a pension, you will face the double whammy of a new tax on your pension plus the loss of part of the Homestead Property Tax Credit thanks to the Republican budget passed last year. The impacts of these tax hits have not even hit yet and, when they hit, they will hit HARD.

All around the state we have financial crises happening right before our eyes, on the pages of our newspapers and in our evening newscasts.

And the Republicans want to cut taxes.

And if they don’t, they want to put the money into a the Rainy Day Fund.

How out of touch do you have to be to not realize we are in the middle of a statewide crisis right now?

How absolutely out of touch do you have to be to realize that right now, in our state, in Michigan, it is raining?

And it is raining HARD.

Cross-posted from Eclectablog.

I am a chemist by day and progressive liberal blogger by very early morning and very late night. I live just outside of Ann Arbor, Michigan with my lovely and talented photographer wife, Anne C. Savage. I am a vegetarian and an avid organic gardener who loves to cook. I'm heavily involved in county-level Democratic Party activities and am on the Washtenaw County Democratic Party Executive Board as co-vice chair for precinct organizing.
Chris Savage (aka Eclectablog)
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