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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.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Free What?

No. Make that double wow.
Senate Democrats who sort of muddled along with only 12 votes last
year were not players in any real sense of the word.
But what did they drink on New Years eve because here they are in
2012 with a proposal that could be a game changer when it comes to
keeping and attracting young persons in this state.
Try this on for size: Free college tuition for a two or four year
For years it's the Republicans who have owned the "Be Bold" mantra
in this town but suddenly, the senate D's have swiped it.
Of course, this plan may never see the light of day because the
GOP does not want to hand the Dems a major victory, but the Republicans
would be wise not to reject this out of hand.
Senator Gretchen Whitmer, the senate Democratic leader, has
smartly figured out a way to pay for all this which costs a nifty $1.8
billion. She would eliminate some tax loopholes at a savings to the
state; she would tax Internet sales, and she'd shave lucrative state
contracts with private vendors to the tune of 6% per deal and
presto-change-o, she's at $1.8 billion.
Now even though tons of kids have left their parents behind by
shuffling off to other states, and even though many out of state kids
think twice about coming here, free tuition might change the attitudes.
Make that, it WOULD change attitudes which is why Ms. Whitmer and
company are suddenly relevant.
Since the governor found $1.8 billion in tax breaks for his
buddies in the corporate world last year, and since he has talked about
keeping kids here, why not embrace this?
The Democrats would toss at him, the governor's favorite
statement: "It's the right thing to do." Let's see if he does it.
(Thanks to our pals at MIRS for breaking this story.)


Anonymous Josh K said...

Really Tim?
I'm all for boldness, but you skimmed over the pain of this plan. There is no such thing as a free handout, and you glossed right over it. No, you didn't just gloss, it's as if you put candy coating on maggots.

She has "smartly" figured out a way to pay by TAXING INTERNET SALES? She "smartly" figured out that she needed to CLOSE TAX LOOPHOLES and SHAVE CONTRACTS? And there you have your "nifty" $1.8 billion? Man is she a genius or what?!

I'm okay with outside the box thinking, but it's frustrating when a reporter gives the impression that this is a lot more amazing than what it actually is - a costly plan that requires more taxes and beaurocracy.

January 12, 2012 at 4:52 AM 
Anonymous Rocky Road said...

FREE college tuition... for Michigan citizens capable and willing to keep their grades up an OUTSTANDING idea!

However, it should be paid for with higher taxes on the super rich like SNYDER and his billionaire Republican buddies in Lansing.

Thus, it will never fly.

At least someone has an idea of what to do to raise our state from the ashes as opposed to the Republican anarchists who want to ruin everything, that isn't of, for and by the super fat cat rich like Snyder.

January 12, 2012 at 5:30 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Won't work. (1) The banksters make too much money on student loan interests/penalties. (2) The corporate overlords prefer the working class to be indentured to student loans because then they can't quit their jobs and live in fear of being fired and having their lives come apart. (3) Those illegal immigrant types might try to apply for some of that free education money! Can you imagine all the Canadians trying to sneak across the boarders?!? Then back at night for their free Canadian health care?!? I could go through the entire Republican platform with this one!

January 12, 2012 at 8:02 PM 
Anonymous Jim D. said...

C'mon, use your noodle, all you negative naysayers! Good golly, you kill an idea before it has even
taken its first breath. Perhaps, just perhaps, by putting a new idea forward, it might take off. Maybe not as originally presented, but in some form (Perhaps the first 2 years paid for or maybe the last two years if the student has shown the ability and desire to succeed.) that would palatable to both sides of the aisle. At least give it a chance to be discussed. Man, 100 years ago, you guys would have been telling Henry Ford to scrap the idea of building cars because its never going to take off. Riiiiight.

January 13, 2012 at 2:33 PM 

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