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Posted on Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 1:30 p.m.

House Democrats plan to announce middle-class tax relief plan

By Ryan J. Stanton

Washtenaw County's four state representatives are planning to hold a press conference Monday morning to announce a tax relief plan for middle-class workers and senior citizens.

House Democrats are unveiling the plan as many Michiganders are finishing their 2012 tax returns and realizing they're being hit hard by Gov. Rick Snyder's tax increases.

"The plan would eliminate the unfair tax burden placed on middle-class families and seniors," the Democrats stated in a news release. "Last session, Republicans cut taxes for large corporations by close to $1.8 billion, and forced Michigan's middle-class workers, families and seniors to foot the bill."


Washtenaw County's four state representatives, shown in this photo from November, are planning to hold a press conference Monday morning to announce a tax relief plan for middle-class workers and senior citizens.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Snyder has defended his tax reforms, saying a right-sizing of business and personal taxes was overdue when he took office and Michigan's tax system is now fairer and more efficient.

He also has said there no doubt would be some short-term pain felt, but the result is a state budget that is fiscally sound, and that's going to be attractive to businesses.

Among those expected to attend the 11 a.m. event at the Washtenaw Intermediate School District, 1819 S. Wagner Road, are state Reps. Gretchen Driskell, D-Saline; Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor; David Rutledge, D-Superior Township; and Adam Zemke, D-Ann Arbor.

They're expected to be joined by fellow state Reps. Fred Durhal Jr., D-Detroit; Douglas Geiss, D-Taylor; and Bill LaVoy, D-Monroe.

The event is free and open to the public.

Washtenaw County's four state representatives held another press conference recently to report on the response they received during their statewide "Real State of Our State" listening tour. Driskell relayed concerns about financial challenges facing schools and an increase in the poverty rate.

During listening tour stops held around the state, the Democrats said, citizens called for middle-class tax relief, restoring and protecting funds to public education, eliminating barriers to health care for women, and working cooperatively to find solutions for fixing roads and bridges.

They said legislative priorities for the House Democrats will include repealing the tax on seniors' retirement income, restoring the per-child tax deduction, restoring the Earned Income Tax Credit to 11 percent and restoring the Homestead Property Tax Credit.

Also on their agenda is ensuring the School Aid Fund is only available for use in funding K-12 education and increasing per-pupil funding for schools by $320.

"Gathering as Washtenaw legislators to hear the concerns of our fellow residents about the ways state government has hurt working families during the last two years made it starkly clear that Michigan is simply going in the wrong direction," Rutledge said.

Irwin said Republican priorities have left families facing higher taxes and schools struggling to keep good teachers in the classroom.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.



Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 2:49 p.m.

No matter how often they say it, the idea that "Republicans cut taxes for large corporations by close to $1.8 billion" continues to be abjectly false. The big tax cut was to elimate double taxation for small business people and the families that own them. Here is the characterization by at the time: "Some 95,000 companies — mostly small business owners who pay taxes through their personal income tax return — would no longer have to pay business taxes under this proposal." My understanding is that the flat business tax was essentially revenue neutral for large corporations. What it did is eliminate the disincentive for small business owners that had stalled the creation of small businesses, which is where most jobs are created. Why doesn't call them on these persistent "misstatements". These are absolutely false statements and they keep making them, and will continue to make them, until every time they are made, everyone in the media qualifies them after they are made with the statement "The group continues to make this statement even though it has been proven to be false." Ryan - I'd suggest you call all the local, large public companies and get their publicly available state tax records for 2012. Did Con-way, Domino's, Kaydon, etc., pay more or less in 2012 than they did in 2011? And if the answer is what I suspect, you need to hold people accountable.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 12:37 p.m.

That is a lie based on its' merit. The $1.8 Billion dollars worth of tax cuts were for C & S Corporations ONLY. How many small and medium sized businesses are PUBLIC TRADED industries?

Alan Goldsmith

Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 2:45 p.m.

"House Democrats are unveiling the plan as many Michiganders are finishing their 2012 tax returns and realizing they're being hit hard by Gov. Rick Snyder's tax increases." Perhaps this might make one of the Representatives pictured above a bit sorry she contributed financially to Rick Snyder's campaign for Governor. Or maybe not.


Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 12:43 p.m.

Remember when teachers, public employees, retirees, middle class workers and the working poor crashed the stock market, wiped out half our 401K's, took trillions in taxpayer-funded bailouts, spilled oil in the Gulf of Mexico, gave themselves billions in bonuses, and paid no taxes? Yeah, me neither. Pass it on…….


Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 12:06 p.m.

Opposite Day here at .com. On one page we have pro-business/less government types asking the A2 government to be more strict with zoning enforcement (run out SELMA Cafe which helps small businesses) and on this page we have lower tax types declaring that "YES!, the middle class needs to be taxed more. " All we have to do to get out tea party friends to flip flop on Core Values is to have their ideas proposed by anyone listed as a "democrat" or "liberal".


Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 5:54 p.m.

clownfish - Ann Arbor was over funded according to that actuaries, so the city offered early retirement, to cut the annual budget. Now they are underfunded. This happened in school districts, and communities across the state. The actuaries said "you have plenty of money" - go ahead. Now we know they were wrong. The rest of us will pay for it the rest of our lives.


Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 1:14 p.m.

Was it the actuaries or those that were supposed to fund those pensions taking out the money or not putting it in?


Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 1:02 p.m.

clownfish - I am in favor of no taxes, let each person pay user fees for what they get. You want Social security - you pay in your whole life, your payments determine your payout. LOL - it does not work that way, there are social requirements to a society that require some taxes. But there are also limits to what we can do. The actuaries who determined the amount of money needed to fund pensions were wrong 30 years ago, and we society are going to pay for that for the next 50 years. In Michigan there is a $43 BILLION dollar shortfall in pension funds at the state level and BILLIONS more in the city and county pension funds. Health Care is another black hole for the government and its retirees. Until we get past this issue we as a society have a problem. The longer we maintain the current structure of pensions and health care - the deeper this hole will get. We as a society dug it, we need to figure out how to fix it - regardless of your politics.


Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 11:56 a.m.

If the state of Michigan believes that there was an imbalance in the tax codes thats fine, but we the middle class and the seniors did not create the problem, our elected leaders in Lansing did. It's unthinkable to believe that we should shoulder the burden of the tax shift to make up for the lost revenue in Lansing. It's amazing to watch, whenever the states revenue starts to slip, they become creative in new ways to tax the residents of the state. When our taxes go up we have less spendable income to live on, and we just have to make do. Lansing needs to learn the same hard lessons, period. You cannot keep passing on your fiscal problems to the residents of this state. People, we can fix this, if Lansing refuses to care or refuses to listen, we can vote King Ricky and his republician friends out. Unless you want higher gas taxes, right to work, higher fees on auto registrations and so on and so on, it never stops.. This state belongs to it's people, not the elected officials in Lansing. They were elected by us, to represent us, not big business or large corporations. I'm personally tired of the atitude that we know what's best for you, whether you like it or not.

Mackinac Straits

Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 10:52 a.m.

Really? The State's finances are finally in good shape -- no thanks to the democrats that spent 8 years wrecking them. And now this. I thought the democrats were all about people paying their "fair share". The pension tax recently implemented puts Michigan in line with something like the 36 other states that tax private pension income. The taxpayers who qualify for the other goodies mentioned have incomes at levels that allow them to escape paying federal income tax. The overall burden for those folks is small.


Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 12:08 p.m.

who ran congress those 8 years? Which party has had control of the House since 1995?


Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 10:47 a.m.

Record breaking figures Obama administration to collect $2.5 trillion for 2012 record breaking high and to increase the next 10 years and now you blame Snyder. Social Security will now be reduced annually, Medicare to have more cuts for seniors and just wait for the penalties (taxes)for not having the affordable healthcare along with his increase of the cigarette tax and all the other taxes, fees or fines and your complaining about the state taxes.


Wed, Apr 17, 2013 : 12:35 p.m.

