Monday, July 27, 2009

Skubick: EITC, Film Industry Cuts Appear "Non-Negotiable" for GOP in Budget Talks

Skooby is predicting the film credits will go away altogether in a new blog post this morning, and WWJ has picked up on that report...

Live on WWJ Monday morning, Skubick reported Republicans want to eliminate or downsize the tax credit. He says the incentive may be popular with the public, but the GOP says it's been a money-loser for Michigan.

Governor Granholm would like to raise about $500 million by closing tax loopholes, but Republicans want to eliminate or downsize the film tax credit as well as the Earned Income Tax Credit.

In his blog, Skubick writes doing "away with or dramatically reducing the film credit and the EITC appear to be non-negotiable for the GOP. Either they get what they want, or the governor will get a goose egg on raising new money to balance the budget. Look for her to reluctantly give-in."
The Republicans want to kill one of the best things this state has going for us right now, the one thing that is bringing us priceless national publicity, filling up college classes with interested students and unemployed workers, keeping young people here in the state instead of leaving for LA after college, and creating instant jobs as these film crews are rushing to Michigan to film and build studios here. I really don't have to link all those things to prove this point - you have seen the stories almost on a weekly basis since we passed the law. It's a winner, so of course in the Republican eye, it must die.

And to top off that bit of insanity, they want to kill tax refunds for the poorest of the poor. Let's not look at other archaic tax loopholes that have been law for decades, carved out for rich special interests that lawmakers wouldn't want to offend lest those campaign donations dry up. Oh no. We have to go after those poor people first. House Republicans are still bringing up the now very old canard of "welfare", which is practically non-existent except for the few families with children that can still qualify, and the Senate Republicans want to come after the Earned Income Tax Credit, which helps the poor and working class simply survive. But, they aren't part of "the base", so they will be sacrificed. Compassion indeed.

Peter Luke once wrote that there is $35 billion out there in tax loopholes, and that we could look at trimming some of those on an equal percentage basis so everyone takes a small hit. Governor Granholm proposed the same last week - and even suggested that the dreaded MBT surcharge may be reduced or eliminated by doing so. Since the Senate Republicans have repeatedly claimed it's such a job-killer (even though they never admit to the fact that they created it), wouldn't they want to take a look the ways we would make it go away?

If Skubick's claim that the Senate Republicans won't negotiate on the EITC and the film credits is correct, we now know who is holding up a budget deal so they can serve their own partisan interests. Only question now is how the House Democrats will respond.

Any comments on this new development, Speaker Dillon?