Thursday, October 26, 2006

Granholm vs. DeVos- Interview with Heritage Newspapers

Heritage serves the southeastern part of Michigan. This is another compare and contrast interview- the same questions are put to both candidates. As with all the other interviews that have this format, Granholm has answers and DeVos has blame and platitudes.

I wanted to highlight the SBT answer because DeVos said something that I hadn't heard before- and I thought that Dick said he couldn't tell you his plan until he had access to the state figures.

How would you replace the revenue lost with the repeal of the Single Business Tax?

Granholm: The Republican Legislature took the irresponsible way out and has simply eliminated the Single Business Tax without first coming up with a plan. By doing so, they created a $1.9 billion hole in the state budget, which represents 20 percent of our general fund revenues. It is telling that a Wall Street credit agency downgraded Michigan's credit rating immediately after the Republicans voted to eliminate the SBT without a plan to protect the vital revenue it provides.

While I agree that the Single Business Tax must be repealed, I will not stand by and watch the tax shifted on to the backs of Michigan taxpayers. I want a guarantee from Republicans that no plan to replace the revenue from the business tax will increase taxes for citizens or slash funding for health care, education, or public safety.

I have proposed a plan to eliminate the Single Business Tax as we know it by lowering the tax rate, simplifying the tax and making it less payroll sensitive. My plan calls for a reduction in the corporate tax rate from 1.9 percent to 1.2 percent. It creates a manufacturing and research-and-development personal property tax credit to help our manufacturers and draw new high-tech companies to Michigan. It eliminates loopholes that allow some business to avoid the tax. I am the only candidate for governor who has put a plan to replace the SBT on the table.

DeVos: First, getting rid of the SBT will help to create jobs, which will actually help the budget. Second, I will replace the majority of the revenue with a broad-based business tax. Like other states, it will be centered on business profits and gross receipts. Simple and fair — it won't punish job creation. If you make more, you will pay more. I will not place the burden of additional taxes on Michigan families.

Also, I have already identified $800 million in waste and fraud that the state can cut out of its budget without harming education, health care, etc. That includes requiring a four-year time limit on welfare that would save $80 million the first year alone. The governor has opposed this measure and Michigan is one of only two states in the nation without a limit.

Here is the DeVos answer on the SBT in mid-August, courtesy of Skubick.

DeVos media mouthpiece John Truscott hammered home the point again after the GOP legislature wiped out the unpopular SBT on August 8th. He told an unsuspecting Detroit newspaper that the DeVos folks couldn't play the SBT replacement game because they didn't have the details from the state.


In fact, Klein fired off a 55-page memo to the aforementioned Speaker Craig DeRoche with all the tax data one would ever need to draft a replacement for the SBT. And on top of that, while DeVos and company were crying crocodile tears over their inability to figure out their tax policies, yet another GOP source had the numbers since last June!

How is it that DeVos has identified $800 million when he said he didn't have the access to the details? And, would Dick like to tell us exactly what "waste and fraud" he has identified?

He didn't pull that number from the air. He has something specific in mind. And judging by his answer this time and other times, Dick's first action will be to attack the poor, the sick, and the elderly so he can give tax cuts to business. Preferably big business.

Dick won't tell you his plan, but he obviously has the numbers on those less fortunate souls down. They will be the first to go.

He put his priority right on display, and like the good Republican bully that he is, he goes after those that can't fight back. What a guy.