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Posted on Fri, Feb 18, 2011 : 4:36 p.m.

Rick Snyder in Ann Arbor: 'This is about creating an exciting future'

By Nathan Bomey


Gov. Rick Snyder speaks to student entrepreneurs this afternoon at the Michigan Clean Energy Prize Competition at the University of Michigan.

Angela Cesere |

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder hinted this afternoon that he has no plans to back down from the massive changes he suggested in his budget proposal Thursday.

Snyder, speaking to student entrepreneurs at the Michigan Clean Energy Prize Competition awards ceremony in Ann Arbor, said he's aiming high for a reason.

But he doesn't necessarily expect to get everything he wants.

"If everything I do just happens, it means I didn’t do my job right, it means I didn’t challenge the system enough," he said. "If every one thing I did just happened, it was too conservative. This is about doing new things. This is not about living in the past or the present. This is about creating an exciting future."

Snyder's comments come as Lansing is gearing up for a battle over his 2011-12 budget proposal, which would lower business taxes by $1.8 billion, cut spending by $1.4 billion and boost revenue by taxing pensions and slashing some individual income tax exemptions.

The proposal has drawn the ire of Democrats, some Republicans, senior citizen advocates, universities, municipalities, school districts and some specific industries, such as film companies.

But Snyder told the college student entrepreneurs he was committed to "create an environment for you to succeed."

"It’s about more and better jobs and about creating a future for all of you to (ensure) this is a state you want to build these exciting enterprises in," Snyder said.

At the Clean Energy Prize Competition ceremony, organized by DTE Energy and the University of Michigan, DTE CEO Gerry Anderson veered off script to issue an endorsement of Snyder's budget approach.

"I want to thank you, governor, for having the honesty and the courage to tell us as citizens where we really stand as a state, to tell us that we’re operating our state government in an unsustainable way, to tell us that we’re stacking up future liabilities — $47 billion and counting now — that we aren't funding and that we've been kicking the can down the road year after year and leaving those liabilities for generations behind us to deal with," Anderson said.

He added: "Dealing with these issues in a fundamental way now promises a much brighter future for our state."

Clean Energy Prize awards

The ceremony was organized to honor the four winners of the multi-university Clean Energy Prize Competition, a business plan competition for student entrepreneurs.

A U-M team called CSquared Innovation, led by Nick Moroz, won first place. The company is developing laser-assisted technology to improve the production of nanostrucutures for use in lithium-ion batteries, solar panels and biomedical applications.

A U-M team called Smart Energy Loan Fund earned second place. The team is developing a financing model to enable energy efficient building upgrades for local governments.

A U-M team called Impact Card, which wants to help credit card companies create reward systems in which points can be translated into funding for renewable energy projects, won third place.

A Western Michigan University team called Perennial BioEnergy won fourth place.

The winners will share $100,000 in funding.

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's newsletters.



Tue, Feb 22, 2011 : 12:24 a.m.

Action: Tax senior's pensions Reaction: More people move out of state, leaving even more housing vacant and decaying, negative domino effect on goods and services. Action: Cut movie incentives Reaction: More jobs lost, service industries suffer, nothing to 'fill the employment gap'. More people move out of state to pursue work, leaving even more housing vacant and decaying, negative domino effect on goods and services.. Action: Cut Earned Income Credit Reaction: The 'working poor' of Michigan require even more assistance, food banks overload, unable to pay for substandard housing, stay in Michigan because they can't afford to leave. Bleak future to say the least.


Sun, Feb 20, 2011 : 10:56 p.m.

It's sad that an event designed to celebrate the accomplishments and potential of student entrepreneurs seeking to create a brighter future for their generation got hijacked by the state's budget woes - seems like the governor could have spent more time on that - or maybe he did and it wasn't reported on that way. Also sad that so few of these comments reflect admiration for what these kids have already achieved - even as students. We should all be proud of them and hopeful that they can be part of a solution that is growth oriented, and helps to recreate our economy. So - bravo to these kids, and all the others who entered. I hope that we hear way more about their successes in the future.


Sun, Feb 20, 2011 : 5:33 p.m.

<a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> This is where we are today. The rich get richer, the middle class disappears....all in all this country is declining quickly. In the end as we have seen in other countries where the rich rule, the rich will lose out too. The chart is quite horrifying.


Sun, Feb 20, 2011 : 3:36 p.m.

This budget proposal is the most blatant assault on the poor and middle class I have ever seen in my 50+ years on this planet. This is an outrageous transfer of wealth from the poor to the wealthy. Robin Hood in reverse! Decent people will fight this in the streets and in the elections!


