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Posted on Tue, Mar 29, 2011 : 6:46 p.m.

Rep. Jeff Irwin calling on Legislature to place graduated income tax proposal on state ballot

By Ryan J. Stanton

State Rep. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, has introduced a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment to implement a graduated income tax in Michigan, saying the evidence is clear that state residents want income to be taxed in accordance with ability to pay.

"I call on the Republican majority to pass this resolution and place a graduated income tax proposal on the ballot," Irwin said in a statement. "Then the people of Michigan can decide whether they want a more fair and equitable distribution of our tax burden."

The state's flat income tax rate is 4.35 percent. Irwin pointed out that 33 states have graduated income tax models and other state legislatures are considering them.


Jeff Irwin

Irwin cited an Oct. 9 survey by Wayne State University's Center for Urban Studies that revealed nearly two-thirds of Michigan adults — or 64.3 percent — favor shifting away from the state's current flat income tax rate to a graduated income tax plan.

Though specific tax rates are not included in the legislation, Irwin said a graduated income tax similar to most other states' would lead to a tax cut or no increase in taxes for 80 percent or more of Michigan taxpayers. He said it's more than just a short-term fix.

"We need to restructure our tax system in Michigan," Irwin said. "Instead of shifting the tax burden to low-income workers and fixed income residents, we should implement a fairer tax. We need progressive tax reform in Michigan, not more reverse-Robin Hood politics."

Irwin said his proposal is not necessarily a direct counterproposal to budget measures proposed by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, but it does offer a different line of thinking. Irwin thinks Snyder's budget favors the wealthy at the expense of those of lesser means.

"As we look at reinventing Michigan, we should reinvent it in a way where our tax policy is as fair as possible," he said. "While Snyder is proposing redistributing the wealth up the economic food chain, I think it's a good time to bring back this idea that people have been talking about in Michigan for decades. This is one of the issues that is very popular among the public."

Changing the state's tax structure would be a constitutional change and would take a vote of the public to become law. If passed, the state Legislature would be authorized to graduate income tax rates similar to the rate structure at the federal level.

Former state Rep. Alma Wheeler Smith, a Washtenaw County Democrat, recently said she's not counting on the Legislature. Instead, she's forming a grass-roots action agency to work toward collecting some 300,000-plus signatures from voters in order to put a graduated income tax question on the ballot in November 2012.

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 e-mail newsletters.



Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 3:40 p.m.

Those who say we cannot live on debt are the deluded ones. We and the better part of the world have been living on debt since the founding of this nation and before. Debt is what produces progress. Without debt we would be living in the dark ages. But then, as evidenced by many of these comments, some peoples minds are still in the dark ages.


Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : 9:17 p.m.

Thanks, Jeff, for helping get this very, very necessary reform process started. Meanwhile, our Gov. Antoinette can only say, "Let them eat huge corporate tax cuts!" ... More blood money for the governor's friends who'll soon tee off at our expense inside this state's various country clubs. And thanks to Alma for having developed a comprehensive tax overhaul proposal that includes a graduated income tax, as well as big cuts in tax subsidies for corporations and the wealthy. The wealthy hoard our social wealth more and more, doing so in a straightforwardly OCD fashion. Collectively, we must claim it back from them as soon as possible.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 7:12 p.m.

First: where can I sign Rep. Wheeler's petition?! Bring it! This nonsense the Republicans have sold us is going to kill Michigan. Favoring businesses with tax exemptions has failed other states: they all are at the bottom of the list when it comes to roads, public services and education. Ironic that the political right is credited with the saying: "There's no such thing as a free lunch" - because that's exactly what the Republican tax restructuring amounts to: selling the idea that we won't have to pay for anything because we'll all be "free of taxation." When are we going to buy back both political parties from the corporate interests? Those are responsible for turning both parties into their personal handmaidens. It's not socialism or unpatriotic to want our political candidates BE OURS and to do the bidding of the people rather than generate scams benefitting only the wealthy. Republicans want to defund the public broadcasting agencies on the argument says that users should pay 100% of the cost. Okay - let them also demand that those getting the most money pay the most proportionately for things which benefit everyone. Rich people use roads, rich people use public services (police and fire) and rich people even benefit from having an Educated American People. Also - corporations are down-sizing income of their employees, so let 'em pick up THAT slack.

Basic Bob

Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 9:17 p.m.

