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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Us vs. Them


The governor is getting crafty in her old age.  Having just turned 51, she pulled a rabbit out of hat the other day when pitching the slightly controversial sales tax on services on everything from a hair cut to a Tiger's game (if you dare go.)
    She wants to slice the sales tax rate, now at 6%, and bumped it down a notch to 5.5% and then slap it on almost 150 services.  In the first year, if lawmakers say yes and that is a huge IF at this read, it would net the state about $554 million.
    And here's the genius of her strategy:  All of that money would go to school kids..every last penny.  And just in case lawmakers don't want to feed the K-12 budget, the governor warns, without the tax, each school kid would get hit with a $255 loss in state aid.
    Hum?  Fund the schools or cut the per pupi grant?
    In this reelection year, that should be a no brainer if you claim to support education.  But in this election year it is also a tax increase.  Oh my.  What is a poor politician to do?
    To complicate matters even more, the governor wants to use the sales tax to eliminate the 22% business surcharge which every business owner has been belly-aching about since 2007.  So there is another reason to support the service tax.
     Ah, but segments of the business community, while looking a gift-horse in the mouth, are all up in arms because the service tax could cut into the profits of those businesses.
     So you have business on one side going, let's not do this and the education lobby on the other side saying, let's do this and hence el governator has created a nifty little lobbying battle between the two groups with poor ole lawmakers caught in the crossfire.
     The early read sees the sales tax in deep do-do, but this is just the first inning and the maturing Ms. Granholm is not about to give up. 

4 Comments:

Anonymous The Great Artiste said...

Leadership is NOT
promising the least offensive option only in election years.

Michigan's slimy career politicians and its ignorant citizens have finally buried this once great State.

Nobody even cares enough to post on this blog.

February 17, 2010 at 9:43 AM 
Blogger Mark said...

When our citizens need services the most, our legislature seems to think bankruptcy is the answer. The Governor will have to find a way to get their minds off re-election long enough to do their jobs. It's pathetic, I'm for voting all of them out if they don't start confronting the issues.

February 17, 2010 at 6:44 PM 
Blogger archiebird said...

Why not pit one against the other? It's the only way to get any legislation that attempts to help Michigan passed without looking like the bad guy.

February 18, 2010 at 4:34 AM 
Blogger Rey0076 said...

How much money is spent trying to fund government/public union benefits and pensions? There are countless other states and municipalities that are facing bankruptcy because they can't fund their benefit\pension obligations. Pension funds economic models were based on fantasy returns when everybody thought that housing prices would go up forever. It's time for the public sector to wake up because the private sector tax payers will not be fleeced again. It's time for public sector employees to get their bloated pension\benefits reduced or removed altogher. Otherwise Michigan's new economic model will be based on getting the most money we can from the next stimulus [bailout]. Higher taxes == kicking the can down the road.

February 19, 2010 at 7:59 AM 

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