Sun, Feb 20, 2011 : 3:08 p.m.

Where were all these nay sayers when Granholm gave away all the tobacco money to Kawame and his family? where are these same nay sayers when illegal immigrants are draining our government social programs ILLEGALLY? yet they want us to continue taxing more and more people, not them of course but others... For 8 years everyone knew this would be coming and no one did anything because they were protecting their political future. well you know at some point someone was going to say enough, we cannot keep borrowing money from Obama to cover up the mis-management and short falls. Obama should have the guts to do something to insure a healthy finacial future for our kids instead he is in re-election mode and worried about his own kneck.


Sun, Feb 20, 2011 : 3:08 p.m.

If people think low corporate taxes will spur the economy I suggest we look at what states have and what happens there. South Dakota has the lowest corporate rate according to the Tax Foundation. (coincidentally where Gateway was located when the Rickster ran it), yet has 3 of the 6 poorest counties nationwide. Tell me how many companies have picked up and moved to South Dakota? It's economic growth level has been below the national average for the last decade. The per capita income is BELOW that of Michigan. Even with our high unemployment the average person in Michigan STILL makes more than average people in South Dakota. Minnesota has a higher personal income tax, but I don't see people flocking to move from Minnesota to South Dakota. Could it be that businesses care about having a vibrant, creative, and educated life instead of Wal Mart. If money is the main motivator, than why doesn't Rick rent a two bedroom apartment and drive a Fiesta?


Sun, Feb 20, 2011 : 3:02 p.m.

Michigan's exciting future? Younger people can look foreword to what? A crummy $10am hr job without any benefits. Great education with overcrowded, crumbling classrooms and few opportunities for college degrees? More crime and less protection? More taxes? No home ownership. Less job security if you have one. No chance for retirement? an upperclass that will glean more money off of society than they could ever spend in100 lifetimes. Baby boomers that will need to be taken care of by you since they lost their ability to do it themselves in pension robberies government style. no need to list more. Some say why not support this plan? Well, look to rickys exciting future. I agree he has balls but he will get them clipped come November( house and or senate control).


Sun, Feb 20, 2011 : 2:21 p.m.

When Obama wanted the rich to pay more in taxes to help cover the deficit for everyone, he was called a socialist. When Snyder takes tax dollars from the lower and middle classes to pay for a $1.8 billion windfall for businesses, he's called innovative. I don't get it.


Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 10:04 p.m.

&quot;The interest of the dealers, however, in any particular branch of trade or manufactures, is always in some respects different from, and even opposite to, that of the public. To widen the market, and to narrow the competition, is always the interest of the dealers. To widen the market may frequently be agreeable enough to the interests of the public; but to narrow the competition must always be against it, and can only serve to enable the dealers, by raising their profits above what they naturally would be, to levy, for their own benefit, an absurd tax upon the rest of their fellow-citizens. The proposal of any new order, ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never to be adopted till after having been long and carefully eaxamined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspecious attention. It comes from an order of men, whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it.&quot; Adam Smith - Inquiry into the Naure and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. &quot;Get big, get bought or get out of business; there's no room for small suppliers in this industry.&quot; - David Cole's Traverse City Auto Conference 2001. &quot;There's too many suppliers, and we're going to have to do something about that.&quot; - Dave Bing for the Bing Group &quot;The reason the government has to do that is because much of this research simply is too financially risky over a long period of time to justify the return,&quot; John Wallace, Ford VP R&amp;D. &quot;...need a lot of breakthroughs to be a practical power source, and who better to work on it than the government?&quot; - CEO, Borg Warner. Adam Smith didn't trust big business and definitely wrote that corporations have no legitimate reason to exist, why should we? Especially given the past 30 years as clear evidence about whom they're serving - themselves.


Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 8:39 p.m.

It is easy to just say &quot;we will create more jobs&quot;, but what they don't say is they aren't high paying jobs. I get it. A job is better than no job, but hey it's ok to get a low paying job, and then apply for assistance. Just work together on a solution, and stop thinking one political party's ideas are better than others. It is obvious the battle has been going on for years, and neither is correct.


Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 4:24 p.m.

Go Rick Go! It is about time that the baby boomer generation, now retiring, paid it's fair share. They have been taking and taking and taking. Let them pay their taxes. This goes double for the unions. The unions destroyed Michigan. The car companies have finally shed most of their union parasites and are becoming profitable again. In order for the State of Michigan to recover, the state and local employees must be taken down in salary and benefits to wages comparable to the private sector. If the public workers strike, fine.. fire them. Let them see what life is like in the private sector where people get paid competitive wages for actual work done.


