Monday, April 25, 2011

What Can A Parent Buy for Snyder's $25 Tax Credit?

Millionaire Rick Snyder has demonstrated once again how out of touch he is with the realities of working people in general, let alone working poor people.

His plan to eliminate the Earned Income Tax Credit, which has helped keep people working instead of resorting to welfare, is foolish from an economic standpoint. It will take money out of the hands of people who are guaranteed to spend it at Michigan businesses such as gas stations and grocery stores, or use it to pay their rent or utility bills. From a human standpoint, it is mean.

So he has backed off that and decided, along with Republicans who lead the Legislature, to be magnanimous to the working poor. He will give them a $25 tax credit for each child.

So what can a working parent buy with $25 a year for a child?

Well, at Meijer's, you can buy a box of 96 Pampers diapers for $22.99. When you throw in the 6 percent sales tax, you have a a buck and change left over. Maybe you can get a bunch of bananas for a snack. Now, 96 Pampers will last a baby, at six a day, a little over two weeks.

But there's more. Republicans in the Legislature tried to require that even poorer parents shop only a thrift stores. The families only receive $80 a year for clothing and Sen. Bruce Caswell wanted to make sure they weren't spending it on, you know, designer hand-bags instead of shoes. So the state Senate decided to require parents to use their state allowance to first buy a gift card only usable for clothing before being able to spend their $80.

That's what passes for compassion in America these days. We used to be a nation that cared about families and nurtured them, especially when they were having hard times -- which can happen to anybody. Now, we give working families enough money for two weeks worth of diapers and tell them to sink or swim.

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