Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Will Snyder's 'Shared Sacrifice' Soon Be Even Less Popular?

When your approval rating is 60 percent negative, you might think the only way to go is up. But in Rick Snyder's case, that may not be true. We may not have seen the bottom yet.

That's because Snyder is signalling that he wants to go ahead with slashing school and university funding and raising taxes on senior citizens and poor people, regardless of whether the state really needs to or not.

The news has received relatively little focus in the media, but Michigan officials will meet on Monday to issue an up-to-date estimate of the state's revenues for the year. Some lawmakers are suggesting the state could take in some $500 million more than expected just a few months ago.

Snyder's response? "I don't want to speculate on us having more dollars."

In other words, Snyder doesn't sound interested in backing off his "balance-the- budget-on-the-backs-of-kids-senior citizens-and-the-poor" orders to the Legislature.

According to the EPIC-MRA poll, 71 percent of likely voters in Michigan don't like Snyder's cuts to education and his pension tax.

Michigan voters are going to like those proposal a whole lot less if they find out the state has $500 million -- or even $250 million -- more than expected and that Snyder still wants to go ahead with the cuts and tax increases.

Some lawmakers who voted for the taxes this week may wish they hadn't done so, too. But it will be too late.

Snyder started the year selling "shared sacrifice" to Michigan voters, then pulled a bait and switch to "sacrifice for the poor, kids, and senior citizens." How will people react when they find out the state could be facing a surplus, on top of the $500 million surplus already in the school aid fund that Snyder won't spend on schools?

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