Mich Sen. Hune decries Dem effort to provide all students with college education as raising taxes on “my people” (businesses)

Earlier this month Michigan Democrats released a plan they call Michigan 2020. The plan would identify $1.8 billion in corporate tax cuts that aren’t being effective and redirect that money to education so that all Michigan students have the opportunity to go to college.

The Michigan 2020 Plan would provide Michigan high school graduates – public, private or home-schooled – with the opportunity to have the cost of their college education paid for in its entirety. It is a plan that says Michigan believes in its future – and values our young people – by creating the most educated and highly skilled workforce anywhere in the nation. Put simply, it is a plan that will get Michigan’s economy, and our people, back on track.

High school graduates in Michigan, whether they attended a public, private or home school, would be eligible for an annual grant for their higher education costs. The maximum amount of the grant would be equal to the median tuition level (currently $9,575/year) of all of Michigan’s public universities. Students could choose to attend any of Michigan’s community colleges or public universities and use that money toward the cost of tuition, books and other eligible expenses. If the cost of tuition exceeds the amount of their grant, the student would be required to pay the difference.

Best of all, this plan is fully paid for without raising your taxes one cent. Instead, it is funded by reducing the outdated and ineffective business tax loopholes and credits that are put into law by special interest lobbyists. Michigan gives up over $35 billion annually on tax expenditures riddled with loopholes and shelters to hide or accommodate wealth. By cutting just 10% of them, the ones that don’t do a single thing to create any jobs or serve a public purpose, Michigan would have more than enough money available to fund this education program for generations to come.

Republican State Senator Joe Hune is, of course, calling this a tax hike on businesses despite the plan to cut only taxes deemed to be ineffective. But, more telling, is HOW he phrased his dislike:

The plan is “the typical liberal mantra” of raising taxes and spending, state Sen. Joe Hune, R-Hamburg Township, countered.

Hune said he hadn’t reviewed the plan, but he noted that ending existing business-tax credits would amount to tax increases in a sluggish economy. K-12 and higher-education funding already make up a massive portion of the state budget, he added.

“It consumes an enormous portion of our state budget. Times are tough, and it’s not a good time to raise taxes,” Hune said.

“However they put it, it’s ultimately going to increase tax liability on folks, my people, my constituents, businesses in my community,” he said of the 2020 Plan.

This may be the first time I have seen a Michigan Republican be so clear and honest about who “his people” are, who he sees himself as representing.

For Joe Hune, you’re “his constituents” if you are a member of the business community. If you’re a student looking for help going to college, you can, apparently, go pound sand. You, it seems, are a special interest and we simply can’t afford you. You’re just not one of “his folks”.

Oh and, by the way, he hasn’t even read the plan.

Shameful.

[Image credit: Official state photo]

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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  • R. Allen

    Thanks for calling Joe Hune out! Sad to say he represents my District, but I am most certainly not, one of his “people”. I would like him or any other Republican Legislator to show me one piece of legislation they initiated, to help the working families of Michigan.

    With their insatiable appetite for corporate welfare, shilling for the insurance industry, and punishing the poor, let’s hope this will register some blowback in November.

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