Friday, February 18, 2011

Where Is Business' Share of the Sacrifice?

Zero taxes. That's what all but a handful of Michigan businesses will pay under Rick Snyder's revised Michigan Business Tax. They'll get the benefit of $1.8 billion in tax cuts, paid for by increases on senior citizens and the poorest working people in the state. And they'll sacrifice nothing.

That's because they're the "job providers." Except we don't know that they actually will provide any more jobs. Nationally, corporations have had record profits and yet aren't hiring people, preferring to sit on piles of cash.

So what are we really getting for our higher taxes? Not better schools that will help our future workers compete in the global marketplace. They are taking millions of dollars in cuts, even though the special fund set up for schools has hundreds of millions of dollars in surplus. Not better universities. Their budgets are being cut 15 percent, not counting the private donations that will be lost because the tax credits for donating to universities is being taken away. Better roads? Nope. Improved public safety? Not with cuts to local government. A wonderful natural environment? No, we're cutting those programs, too.

Jobs? Well, not if the behavior of companies nationally is any indication. What business would want to come to a state that is racing to the bottom in quality of life? We will pay more for fewer services, as local governments slash away.

Which is not exactly what Snyder's lieutenant governor promised. Brian Calley told a group in Holland that Snyder was going to balance the budget and cut taxes on business with an "all cuts" solution.

Didn't work out that way, did it?

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