Thursday, May 24, 2007

No help for this fiscal year?

Are you kidding me?

Some House Democrats said Wednesday night they were working on a preliminary understanding that they would try to balance this fiscal year's budget without a tax increase. That would mean a higher rate would not kick in until at least Oct. 1, when the new fiscal year begins.

That way, we can put schools, cities and health care providers through all kinds of grief now, listen to the complaints and deal with the fallout for months, and then push a tax increase closer to an election year so it's fresh in the voter's minds! It's like getting the worst of both worlds! And, we get to roll right over for Mike Bishop! Won't that be swell?

Democrats could have owned this conversation months ago, but they have let Bishop and the Republicans dictate and delay their actions and rhetoric. Instead of proclaiming themselves the saviors of schools and cities and standing up for people, they hide behind "bipartisanship", as if the Republicans will reciprocate. When will they learn the lesson that you have to stand up to the bullies at some point?

Please tell me they have a better plan than this. Someone. Anyone.

Another version of the tax increase plan calls for it to take effect as early as July 1. That version would boost the current income tax rate of 3.9 percent to 4.4 percent. Yet another version calls for temporarily raising the income tax to 4.6 percent at a date to be determined.

In the long term, the House Democrats' proposal could include a graduated income tax plan that would require voter approval.

Another possible option does not involve the income tax, but instead would put a sales tax on some types of services such as entertainment.

Graduated sounds great, but the timing is too far off. Plus, it will drive the anti-tax crowd out in a big way during a very important election year. But, it still would be a good way to go in the long run.

Movement on the MBT sounds promising.

Also Wednesday, the House took a vote that soon could send competing plans to replace Michigan's main business tax to a bipartisan committee that would resolve differences with a proposal favored by majority Republicans in the Senate. The state's current business tax expires at the end of the year.

The House Democrats' latest version of a Single Business Tax replacement contains many of the same elements of a proposal passed by the chamber earlier this year. Democrats say the plan would give credits to companies that invest in Michigan and would lower tax rates for most businesses. It would bring in about $1.9 billion a year, roughly the same as the current business tax.

And if I'm not mistaken, simply replacing that money leaves us over a billion in the hole overall, and the Republican plan calls for more cuts. Any kind of compromise on the total revenue from that will leave us short, again, somewhere else. Or, maybe we can just keep pushing the debt into future years- which is exactly what the Republicans want us to do, and was part of their plan for balancing this year's shortfall.

Wow, sure glad we won the House back.

Have a great day everyone.

(And if you are wondering who got me fired up, it was this guy right here. I loves me some Russ. I realized I can't keep "taking one for the team" when the team plays like shit. Heh.)