Sun, Feb 20, 2011 : 4:25 p.m.

Braggslaw, Blaming the unions? They didn't force those conditions, they were negotiated with management. If management failed to set aside enough money, that is not the fault of the unions. The unions bargained in good faith. Our state would not have the liabilities it has if weren't for Prop. A and Engler's raiding of the pension funds.. neither of which are the unions' fault.


Sun, Feb 20, 2011 : 1:40 p.m.

don't get old. Die young.

John Q

Sun, Feb 20, 2011 : 3:24 a.m.

What does that have to do with the previous comment? As for placing the blame on the unions, management agreed to any contracts that were approved. Typical conservative cop-out to absolve management of responsibility for their bad management.


Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 8:45 p.m.

Has anyone ever sat in the room where the assets and liabilities are calculated for a company? When a company owes 100 billion in liabilities to it's union work-force and has not been in the black for 3 years that company is doomed. Of course organized labor will point to bad management decisions, and of course there are always some bad decisions. BUT when you are hamstrung with a 50 lb weight in a 100 yd freestyle race you are certain to lose. The reality is the unions destroyed many companies across the country.

John Q

Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 4:56 p.m.

&quot;Go Rick Go! It is about time that the baby boomer generation, now retiring, paid it's fair share. They have been taking and taking and taking. Let them pay their taxes. &quot; I'm not a Baby Boomer and I think this is the most asinine thing I've read. On what basis do you claim that those people haven't been paying their &quot;fair share&quot;?


Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 3:53 p.m.

Yes, I'm so excited I may have to crawl back in bed and pull the covers over my head...

Mr. Ed

Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 3:51 p.m.

I'm moving !


Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 4:47 p.m.

Great, I won't have to give you the tax dollars I pay.

ernest Carter

Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 3:29 p.m.

Rick you think giving all these tax breaks to large and small corporations will attract more jobs to this state, while paying for it on the backs of people of modest income. Then, in perhaps the near future, big businesses is going to shut down their factories in China, Mexico and even abandon their shinny world headquarters in Texas to conduct commerce in Michigan. Lets consider Michigan a State with poor roads, no high speed rail, out dated and rundown cities, an aging and declining population, underperforming schools, and at best a marginal climate to live in. Aside from the water in the great lakes this chunk of real estate, despite all the tax cuts in the world will not be enough to sweeten the pot and attract young educated entrepreneurs to leave the sun belt which at this point are more developed and advanced parts of the country. If you were young and educated would you stay here?


Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 3:41 p.m.

While manufacturing might be part of the conversation. R&amp;D , engineering and service jobs are what we are shooting for. those are high paying jobs that will benefit all in Michigan. What is interesting is that it is cheaper to fund engineering and R&amp;D in Michigan when compared to China, Korea or Germany. I was surprised by this initially, but after looking at the productivity, exchange rate, and quality of the work, Michigan looks like a great place (of course sand the business taxes)


Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 2:38 p.m.

An exciting future for whom? The rich, the well connected? Your proposals take books and computers and teachers from children and give it to the rich in business tax cuts. What future are you really building? A feudal state? Where workers have no control over working conditions, no voice over wages or benefits... just take what the lord hands out and be grateful for it? Shame on you.


Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 2:36 p.m.

&quot;...Snyder told the college student entrepreneurs he was committed to &quot;create an environment for you to succeed.&quot; &quot;It's about more and better jobs and about creating a future for all of you to (ensure) this is a state you want to build these exciting enterprises in,...&quot; ___ &quot;It seems to me I've heard that song before It's from an old familiar score I know it well, that melody It's funny how a theme recalls a favorite dream A dream that brought you so close to me I know each word because I've heard that song before The lyrics said &quot;Forever more&quot; Forever more's a memory Please have them play it again And I'll remember just when I heard that lovely song before.&quot; ___ And I have, from Miliken, Blanchard, Engler and Granholm - same song, different singer. &quot;If your company is looking for ways to save money and become more efficient, Michigan Gov. John Engler has a message for you:  Close a plant in another state. Consolidate and move workers to Michigan, and we'll give you a pile of tax incentives, including a 4-percent rebate on whatever wages you pay for new jobs you bring to Michigan.&quot; &quot;Covisint to get $59M incentives package LANSING -- Michigan Gov. John Engler and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) said Tuesday they will give Covisint LLC, the auto industry's fledgling Internet marketplace for parts and services, an incentive package of up to $59 million to locate its permanent headquarters in southeastern Michigan.&quot; &quot;Covisint was founded in February 2000 by DaimlerChrysler AG, Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp., Commerce One and Oracle. Separately, the MEDC said it also gave tax breaks worth more than $59 million over 20 years to GM to entice the carmaker to invest in its Lake Orion plant. The MEDC also awarded tax breaks to Visteon Corp. to convince the auto parts maker to put its world headquarters in Michigan.&quot;


Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 2:30 p.m.

