Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Republicans Stumble on the Way to Raising Your Taxes

It's not easy being a blatant hypocrite these days...

The House-passed measure that finances a $1.7 billion business tax cut with $1.5 billion in increased income tax revenue, including taxing some pension income, has yet to find a home in the Senate.

Republicans today delayed sending Gov. Rick Snyder’s signature economic development policy to committee. The logical panel with jurisdiction over tax issues, Senate Finance, is chaired by a Macomb County lawmaker who opposes the plan.

Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, said other committees are an option, as is having the full Senate vote on the tax bill, which passed the House with a bare majority last week, without a committee hearing.

Gongwer just tweeted that they found a home for the "biggest tax increase ever!" in the Senate Reforms Committee, bypassing the traditional Senate Finance Committee. Mike Bishop would be so ashamed of you all. And the Oakland Press took the much-needed public step of calling the Republicans out on their hypocrisy yesterday, God bless 'em...

In their series “I Love Lucy,” Desi Arnaz, when perplexed by the latest escapades of his wife, used to say with his Cuban accent, “Lucy, you have some ’splainin’ to do.”

Well, so do Oakland County House Republicans who approved legislation last week that raises taxes on individuals statewide by $770 million annually.

Did not almost all legislative Republicans stand adamantly against any tax increases during the tenure of Gov. Jennifer Granholm? True, a few crossed over and supported her increases of 2007, but after that her most modest suggestions were shouted down.

Simple explanation? IOKIYAR. This is the double standard they live by. Haven't people figured that out by now?

Why is it suddenly OK to raise taxes on individuals when in 2010 a smaller request for a $550 million extension of the sales taxes to services proposed by Granholm was rejected out of hand?

None of this is to comment on the wisdom of any of these proposals. But the hypocrisy involved needs to be exposed.

And the cases of legislative Republicans and Republican Gov. Rick Snyder are not the same. Most — not all to be sure — legislative Republicans, riding the Tea Party wave, portrayed themselves as horrified by taxes and spending in the last election campaign. With their turnaround, do they owe Granholm an apology?

Yes. Will she get one? Never. And when you really stop and think about it - it's the people of Michigan that deserve the apology. We are the ones who pay the ultimate price.

As long as Republican politicians and their rich friends are the beneficiaries of the behavior, you can forget about them adhering to any sort of principle or promise. Or simple human decency, for that matter. They will put themselves through the most amazing contortions to justify the their vote to raise taxes (on anyone but their friends and campaign contributors) - but if a Democrat does it across the board, well then it's "class warfare!" or "socialism!" to pay for things like schools and fire fighters. How is that working out for us?

The Oakland Press falters when they give Snyder a pass on his actions, saying that "taxpayers need to continue to press for clarity and transparency during election campaigns". We do. People ask questions all the time. So does the press, for the most part. Not only did the guy dodge all those questions, he dodged debates as well. "We need to re-invent Michigan!" What the hell did that mean exactly? When pressed, he wouldn't say. Remember?

That's not the voter's fault - that's his. What choice do we have at that point? Not vote? And, when the press gives him a pass for being less than honest about his plans, then don't be surprised to find your local reps will flat-out lie when it comes to what they will or will not do. You let one get away, and they all get away.

Still, it's nice to see that someone took the time to call this out for what it is. Keep it up. Please. It may not change anything, but at least more people will be aware of the ruse.

And maybe they will start voting accordingly.