Jack is back.
Macomb County Sen. Jack Brandenburg is a former quarterback, he
could have been a gun-slinger in the ole west, and he cuts a wide path
around these parts as the new chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.
As such, turns out, he is not on the governor's side when it comes
to revamping the state's business tax.
Gov. Rick Snyder is promoting a 6% flat tax to replace the wildly
unpopular Michigan Business Tax. The Snyder concept is opening to
pretty good reviews, but enter Senator B.
He favors a plan to eliminate all the business taxes…that's right
all of them.
It is vintage Brandenburg at its best or worst depending on your
He's had it with nibbling around the edges of tax reform which
lawmakers and former governors have been nibbling at for ions.
Mr. Brandenburg concludes the Snyder plan does not "go far enough"
and his idea is a self-described "bold stroke" that sends the message
that "What's good for business is good for Michigan" as he tells the
Well that takes care of that.
Not so fast.
Wiping out the tax adds another billion or so dollars to the $1.5
billion of red ink floating around this town.
Big Jack will have an answer for that, too: Just cut more state
services to make up the difference.
Of course all the special interest groups that make a living by
squeezing state tax dollars out of the capitol, will cry foul and point
out that they can't take anymore cuts thank you very much.
And what about the governor?
He's a guy who campaigned on reducing taxes and Mr. Brandenburg
has called his bluff. This is now put up or shut up time.
If the governor labels this no-tax concept as irresponsible,
there goes the conservative GOP base up in arms. And if he embraces
it, those who thought this was a moderate governor who was willing to
work with all sides, will conclude he is John Engler reincarnate.
Once more one of the governor's fellow Republicans, Big Jack., has
put the governor in a lose-lose position.