These regulations Don Bee: Obama's White House approved 613 federal rules during the first 33 months of his term, 4.7 percent fewer than the 643 cleared by President George W. Bush's administration in the same time frame, according to an Office of Management and Budget statistical database reviewed by Bloomberg? What about the value of the regulations that Obama has CUT ? Why is the price of gas falling, the inflation rate 2.1%, the DOW at record levels? You do realize you are out of you mind regarding a CUT to Social Security don't you? The Presidents proposed move to a Chained CPI COLA is a change in the cost of living INCREASE formula. It is not a reduction to the base calculation. With Medicare, he is proposing to index the premiums to people's incomes, and therefore their ability to pay. However, these are both just proposals and only if both Houses of Congress approved them in a balanced legislative package he approved.


Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 1:11 p.m.

Walker, a list of 5-6 is just too long for you to post? I google "Obama new taxes" and I get lots of complaining about the "raise" in payroll tax, which was a return to the old rate, and new health care law implementation taxes (which pays for programs instead of borrowing and adding to the debt) , and of course tobacco taxes (Shame!) and Creation of a new, 3.8 percent surtax on investment income earned in households making at least $250,000 (middle class?) I guess a better idea would be to declare a war, cut taxes then complain about the national debt.


Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 1 p.m.

And on the flip side, Don, can you cite me some examples of Michigan companies lowering their price to reflect their new, reduced, state tax liabilities?


Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 1 p.m.

Clownfish: I can name 5 or 6 just in 2013 that will impact not only the middle class but will have an impact on businesses with more than 50 employees. The list is too long to post but you can research on any web site, for every tax on large business it will only impact the bottom line with increases on whatever they produce to the consumer, along with Inheritance tax, capitol gains tax, and your saving s account taxes are just part of the increases that will impact middle class earners.


Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 12:58 p.m.

Wow Don, I was not aware that the cost of a car was going to go up $10,000!! I guess that goes along with the $5/gal gas, double digit inflation and unemployment we will see in 2012 if Obama gets elected in 2008.


Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 12:54 p.m.

clownfish - He did not in many cases need to raise taxes, look at the impact of the new regulations from the EPA and other regulatory agencies. You will pay more for everything from electricity to paint and lawnmowers to automobiles because of the new regulations. The average family will lay out more than $5,000 a year when all the regulations that were put in place by the Obama administration in their first term are fully implemented. On cars alone the estimate from the UofM is an increase of between $10,000 and $15,000 a car from new regulations. We better be nice to the bicycle folks, because in a few years only the rich will be able to afford cars. OBTW - gas is going up an average of 10 cents a gallon for new regulations that the EPA said would only raise the price a minimal amount. Welcome to taxation by regulation


Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 12:14 p.m.

What other taxes has Obama raised, other than the tobacco tax? Do you want to see the debt reduced? How do you do that without addressing medicare/aid? Did anybody blame Snyder for federal taxes? Did you know that Ronald Reagan proposed cutting SS and actually did raise SS taxes?


Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 12:40 a.m.

"Last session, Republicans cut taxes for large corporations by close to $1.8 billion ..." Except that's not what happened; the tax break went to small and medium sized businesses--the company down the road, not some distant "large corporation."

Ivor Ivorsen

Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 2:35 p.m.

Saline Teacher: How's that Republican state funding model working out for you? Tell us about your class size, aging technology, shrinking salary, and benefit choices.

Nicholas Urfe

Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 1:50 p.m.

My already high taxes went up dramatically. Personal taxes are very high in Michigan, and we have so little to show for it. This has been an expansion of corporate welfare on the backs of the working class, nothing more. It boosts profits.


Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 12:49 p.m.

Mr Urfe - The average tax cut to business was $3000 a year. A HUGE decrease in taxes for those 900,000 small businesses in the state! I know of at least 2 that are in my neighborhood that took that projected tax decrease and turned it into new vehicles for their business and then turned the new vehicles into an additional job at each firm. The average stimulus job at the Federal level cost over $1 million to create. These two jobs each cost around $3000 to create. Both are trade jobs, and both are steady. It was the plumbers, carpenters, painters and other local businesses who received this tax cut. Meijer, Ford, GM and others have all admitted to paying more state taxes under the new law. Millions of dollars are not in dispute, because the new law is simple, so tax dollars are getting into the state treasury more rapidly.

Nicholas Urfe

Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 3:14 a.m.

