Friday, October 12, 2007

Senate Republicans back off plan to repeal service taxes

Will the real Michigan Republican Party please stand up?

While Saul is running misleading radio ads claiming that the Democrats are solely responsible for a "massive job killing" tax increase, it should be pointed out that, under the direction of Mike Bishop, the Republican Senate will not attempt to repeal those service taxes anytime soon.

So, which is it? Are the Republicans as vehemently anti-tax as Saul claims? If so, why aren't the Senate Republicans doing something about it?

As usual, the Republicans are saying one thing and doing another. They want the benefit of a budget agreement that prevented the shutdown of government so they wouldn't have to take the blame for that, and they want the benefit of a tax increase so they wouldn't get tagged with the devastating cuts to education and public safety, but when it comes time to address the rabid anti-tax members of their own party, they quietly put Nancy on that short leash with the muzzle attached and take a pass on the issue, while they let the party continue to confuse the public with propaganda. 

From MIRS-

Today, the Senate Tax Policy Committee scheduled a meeting to give an irate business community a chance to spout off about the alleged loss of customers the additional tax will cause, but it was cancelled only hours in advance after Senate Republican leadership successfully urged Committee Chair Nancy CASSIS (R-Novi) to back off, MIRS has learned.

Why would Mike Bishop do such a thing? To protect Republicans, of course. They know they need the revenue to complete the budget deal-

But Senate Majority Leader Mike BISHOP (R-Rochester) isn't interested in revisiting the issue, at least in the short term, sources indicate for a few reasons. First, the fragile agreement reached for Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 included $600 million from the new tax. Unless replacement revenue is found, there is no balanced budget.

They want to protect their own members-

Second, several Senate Republicans took a hard vote in support of HB 5198 and to undercut the importance of their vote - especially since at least three of them have recall targets on their backs because of it  - isn't fair to them and crumbles the caucus unity.

And they are still negotiating cuts-

And finally, Bishop's team doesn't want the distractions of a service tax at a time when the House and Senate are still negotiating with the administration on what exactly the $433.3 million in cuts will look like.

Gongwer reports that even Nancy Cassis admits the revenue would have to be replaced (Nancy Cassis wants to raise your taxes!), although she did say she wouldn't replace it all. There are probably some poor people who can take it a hit, right, Nancy?

If the tax is repealed there will likely have to be replacement revenue, Ms. Cassis said, though "I don't think it needs to be replaced dollar for dollar."

With that statement, even Nancy Cassis admits that taxes will have to be raised, somewhere, somehow, on someone, just as long as Republican special interests are protected. Call it a hunch.

Someone get on the bat phone to Saul and have him revise those ads. Republicans in the Senate have admitted that the tax increase was necessary and they won't be taking steps to have those taxes repealed. We wouldn't want the Republicans to contradict themselves now, would we?