Right now there's a lot of hype and speculation about the state budget. Papers have been talking about "the republican plan." Currently, there is none. That's not meant as an attack. It's simply a statement of fact. All there is right now is speculation and a proposal by one proclaimed individual Republican in Rick Snyder.
Rick Snyder introduced his proposal which includes some tax increases (which I strongly oppose), some budget cuts, and some tax cuts. It's a Snyder plan, and not yet a Republican plan. It hasn't gone through any committees yet, let alone the full house. It's one person and his people's plan. Period.
Don't expect the Snyder plan to sail through the house and the senate as is. It'll be modified through committees. What we need to do, is keep a close eye on the committees, especially appropriations, watch what happens in committee, and make sure something more acceptable comes out of there.
The pension tax needs to be stopped, unless you want to see a mass exodus of snowbirds (and their money). That'll result in less money to the state coffers as well. That's not to mention that seniors are the most independent voters out there. They voted for Clinton, Gore, Bush, and McCain. They aren't too happy with Snyder right now. We need to make sure that Snyder doesn't represent Republicans when it comes to this budgetary issue. We need to publicly stop this in its tracks and repudiate it as not being representative of Republican politics. Bad policy is bad politics.
The MBT repeal is a good idea. So are some of the cuts. I draw the line with the tax increases. If the total tax code - including property taxes - was scrapped and started over, I'd be more open. This is less of a gimmick budget than the past, but what's going to happen down the road when the seniors leave town?
Snyder talks about shared sacrifice. I agree to a point. Government needs to live within its means period. Those cuts can hurt, but that's the sacrifice we need. We're all hurting in this economy. Mom and dad shouldn't bail out government for government getting themselves into this mess with eight years of Granholm combined with big government state legislatures from Sikkema, Johnson, and Dillon.
Right now, there's significant opposition to this pension tax in the senate, including my own senator Joe Hune.
Jack Brandenburg, Patrick Colbeck, Mike Green, Geoff Hansen, Joe Hune, Rick Jones, John Moolenaar, Mike Nofs, David Robertson, and Tory Rocca all came out opposed to the pension tax. Not surprisingly, most of them are from blue collar districts.
We need to keep an eye on the appropriations committees and make sure something acceptable comes out of there for a full vote. The Republican Plan should not include the tax increases. Period.