If you want to see why Rick Snyder is not equipped to run even a doggie day care, I suggest this line from his Detroit News interview. &quot; Businesses are real people too. &quot; really? Are you serious? No businesses by definition are NOT people. Businesses are financial instruments and legal filings. In fact, if businesses are people, then lets make it complete. When a business breaks the law, lets put them in prison. When a business does not pay taxes, instead of seizure or other remedies, we put every single owner in prison or take it from their personal money. I want all corporate protections gone. Corporations are not people. Any person with a half a brain knows this. If Rick wants that to bee the case, all corporations must be done away with and any profits will be taxed as personal income. We can balance the budget tomorrow if that is the case.


Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 2 p.m.

An exciting future? Nice slogan for, for wealthy investors and your corporate buddies. For the most vulnerable? Not so much. We need their money to subsidize the investors and the wealthy, don't we? Schools? Teachers? the education of our children? Can't afford it. Need the money to help entrepreneurs who just won't be able to get as rich without the tax breaks and subsidies! Unions? Evil! Laissez-faire Capitalists? Good! Bring back the good old days of trusts and combinations! We only need two classes--the wealthy and the laborers and serfs who provide their wealth, right?


Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 12:51 p.m.

DonBee asked the question &quot;show me how pensions are taxed?&quot; &quot;Pensions don't show up on a form 1040 of any type, except if you are getting paid your pension, so you don't pay going in.&quot; Really? Take a look at line 16a on the front of your 1040 and tell me what you see???? That entry line for pensions has always been there - it isn't new. You may not know it but the teachers do pay a percentage of their &quot;after tax income&quot; towards their pension. That means that they pay &quot;going in&quot; and now they will pay &quot;going out&quot; - sounds like paying twice to me. Your 401k was paid for by money that you were NEVER taxed on so when you take it out you pay taxes - once, not twice! Same thing is true for SEP and other IRAs. Interesting isn't it?!!!


Sun, Feb 20, 2011 : 11:41 a.m.

You asked &quot;show me how pensions are taxed?&quot; and I did. Your answer on the topic of contributing too much doesn't enter this discussion at all and it never did. The point is that people with pensions paid for their pensions with already taxed money while IRAs, 401ks and SEP accounts are paid 100% with non taxed money so it makes sense that that money should be taxed when it is withdrawn. So why do you think that pensions should be taxed twice is the question? What is your answer?


Sun, Feb 20, 2011 : 2:24 a.m.

Only on the portion that exceeds the amount allowed by the IRS, just like with a 401K. If you contribute too much according to IRS rules, you pay taxes. Most people who contribute to a 401K or a pension stay within the limits. So there is no difference on the inbound side. Only on the outbound side if you live in Michigan and 2 other states.

Jay Thomas

Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 6:10 a.m.

Gee, I thought everyone was supposed to &quot;pay their fair share.&quot; But pensions aren't taxed? So in Michigan you could be a county executive with a seventy thousand dollar pension and pay zip on it? Sort of reminds me of Obama exempting the unions who supported him from his own health care bill.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 2:10 p.m.

&quot;Sort of reminds me of Obama exempting the unions who supported him from his own health care bill.&quot; Or the governor of Wisconsin exempting the unions that supported him from his union-busting bill. Good Night and Good Luck

Monica R-W

Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 5:45 a.m.

Don't back down Ricky. We are bringing the fight to you. Will you run and hide like you did in the debates? He is starting a FIRE. We will not have our children experiencing a less educational standard than we did growing up in this state. We are Michiganders! Businesses need to keep paying and if they do not like it leave! In the end, our children and their education will be left ALONE! Join into the protest.. Michiganders will WALK LIKE A EGYPTIAN on Snyder's Draconian cuts!!! <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 2:27 a.m.

I don't know what people are complaining about. At least he have balls to tackle the problem that Granholm didn't have. Give Snyder a chance to fix the problem. If he succeed, I know he will give back after putting the state back in the black. If he does not, we won't vote for him next term. I am behind him 100%. Shouldn't you all be.


Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 1:14 a.m.

