Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Six O'Clock News: The Last Motion Picture Show Edition

  • The movie industry has been a great thing for this state, so naturally today, the Senate Republicans, with the help of Mickey "Traitor" Switlaski who gives them bipartisan cover, have introduced legislation to cap our film industry credits. Jud Gilbert, Tom George and the Queen of Mean herself, Nancy Cassis, want to stop any sort of "success" from taking place here, so they will knock down the rebate from 42% to 35% (which I believe would tie us with Louisiana, where even Bobby Jindal is on board with keeping their incentives intact because they have made a BOATLOAD of money since they started this), and cap it at $50 million a year. They would add credits for studios, but a cap and a cut might just do us in anyway.

    Do you know what this means? Do you? Besides the fact that we might lose those studios and new jobs and kids training for the industry and publicity and all that other good stuff? This means that I have to side with Mike Bishop, and I'm really not happy about that. Not at all.

    The Senate's GOP majority leader says he isn't interested in limiting tax credits if they're stimulating the economy.

    THAT'S how stupid this idea is. With other states moving recently to increase their incentives to capture this industry, we would be nuts to send the message that we are even thinking of limiting this business. C'mon Mick, what in the hell is wrong with you lately?

  • Speaking of jobs and the lack thereof, we hit 12% unemployment in February. Ouch. Let's hope that's bottom. The national rate climbed as well, to 8.1%.

  • And, speaking of the Senate and their lack of ability to be fiscally responsible people, or possibly even sane people at this point, it comes out today that the home buyer credit they passed last week costs just a leeeetle more than they thought, and a heckuva lot more than the movie credits would ever cost us. Peter Luke is really picking up on this story, God love him.

    Price tag for the 2010 state budget lawmakers are now also drafting? More than $1.1 billion, according to Wednesday's analysis by the Senate Fiscal Agency.

    In 2011, the cost of Senate Bill 346 jumps to $1.3 billion as more homes are sold and more credits claimed. It's the single most generous tax cut in Michigan history. If the House were to pass it, which it won't, or if Gov. Jennifer Granholm were to sign it into law, which she wouldn't, three-quarters of state aid to Michigan's 15 public universities would have to be axed, for example.

    Add in the $1.2 billion in tax cuts previously approved by the Senate this year and the total soars past $2.5 billion, more than the entire cost of Michigan's prison system and state police.

    Yes, Virginia, these are the people that insisted that they would "take the lead" this year because the House had too many new members, and also insisted that they oversee the stimulus money because... well, they're just so gosh darn good at this.

    Be afraid. Be very afraid.

  • Fortunately the people of Michigan do know a good thing when they see it, and that is saving early for their kid's college education. The Michigan Education Trust (MET) and the Michigan Education Savings Program (MESP) have remained solid even with the stock market turbulence. MET locks down the cost of tuition, and MESP pays for all the other stuff, go read to see the details. Impressive numbers on the MESP - $1.65 billion invested in the program through more than 211,000 accounts.

  • Hmmmm, cheeseburger. The West Michigan Whitecaps have introduced a 4,800 calorie burger that has "five 1/3-pound beef patties, five slices of cheese, nearly a cup of chili and liberal doses of salsa and corn chips". Don't forget the sour cream. Click the link to see the pictures. Opening Day is April 9th!

    If they find me keeled over at the ballpark, clutching my heart with a big grin on my face, you'll know what happened. I'll haunt the Capitol in the off-season, I promise.