@ST: So you are saying that we should all subsidize the profits of those businesses by paying their taxes for them. Allowing them to pocket the lower taxes as profit. Corporate welfare. I'd prefer that they pay their fair share, thankyouverymuch.


Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 1:24 a.m.

@Nicholas: and who do you think actually pays the taxes imposed on companies? People! Companies never pay taxes, only people. The tax will be passed on in any number of ways: higher prices, lower wages, fewer employees, smaller dividends, etc.

Nicholas Urfe

Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 1:08 a.m.

Oh please. Small, medium or large corporation, it does not matter. They are shifting the tax burden from corporations on to the working class.

Jack Gladney

Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 12:02 a.m.

Please cut my taxes. Oh and while you're at it, please increase funding for education, and give free healthcare to women (BTW don't do that for men; doesn't poll as well). Oh and fix the roads and bridges. And I wanna new pony and um.....


Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 12:01 a.m.

Republicans love tax cuts. Democrats introduce tax cuts. Republicans hate tax cuts.


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 11:42 p.m.

I'll be interested in how they characterize "middle class."

Jack Manning

Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 11:30 p.m.

The Democrats never tire of this kind of junk publicity. You note that this is referred to as a "Plan." It is just like the Obama Budget, both DOA. Proposing legislation when you are the minority in the house is a waste of time.....but it looks good for the News Media.


Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 7:45 p.m.

It looks good for the that to Paul Ryan and his plan to austerity he's pushed how many times? Even though the public have soundly rejected it throughout the election and still reject it. They've tried to repeal Obamacare 36...or is it 39 times? So tell me...who's wasting it the Democrats? Who's working for the it the Republicans?


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 10:26 p.m.

A flat tax is just another way of giving huge tax cuts to the already wealthy and making the middle class, poor and the elderly pay for it.


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 10:25 p.m.

For over 30 years these conservatives have been preaching that the 3Rs is they way to go and nothing else mattered! What we are finding out now and what people had learn in the 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s there is more to learning than the 3Rs! The conservatives have been underfunding educational growth for over 30 by blaming teachers and unions for any cost increase. WE use to have an educational system that was envied by most other countries of the world we are now have little better than most 3rd world countries. All be cause the conservatives want proof that the money is being spent wisely. Testing, testing, testing, and even more testing. I've got an idea lets start test politician to see if they are as smart a 5th grader and if not they have to resign!


Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 12:34 p.m.

Thank you for that assessment. Thanks to the same Reaganomics that governor Snyder and governor Engler before him have been preaching, conservatives have turned educational system and now urban governments into occupied third world entities, helped by charter schools and emergency manager. The standard of living for all but the wealthy and corporate America has decreased.


Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 12:12 p.m.

I once bought a house from a couple from England. When they moved here from England their children jumped ahead 2 grades, they were that far advanced. When they moved back to England 4 years later they were held back a year because they were behind.

Mackinac Straits

Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 10:55 a.m.

We used to have the best educational system in the world, and we used to spend a lot less on it too either per capita, or as a percentage of GDP.


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 10:10 p.m.

will not happen unless there is a much bigger tax cut for the rich.


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 9:42 p.m.

Getting that passed will be like getting by an Ann Arbor zoning law.


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 9:38 p.m.

I used to be a democrat until I became convinced way back when it made no sense for me. Ever since dems keep reminding me they never make sense. Here we have a very small number wandering about Washtenaw County on what is basically campaigning for 2014, the same as the President with the same idea, tax the rich. What they fail to realize is that at the state level wealthy folks (and business) can flee a state much easier than a country and every state in the US is in competition for companies to bring jobs. The states that are successful at this are those with good business climates. Michigan's income tax is one of the lowest in the country (I know 7 have none) and have much higher taxes and fees in other areas like sales taxes. The worst thing about this circus is I do not see any ideas promoted by them to get more jobs in Michigan when they promote raising business taxes. Get business in the state and jobs will increase. Raise taxes on business and you will attract none and likely business will move to business friendly states. I have come to the conclusion democrats really like a bad system of education because them need people to be dumb to go along with ideas like this.


Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 1:19 p.m.

Change "flee" to "fleece" in your second paragraph and I might give you a thumbs up.


Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 12:28 p.m.

You seem to be trying to go back to the day when the wealthy paid almost no taxes and do you remember the result of that? The stock market crash and subsequent Great Depression. Those who fail to learn the mistakes from history are bound to repeat them.


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 8:52 p.m.

It seems like a no-brainer to me that the K-12 School Aid Fund should go to fund...wait for it...K-12 education. The fact that governors have dipped into (raided?) this to pay for other things (such as higher ed.) makes me laugh...and then cry.

Dog Guy

Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 8:50 p.m.

"The unfair tax burden placed on middle-class families and seniors" means union members and union retirees paying taxes. Knowing Libspeak makes me literally bilingual.

Ivor Ivorsen

Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 2:27 p.m.

"Libspeak" really? Listen to Mark Levin much?


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 8:24 p.m.

Political BS......

A Voice of Reason

Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 8:03 p.m.

Well, Michigan taxes are nothing compared to Federal taxes so my question is: Are the Fab 4 proposing this legislation to Washington DC. Also, a cut in middle class taxes means less taxes in the systems and less taxes for education, so they are not about funding our schools. Secondly, corporations make products and employ people and people buy products and employees pay taxes. Less in taxes means cheaper products, higher profits, bigger stock dividends, and bigger bonuses for employees. Simple ECON 101--People have 401 Ks and pensions so if corporations make money and pay dividends, then 401Ks and pensions make more money. If Corporate taxes are low, they maybe companies may want to come to Michigan and employ us. People are too educated in this state of fall for the "Big Corporation" game anymore. Clearly these legislatures are desperate to be relevant and pandering to an uneducated based. This is why Econ should be taught in all schools! Fortunately, your base is extremely educated.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 7:37 p.m.

This "trickle down" economic theory has been tried for 3 decades and has failed. It doesn't work. Period. Give it up. We are not buying it anymore.

Ivor Ivorsen

Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 2:24 p.m.

AVOR: "This is why Econ should be taught in all schools!" Economics is currently a requirement for high school graduation in Michigan (!).


Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 12:23 p.m.

Do retirees and the middle class have to pay enormous amount of taxes to subsidize corporate welfare? Also where are the jobs Snyder promised? If they are any, they are not coming to those less educated and the education budgets have been slashed thanks to the very same cuts to businesses and the wealthy you have touted, so please take that rationale elsewhere. Take the burden off those that really need it, not those who don't. Ayn Rand/Milton Friedman Econ 101 hasn't worked so far in Michigan and don't expect it to.


Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 12:01 p.m.

How much have you seen Michigan products come down in price to reflect the new business tax policies? Some examples, please.


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 7:26 p.m.

I'll tell ya what really needs changing is this payroll tax you have to pay if you do ANY freelance work in addition to your regular job. It's a double dip the likes of which I've never seen. I get taxed on the income, and then also pay a 13 - 15% "payroll" tax. Any tax that makes people not want to work more is a really bad idea, and I feel really screwed. Why bother working more? Just like what happens with a lot of people, I see that if I cut my hours to get into all these other handout brackets, I could break even while doing a lot less work. It's really in your face when you do taxes; Want the education assistance? Sorry, you make too much. Want to declare the homestead property tax? Sorry, you make too much. Home heating credit? Sorry. Declaring medical/dental? Nope. What's that, this small fraction of income was on a 1099-MISC? Bam, have more tax. All these things added up really suck the industrious nature out of people, assuming they have it to begin with. And the ones who get all the assistance feel less inclined to move into a bracket where they lose it. Messed up, man. Flat tax. I don't know why people don't like it.


Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 10:30 a.m.

It's called self employment tax ( Social security and Medicare). Your employer pays half and then you pay the other half, but when your self employed you pay both halves. The good news is you get to expense things like office space- vehicles- gas- etc.


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 9:52 p.m.

I agree with you. When the true cost of things is hidden, people's ability to make good decisions is obscured, too. Like healthcare, most notably. But also true of government tax credits.


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 9:45 p.m.

One other thing about the flat tax is that if tax deductions for charitable contributions end that could result in the end of a lot of organizations that do work that would have to be picked up by the government. Many people will still contribute to their favorite charities, but many will pay less if the tax write off disappears. I do not think there is any way to calculate whether or not that could happen, and it could be an unintended consequence.


