Monday, February 23, 2009

Bishop, Michigan Chamber of Commerce Want Stimulus Money for Tax Cuts

This should make it clear that the Senate Republicans intend on using stimulus money to cut taxes. Senator Ron Jelinek had previously indicated that stimulus money could be used to replace revenue that was cut from the MBT, now we have Mike Bishop and the Chamber of Commerce echoing that very same thing. Bishop and the Chamber are insiting that we "balance the budget", but they are more than happy to throw that balanced budget out the window if it means more tax cuts.

Bishop said Michigan's first objective should be to balance its budget — without the stimulus money.

The Michigan chamber's Holcomb said the money should not be used “as a one-time crutch.” He said budget cuts, government reform and efficiency measures are needed regardless of the federal money.

But Holcomb did say one question worth exploring is whether the stimulus money could be used to repay the state's federal unemployment borrowing and thus avert the need for higher employer taxes. Or, he asked, is there a way to use the stimulus money to help pay to phase out the surcharge on the Michigan Business Tax?

Bishop said he would like to find a way to use stimulus money to provide MBT or other tax relief.

Tax cuts in a time of budget deficit are a form of "spending". Why is it Bishop and the Chamber feel it's OK to use this "one time crutch" to spend money on their special interests, but yet insist that others must keep the budget balanced?

IOIYAR. In the pocket of the Chamber.

If the Senate wants to find a revenue-neutral replacement for problems with the MBT, that's fine. Go do it. Please. But spare us the sanctimonious cries about "balancing the budget" when your actions show that you are going to do everything in your power to create another deficit.

The battle lines are being formed as the Republicans keep floating their ideas for stimulus "spending". Watch for it. The question now is: Will they use this as an excuse to obstruct stimulus money from moving through the legislature, denying us job creation? Will they insist on "tax cuts" before the people of Michigan see the relief the President wants to provide?

Stay tuned.