There are no surprises here. Michigan, you voted for him and the Republican Governor did exactly what we expected. Shift the Michigan tax burden from wealthy businesses to the working poor. You asked for it, you got it. Now deal with it. For those that missed the 80's, Regan tried the same argument of the &quot;trickle down&quot; theory. That is, let the rich make more money and they will graciously give the rest of us jobs. Guess what happened, the rich became more vastly more wealthy and Americans accumulated debt. The question I have is this. If Michigan businesses are getting a break on income taxes, why not start cutting off incentives and taxpayer subsidies at the local, county and state level to all businesses? Why should the taxpayers subsidize Michigan businesses then pick up the tax for the tax burden later? Seems to me a case of socializing the costs and privatizing the profits. This is only an exciting future for CEO's, stockholders and a few well connected Republican party members.


Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 3:21 a.m.

@ Don Bee - you keep saying it hurts, but obviously you've never had to use the earned income credit. Well we did when my husband was finishing his last two years of school and I lost my job and was at home with the kids. Your income has to below 32,000 for a family of 4 to qualify. So imagine earning that and then OWING the State of Michigan money for income taxes. I can see that with Gov. Snyder's proposal, things are only going to get worse for this group of people. He's not doing the people any favors, just his.corporate buddies.


Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 2:39 a.m.

Show me the shift debling? Removing deductions for folks with incomes over $75K or $150K - I did not know these were the poor. Removing State Earned Income Credit, yes that hurts. But the primary amount of Earned Income Credit comes from the federal refund. Medicaid changes are limited by the Health Care Reform Act, hundreds of millions of dollars in state tax money were committed by the federal government reducing what we get to do in Michigan with our tax dollars. Most of this money goes to the poor. So show me where in the budget (yes, I read it) there are major cuts to the poor.


Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 1:08 a.m.

Snoop - We pay taxes on our contributions and now are going to have to have taxes taken out when we get paid out??? You only pay tax on an IRA once or a 401k once. So why do pensioners have to pay twice???


Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 2:24 p.m.

Actually you do pay. Your pension is a NEGOTIATED part of your compensation. If the money were going to be taxed, the negotiation for your services would have been different. It is changing the rules at the end of the game. Or in other words, it is breaking the contract. Of course that is pretty standard fare for republicans. If they do not like the contract they sign, they just break it or file for BK protection and break it anyway.

average joe

Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 4:01 a.m.

AAcity- No, you didn't pay taxes on contributions to your pension, and you haven't paid on the benefits coming out.


Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 2:35 a.m.

Show me where that is on the tax form. Pension contributions, unless they are in excess of the plan are not taxable, and in fact reduce your taxable income. So tell me what line on the Form 1040 includes this new federal tax on in plan contributions to pensions. Yes, if you exceed the federal limits with your contributions it is taxed. So are 401K contributions that exceed the limits.


Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 12:41 a.m.

Forget pensions for a minute. I'd like to see the state and federal government stop taxing unemployment income. Odds are that unemployment is happening in the midst of one's career, not at the end when mortgages may be paid, children's orthodontia and college expenses are paid, and if the individuals thought out retirement, there is coverage for the inevitable medical expenses plus a nest egg for travel, gifting, charity, and unforeseen circumstances. I'd also like to see Michigan review circumstances when a terminated employee gets a severance amount, and then in separate payments in different weeks, gets compensated for unused vacation and sick time. If the &quot;overpayment&quot; in those subsequent weeks is not repaid, the state will issue a lien against the individual and/or owned property. Who thought of this?! Talk about kicking someone when they are down!


Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 12:28 a.m.

Exciting future for whom? How about that 6% tax cut It's the 'Season of Mean' in MI, Republican Style Elimination of the Earned Income Tax for the poor, Taxing pensions, Education cuts, State Employee cuts (double for Public educators), Cuts to Cities (Public Services for a fee?), Cuts to the Environment? The Millionaire Gov. is just taking $1 a year but is paying just 2 employees $500K in addition to the huge salaries he's paying to other folks he brought on. Budget Crisis? How about a 6% tax cut for businesses? Oh yes, only the private sector create jobs (overseas, just like Gateway). State employees have consistently had their salaries cut, frozen, suspended with their health care cost increasing and pensions changed. Don't forget that 3% cut they were force to take. They are also very educated and have to have a license. The cost of that license is extremely high in the State of Michigan. In addition, the K-12 school budget has been raided consistently by the politicians to pay their bills and to give money to the Community Colleges &amp; Universities. K-12 monies should be for K-12 students only. This budget makes it official, therefore shortchanging schools more. Then In addition to the above, the budget seeks $180 million directly from state employees. Public school educators are 3/4 of State Employess, therefore they get hit again. Where will this come from? This is not bold. Boldness does not come on the backs of education, the poor, the middle class, the old, the professionals that take care of public services/the state business, or the environment.


Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 2:33 a.m.

Margle - The earned income credit is primarily in the federal tax. Michigan was again one of the very few states that added to the federal funds. The Michigan share is less the 10 percent for most people. I know for families on the edge, 10 percent is a lot. It hurts, but who do you want to take it from instead?

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 2:06 a.m.

&quot;Oh stop it with the tiremsome and bogus 'talking points.'&quot; These aren't talking points. They are facts. You know, those inconvenient things missing from so many of your posts and that you find so difficult to controvert except through ad hominem attacks. Good Night and Good Luck


Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 1:43 a.m.

Oh stop it with the tiremsome and bogus &quot;talking points&quot;. We are not talking about Education or the kids, we are talking about the teachers and their unions and the other public unions that are bancrupting this state ! Good Day No Luck Needed


Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 12:36 a.m.

I understand your angst... But Michigan is one of the highest per pupil funding in the U.S. But is also has abysmal results. Money is not the issue, accountability is the issue. The public schools were not created to employ people, they were created to provide services. This is something teacher's unions don't get. The state employees are a protected class of workers living off the sweat of the private sector. We can't afford them plain and simple. When businesses move back the middle class will benefit as well as every other class in Michigan.


Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 12:27 a.m.

The Rickster is turning out to be more than I could have hoped for. At a gathering in Dec 2008 in Dearborn I had the great pleasure to have Rick come over and introduce himself to me. He said he was going to run for Governor and asked me for my support after doing my research. He is a class act, an honest and smart guy. We are lucky to finally have real leadership in this state making difficult decisions that will cause a lot of short term pain. But much better to face it head on now then end up like grease, I mean Greece !


Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 12:21 a.m.

Your jobs development will be peachy keen for us the in state joblesses but but ....wait a minute a big 3 doubt just hit me in the head. The great business climate will enjoy the big tax cut though ...but but wait a minute will there be more food distribution and enough high interest loans for college tuition??? But Wait a minute - there's more! what happened to my poor bank account - who has it now???


Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 12:06 a.m.

My impression of Rick is that he is immune to the normal pressures of governor. 1. He is rich so bribes probably won't work. 2. He is an older family man so......well you know. 3. I think he understands he might be a one term governor. I believe he is motivated to do what he believes is the right. In my opinion he is doing the right thing. These are extremely painful decisions but that's what happens when you charge the Visa card to buy luxury items for years. At some point the chickens come home to roost. I look foward to seeing the results in four years.

John Q

Sun, Feb 20, 2011 : 3:27 a.m.

Where is his money invested? How will the decisions he make as Governor potentially benefit him personally? See, you don't know and neither do I.


Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 5:12 p.m.

He has a projected 25 million dollars of assets.

John Q

Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 5:01 p.m.

&quot;You might disagree, but it is disingenuous to assert that he is blowing up the system to benefit himself. Because he is not.&quot; I'm not going to assume that every move that Rick Snyder does it to line his own pockets. But since neither you nor I know his personal financial situation, you have no basis for making that kind of claim either. He very well could be benefiting financially from the proposals he's pushing.


Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 4:24 p.m.

&quot;This man has no motivation other than doing what he thinks is right. Of all the governors we have ever had he is the most immune to lobbyists, unions, and other such special interests.&quot; And that is why he is following the same line of attack that the Republican governors in OH, FL, NJ, IN, WI ect. are doing .....go after the straw man, teachers and other public employees? Get real!


Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 3:36 p.m.

We can disagree on this point. This man has no motivation other than doing what he thinks is right. Of all the governors we have ever had he is the most immune to lobbyists, unions, and other such special interests. Unlike Granholm who was fishing for an Obama cabinet position and ultimately had to rely on the charity of Cal-Berkeley. You might disagree, but it is disingenuous to assert that he is blowing up the system to benefit himself. Because he is not.


Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 3:05 p.m.

Except that you forget he makes money through businesses. He (and his pals) have a real incentive in pushing costs to the poor and middle class so that they can personally benefit. He is motivated to do what is right for him and his... that doesn't make it right for Michigan or most of the people in it.


Fri, Feb 18, 2011 : 11:57 p.m.

Fatty J: I could run for governor and when elected give payouts to all of MY friends and starve everyone else. They do that in Russia, you know - it's called oligarchy. Enough with the &quot;socialist&quot; rhetoric - insisting on maintaining a middle class in the face of tax breaks for the already well-heeled is not socialism. Belonging to a union is not socialism. Expecting to receive a pension one has worked for is not socialism.