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 9:11 p.m.

You have good points, Dot, but I think the whole subsidizing thing is well past the point of diminishing return. Seems like the more the subsidies are, the higher the prices get for the thing being subsidized. If people just had more of the money they made, they might be able to afford more things like education and improving the energy efficiency of their house, and institutions beng subsidized might alter their pricing structure to be more realistic, and the people attending them might be inclined to take it more seriously as well. A lot of these programs would work super fantastically wonderful if it were not for the tendencies of human nature to take advantage. I believe some of these programs foster either an advantage-taking attitude, lethargy, or apathy, rather than an energetic and industrious (for people) or competitive (for institutions/businesses) nature.


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 8:13 p.m.

I pay the freelancer tax too, but you have to admit that half of that you'd still pay if you were an employee. As a freelancer, you pay the employer half as well, so the hit is really an extra 6-8%. As long as the federal government wants to use the tax code to subsidize pro-social behaviors (owning houses, having kids, getting an education, working), then you can't have a flat tax. I don't think the govt could break away from that. Even if you had a flat tax one year (miracle), the next year someone would want to put a credit back in for some worthy behavior.


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 5:56 p.m.

Couple of points. 1. Over the decades, no matter how well the schools have been funded, we have been told they need more. We already pay more for education than most developed countries by far. Sorry, but schools have to live within budgets as well as the rest of us. 2. Previous governors did not do what was needed to get the state out of a negatively headed budget direction. At least our current governor is addressing the issue. Painful, but as Greece, Portugal, Spain and others can tell you if you ignore it long enough it not only dose not go away, it gets worse by far.


Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 2:18 p.m.

Greg, I'm assuming by this statement your children must attend private schools? Unless Michigan desires to be less-competitive or similar to a third-world nation, we owe all children rights to an adequate and free public education up to the 12th grade. So your point is?


Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 11:58 a.m.

how does the fact that the GOP has controlled the congress for the last decades factor into your points, Greg? THEY set taxes, spending etc. Why is it that those that actually pass laws seem to escape talking points? Why do so many MI voters have such short memories or lack of knowledge about who runs things?


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 9:52 p.m.

I agree schools need better funding but I would like to see the state look at public education in a "reform" type manner. Administrative pay and costs need to be corralled. No superintendent deserves the pay AAPS pays. And school boards need to be staffed with competent people.


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 7:32 p.m.

Why Dot .... People make up numbers to support their beliefs or repeat them from talking points given to them from political hacks despite the fact that they are incorrect and have no fact basis. In terms of "previous Governors" not doing what they should have done, perhaps it would better served by looking at the legislatures during those Administrations. Michigan has long had a Republican majority in one or both houses, so if a Democrat is Governor it's nearly impossible to get legislation passed. If the Governor is a Republican, wow --- it's magical.


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 6:27 p.m.

1. Not sure where your numbers come from. From my reading of the data, it looks as if we are beaten by 34 other countries, including Norway and Sweden (or course) but also Israel, New Zealand, Belgium, Switzerland. Also Kenya, Morocco and Cuba.


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 6:01 p.m.

i agree but if we have to cut. let it not be the future,. kids are replacing us. cut others but not the schools. we are going to pay for it later!.


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 5:48 p.m.

How about a 'Recinded Pension' penalty for school admins who leave early or are fired, repeal of Legislator's special priviledges (health care and vehicles) and a few other imbalances that I'm sure readers an identify and submit.


Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 2:14 p.m.

Exactly Sparty, It's amazing how much People claim to have deep knowledge of, that they don't. Pensions for Legislators ended in early 2012 (only Grandfathered Legislators receive Pensions and no new officials elected to office last November and beyond....along with none of the Legislators receive a "State of Michigan Vehicle". (Eyeroll).... As for health care, similar to State Employees Legislators pay a certain portion of the health care benefit, as do most employees in the private sector.


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 7:24 p.m.

Don't you need 10 years to get a Pension? Further, State Legislators don't have vehicles and don't retain health care after they leave office any longer. Would be nice if there was any fact basis in this post.