Rich people benefit inordinately for cheap oil from destabilized foreign governments. They should pay 100% for the wars in the oil producing states.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 6:46 p.m.

I never understand Democrats' arguments for a graduated income tax. They always claim that (1) the wealthy are a minority so it's ok to place the burden on them because the majority benefit or support the idea and (2) the wealthy can afford higher taxes, so that makes taxing them more is ok. In response to these arguments, I would say: 1) Our founding father's wanted a democracy in which MINORITY RIGHTS ARE PROTECTED (at least they're supposed to be, and we're always getting closer to this goal). You can't just exploit a minority because it benefits you or because a majority of people want to, even if that minority is the obscenely rich. It goes against the principles our government is built on. 2) You might as well argue that fat people have more food than they need, so we should take the extra food from them and give it to the hungry. This would be a totally viable way of ending hunger in this country, and in others. But of course this is ridiculous. Just because somebody has more than they need doesn't mean you can take it from them for your own use. It is the sole decision of those with excess to decide what to do with the extra. If you're all in favor of paying more taxes for everyone's benefits, then what you should instead do is donate the money directly. Let everyone else decide if they would like to do the same. Alternatively, I might be alright with paying more taxes if I could actually decide where every dollar of my money is going to be spent. I don't like paying for programs that I don't agree with, and neither does anyone else, no matter how righteous you prentend to be when you make these posts.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 7:42 p.m.

Re: "I don't like paying for programs that I don't agree with, and neither does anyone else, no matter how righteous you prentend to be when you make these posts." It's never been about righteousness, its about REALITY - the one where there's this democracy which operates to the greatest good for the greatest number. What this reality has NEVER BEEN is an Anarchy which encourages everyone to go off on the nonsense about "I know better" what the world needs (when it turns out to be only what the anarchist wants for himself). Early on in this country's history, it was found that "going your own way" does not work. Paying the price of citizenship in this and any democratic country is just recognizing you can't have it all your way because your way definitely doesn't benefit even you in the end.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 5:13 p.m.

Let me know where I can sign that ballot!!!! It's time to "SHARE THE SACRIFICE!"


Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : 4:43 p.m.

Garrett, you make my point for me. You just want to rip them off because they have a higher income. You do not care about equal rights under the constitution. You just want to grab the cash and spend it on yourself.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 11:25 p.m.

In this case RICH = $80,000 a year total household income, if you rent (rather than own) it is probably more like $70-75,000 a year. Since Michigan's income tax is based on Federal liablity the guys making millions already have the loopholes figured out. So welcome the graduated middle class income tax.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 7:30 p.m.

Sorry JSA, your defense of the rich isn't doing it for me. If I make a 1000 dollars a month and am taxed 30%, I walk away with $700. If someone makes 1,000,000 a month and is taxed 30% they walk a way with $700,000. Don't tell me if we raise their taxes they are going to be hurting.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 6:55 p.m.

What you really mean is let's rip off those with a higher income than mine. They already pay more dollars at the same tax rate if they have a higher income.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 5:14 p.m.

ballot=petition... sorry, I got a little excited!

Martin Church

Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 4:47 p.m.

Define Fair. taking the same percentage from everyone (current system) or saying some will not pay while others have to pay a higher tax. this has not worked at the federal level what makes you think it will work in this state. The real problem is to reduce spending to meet the reduced revenue stream. We have less people in the state, that means less revenue. You want to increase revenue, make it possible to do business and live in this state. This means cut everywhere. Let's start with the legislature. Make it part time and force them to take a 30% pay cut. and include the other governmental offices. If you think you are not paying enough taxes you are free to donate more of your income. No one will stop you. but stop trying to play games.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 7:55 p.m.

I'm afraid you've bitten the bait which conservatives have been dangling. "Reduced revenue" is the excuse they use for cutting services which are vital to all. Look at it with a clear head: if you cut something that is an essential for everyone, then you are hurting everyone. Their argument starts with talking about "bloat" and "entitlement" but that also ignores that "bloat" and "entitlements"are in the eye of the beholder AND that, in our established system, it has always been possible to target real excesses without cutting everything else.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 3:43 p.m.