Fri, Feb 18, 2011 : 11:55 p.m.

Cash - Show me how pensions are taxed? They are a cost for the business, or they are a deposit by the government (who does not pay taxes). Pensions don't show up on a form 1040 of any type, except if you are getting paid your pension, so you don't pay going in. When it comes out in Michigan it is tax free for the state. One of 3 states where they are tax free. Everyone else with an income tax taxes them. My 401K is not a pension, so it will get taxed when I take money out of it, so since I work for a company with no pension, I get to pay taxes and someone who worked for the government or in a union job (where the vast majority of pensions exist) get off without paying taxes. Fair? Right? Most Michigan citizens will have to pay taxes when they retire only a few will get off scot free and the number is declining.


Sun, Feb 20, 2011 : 2:22 a.m.

Richard - Only on the portion that exceeds the allowable amount set by the IRS. If your contributions are at or below that level (which most people contributing are) you do not pay taxes. The same is true for 401K's if you exceed the allowed amount you have to pay taxes. NOTHING different on the inbound side, sorry.


Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 4:11 p.m.

DonBee asked the question &quot;show me how pensions are taxed?&quot; &quot;Pensions don't show up on a form 1040 of any type, except if you are getting paid your pension, so you don't pay going in.&quot; Really? Take a look at line 16a on the front of your 1040 and tell me what you see???? That entry line for pensions has always been there - it isn't new. You may not know it but the teachers do pay a percentage of their &quot;after tax income&quot; towards their pension. That means that they pay &quot;going in&quot; and now they will pay &quot;going out&quot; - sounds like paying twice to me. Your 401k was paid for by money that you were NEVER taxed on so when you take it out you pay taxes - once, not twice! Same thing is true for SEP and other IRAs. Interesting isn't it?!!!


Fri, Feb 18, 2011 : 11:50 p.m.

Rick, I am behind you 100%, radical change was required as Michigan was dying from a thousand wounds. The only thing that will drive prosperity in Michigan is job creation and only true job creation comes from the private sector. Even the Cubans have come to understand this. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Businesses will stay and relocate to Michigan because of its simple balanced tax code. These businesses will create jobs and those jobs will driver prosperity. Of course there will be those who argue that they are needed or should be paid more, even though market forces and common sense say otherwise. Those people are largest danger to the prosperity in Michigan because they are more concerned with wealth transfer and not wealth creation.


Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 6:35 p.m.

there is absolutely no guarantee that these businesses will hire more people, none. In fact, I am guessing most will packet the extra income. I think that Snyder should have said to businesses, show me you are hiring new employees and the tax break will kick in for your business. Take it business by business. It won't happen, but I want to see these businesses hire people and Snyder can't guarantee that this will happen.

John Q

Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 5:04 p.m.

&quot;Businesses will stay and relocate to Michigan because of its simple balanced tax code. These businesses will create jobs and those jobs will driver prosperity.&quot; Name one actual business that would base its decision to move to Michigan based on our tax code. Should be easy, shouldn't it?


Fri, Feb 18, 2011 : 11:24 p.m.

FLOYD: Did you know that you have the ability to become a business owner? Don't let the government make it so there is no incentive to capitalize in business. Without business we wouldn't have such advanced technology like the computer you are writing on. Our country would be more like Russia if we were populated by socialist colonists.


Fri, Feb 18, 2011 : 11:07 p.m.

snoop. RETIREMENT is being taxed. Most people who work their entire life in a job have a retirement account or what is left of it after Wall Street screwed it up. Alas, THEY got bailed out, as government always is able to fund corporate welfare. People get retirement after they pay into it their entire life working. Now they are old and tired...and many are sick. This is not about public workers. This is about anyone who works their entire LIFE and saves so they can take care of themselves without asking for public support now that they can no longer they have NEVER asked for public support and have paid into Mich state tax, federal income tax, property tax, sales tax etc...for 50, 60 years.

Stephen Landes

Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 1:09 a.m.

You are quite confused. I have recently retired. I receive a pension from the company I worked for and I have money saved in a 401K now rolled over to an IRA. When I need to take money from the IRA to supplement my pension I will be taxed on the withdrawal amount less what I put in. Why should my pension be taxed any differently? Not taxing pensions is simply a tax dodge for those people who have what is now an old fashioned pension plan. It seems to be much more common these days for employees (and the self employed) to have self-funded plans like a 401. This change in tax policy will level the playing field between pension receivers and IRA/401 withdrawers.

average joe

Fri, Feb 18, 2011 : 11:26 p.m.

