Sunday, May 8, 2011

To Sell Snyder's Tax Plan, Media Re-Defines 'Rich'

It's Rich Snyder's job to sell the regressive, punish-the-poor tax plan that he is foisting onto Michigan residents, but the media seems to think that has become its job.

Take Friday's editorial in the Detroit Free Press titled "The rich feel some tax pain, too, but not like the working poor."

According to the editorial, "the rich" are being forced to shoulder a larger share of the tax burden so Snyder's plan to tax senior citizens and take away the lifeline for the working poor known as the Earned Income Tax Credit is really a "progressive" tax plan. The elderly and poor just haven't noticed.

According to the editorial, tax breaks for single people with more than $75,000 a year will be eliminated that will raise $90 million a year. Personal exemptions and homestead property tax exemptions will be phased out for them. For example, according to the newspaper:

"Finally, the proposed tax regime dramatically scales back the homestead property tax credit, which is now available in full up to $73,650 in household income, phasing out at $82,650. Under the new plan, no household with an income above $50,000 would be eligible. And those whose home's taxable value exceeds $135,000 won't qualify for the credit no matter how little they earn."

So according to the Free Press, "the rich" includes people whose household income is $50,001 a year. Household income. That could be two people earning $25,000 a year, and those people are now considered "rich" by the Detroit Free Press. Now "rich" is relative. Certainly, those households making $50,000 a year are "richer" than those making $25,000 a year, but they are not rich. They are barely middle class.

What the Free Press has done is define everybody whose taxes are being raised as "rich" in order to make Snyder's scheme to end taxes for business look fair. Newspapers should let Snyder do his own dirty work.

No comments: