Many causes can be attributed to Michigan's recent economic malaise: the troubles in the domestic automotive sector, a downturn in the national economy brought on by the financial crisis in banking and the "flattening" of the global marketplace to name a few of the more popular ones. However, any honest debate about Michigan's troubles must include the negative impact of the Michigan Business Tax.
Never mind that the business community had a big hand in shaping the MBT back when they made these very same arguments about the SBT. We will ignore the fact that they helped create the tax situation that they now want to complain about. Just like the Mac Center - they will use our economic malaise to push for their special interests alone - and disregard the cost of what this proposal entails.
So, tell ya what. Let's agree to eliminate the MBT. Do away with it altogether. No taxes for business whatsoever. You win.
Just one thing before we do though, and this should be demanded from all those that want to continue to make the suggestion that we cut revenue, from the Chamber of Commerce to the Republican Party on down the line. I'm going to shout this because the point seems to be lost on everyone every single time this argument comes up. Lean in closer. You listening now?
PUT YOUR CUTS ON THE TABLE.
You want to eliminate the revenue from the MBT? Show us how to pay for it. Better yet, show us WHO pays for it. When you do, we can have an honest discussion about the issue of taxes, decreased revenue, and state services. You can talk about the Chamber's list of "reforms" all you want, but there are reasons why the legislature hasn't taken them up, and my guess is that they would be unacceptable to the public, who elected these people to speak for us. We didn't elect the CoC to office. We tried that experiment; it was called "The Bush Years", and look where that got us.
Until business interests put an acceptable plan on the table, this is just more of the same nonsense we went through when you eliminated the SBT, and we don't need to hear it. It cost us jobs and investment for nearly a year last time, and we simply cannot afford to do that all over again.
The challenge has been issued. Put those cuts on the table. Show Michigan what it costs to give you another tax break. Or knock it off, before you drive away more investment with your anti-Michigan business rhetoric.
Thanks for your attention. Enjoy your time at Mackinac next week, and try to come up with some long term solutions, other than simply finding the angle that puts that extra buck in your pocket today while the rest of the state goes broke. The infrastructure, the educated employees, the public safety you save, just may be your own.