Again, most pension contributions are made pre-tax. They are not presently taxed 'going in or coming out'.


Fri, Feb 18, 2011 : 11:05 p.m.

Remember how exciting the future was with Reagan as president if you were rich? Remember how exciting the future was when Bush was president if you were a business owner? If the future didn't look so exciting then, maybe it was because your middle class standard of living was decreasing as your wealth was steadily being shifted to the upper class. Get ready for more of that!


Fri, Feb 18, 2011 : 11:01 p.m.

This is money being skimmed off of middle class pensions right into Rick's business-buddies' pockets. It's a payout, plain and simple.


Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 1:16 a.m.

That's an irrational statement.


Fri, Feb 18, 2011 : 10:55 p.m.

Cash said: &quot;Pickpocketing from the elderly to give it to your pet must be really proud of yourself.&quot; Come on Cash, pension income is INCOME. Everyone working and earning income pays state tax, should be no different for those receiving pensions. Only a couple other states don't tax pensions. People lucky enough to get a pension should be willing to pay what everyone else is paying. Most all of us will never get a pension. Guess only those lucky union retirees are mad because they are just about the only ones getting pensions. Good Day

average joe

Fri, Feb 18, 2011 : 11:22 p.m.

Also, pensions are not taxed &quot;going in&quot; either.


Fri, Feb 18, 2011 : 10:26 p.m.

Great, another politican who tells lies. Yep just keep lying. When we decide to work together things will work. Granholm knew nothing, and lied to cover up stupidity, and now we have a guy that lied his way into office. Yep shut down unions that will help. Bring in jobs that make 10 dollars an hour and everyone will lose their homes. Another brilliant idea. All we need is more trailerparks.


Sun, Feb 20, 2011 : 6:08 a.m.

Union folks complain they are being picked on, treated unfairly, and singled out for retribution. Why do you think that is, union folks? You don't pay taxes on your pensions, you don't pay for your medical coverage, you haven't lost any jobs, you have gotten raises in your salaries when others are losing their jobs, Your unions refuse to compromise on salaries and benefits, and you wouldn't know what an eight hour day is. Now why would the taxpayers have it out for you?


Fri, Feb 18, 2011 : 11:18 p.m.

&quot;Bring in jobs that make 10 dollars an hour and everyone will lose their homes.&quot; Do you think that most of the unskilled labor that occurs in our country is worthy of 100,000 dollars or more? Where is the incentive to achieve and to take ownership? America is about creating your own path, not about letting the government hand us the same check every week.


Fri, Feb 18, 2011 : 10:31 p.m.

Well he's creating an exciting future...for the very rich and for corporations. But they are stealing it from the working man and from the elderly. Real nice guy.


Fri, Feb 18, 2011 : 10:22 p.m.

Rick, You came into politics to promote Corporate Welfare on the backs of the poorest and oldest taxpayers. So far, you have demonstrated that you can thumb your nose at the least of your brethren. And I'm sure that warms the hearts of your corporate buddies. Pickpocketing from the elderly to give it to your pet must be really proud of yourself.


Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 4:12 a.m.

Think of it as closing a tax loophole. Liberals love closing tax loopholes. Why should 401k withdrawals and IRA withdrawals be taxed, but pensions are not?

Stephen Landes

Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 1:15 a.m.

Gee, wrong again! Businesses don't &quot;pay&quot; taxes; they pass tax costs on to their customers, so YOU pay those tax costs. Whether you buy a car or an apple YOU are paying the tax costs incurred by the producer. Reducing business taxes helps to make our business climate more attractive to businesses so they are more likely to expand here and hire here. That's what the film credits were supposed to be about, but they became huge corporate welfare for film makers rather than incentives with a positive ROI to the State. Do you get it yet?

average joe

Fri, Feb 18, 2011 : 11:20 p.m.

So who really benefited by the film incentives, which heavily subsidized a singular industry at taxpayer expense? Isn't this considered a &quot;pet&quot; corporation?


Fri, Feb 18, 2011 : 9:56 p.m.

So far, so good Rick! Finally someone has tackled our budget woes. Taxing pensions seems like a fair way to curb the union strong-arming that continues to occur even in times of great prosperity. It got to it's breaking point, but now I'm optimistic that more business' will see michigan as a viable state to work in.


Fri, Feb 18, 2011 : 9:52 p.m.

Stop the slogans, Rick. Your proposal makes the future appear pretty bleak.


Fri, Feb 18, 2011 : 9:58 p.m.

It's bleak for government workers who don't want to see their bloated incomes cut to a similar level of workers in the private sector. We need equality!