Good to see there is some agreement with you Ghost. Too often I hear tax the wealthy at a much higher rate. The issue I have with that is the tax percentage would have to be so great to cover the deficit amount given the small number of wealthy individuals. Government still needs to hold down costs while promoting programs that provide businesses to grow, college students to stay in the State through financial support, and help for those in need to include programs to lift them out of aneedy state to being a productive member of society. Rarely should anyone need to stay on public welfare for many years.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 3:42 p.m.

Another Democrat promoting class warfare. I could have sworn the constitution said something about equal rights under the law. The solution is not a graduated tax, it is ending the loopholes. It might be interesting to see what kind of tax rate we would need if no deductions of any kind were permitted.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 2:54 p.m.

Although I am not normally in favor of increasing taxes on the wealthy just because they have money and others don't. I have an alternative solution. Everyone is griping that low income people will be taxed more. How about deciding a level of income that is required to sustain living and not tax that amount for anyone. What ever you earn over that amount is taxed. The tax could be somewhat graduated but not to any extreme. Figure out the amount of money needed and set a tax structure to meet the needs.the difference shouldn't be more that 10%. Let's see if anyone can figure that one out.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 3:06 p.m.

This is EXACTLY what other states do. See: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Note that the greatest differential beween lowest and hight tax rates is in Hawaii at 9.6%. The differential in most states with a graduated tax appears to be between 3 and 4%. Good Night and Good Luck


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 2:41 p.m.

To Heardoc and anyone else who thinks more cuts in government spending is the answer: &quot;The only way the economy can avoid taking a hit from government cuts is if private spending rises to fill the gap — and although you rarely hear the austerians admitting this, the only way that can happen is if people take on more debt. So we have the spectacle of a government that inveighs against the evils of debt pinning all its hopes on an assumption that over-indebted households will dig their hole even deeper.&quot; Paul Krugman

L. C. Burgundy

Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : 4:49 a.m.

Paul Krugman also believes that the US doesn't have a nationwide budget problem because we can still borrow more money. That's not nobel prize-worthy analysis, that's the credo of a debt addict. His only criticism with the bloated stimulus is that it needed to be several times larger. He's a non-serious quack. His school of thinking would have us indebted beyond all bounds and with a dollar that was totally worthless. I can only imagine he's a great fan of Zimbabwe.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 3:07 p.m.

What does he know? He only has a Nobel Prize in economics. Certainly the nattering nabobs of negativism on this discussion are more knowledgeable than he. Good Night and Good Luck

Kevin McGuinness

Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 1:47 p.m.

Jeff this just does not seem fair. Can't we raise the taxes more on the working poor and seniors with shrinking fixed incomes? Raise the taxes on people who can afford it? What an unfair, unamerican, and greedy, concept. If we need to remake Michigan we need to drive out the people we do not need -- the working poor and seniors. I am glad I supported Jeff Irwin and someone finally is making the proposal. Lets get out and sign this petition.

Dog Guy

Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 1:41 p.m. has become a weekly campaign brochure for Jeff Irwin for President.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 10:17 p.m.

well's ceo is on the spark board with the governor and the mayor . . .


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 8:27 p.m.

Did become a weekly campaign brochure for Irwin before or AFTER they became a -daily!- publisher for Rick Snyder??!! You are simply objecting to a news organization publishing news about a politician you don't like, right?


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 1:34 p.m.

In AA fair means, I want it and someone else should pay for it. If you want to be &quot;fair&quot; how about all of the hybrid/electric car owners have to pay the road taxes your are no longer paying. All people should be required to pay a portion of their income so they at least have a stake in how government functions.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 1:27 p.m.

Those in government always think that they do not have enough revenue. This proposal is just another way to raise more money for the government. What do you think the top tax rate should be? In England, the top tax rate was once 95%, as the Beatles sang: Let me tell you how it will be There's one for you, nineteen for me Cos I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman Should five per cent appear too small Be thankful I don't take it all Cos I'm the taxman, yeah I'm the taxman If you drive a car, I'll tax the street If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat If you get too cold I'll tax the heat If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet Taxman! Cos I'm the taxman, yeah I'm the taxman Don't ask me what I want it for (Aahh Mr. Wilson) If you don't want to pay some more (Aahh Mr. Heath) Cos I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman Now my advice for those who die Declare the pennies on your eyes Cos I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman And you're working for no one but me Taxman!

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 2:48 p.m.

Wow. The Beatles as experts on fiscal policy and macroeconomics. Who knew? Good Night and Good Luck


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 1:27 p.m.

Snyder's proposed budget is a tax increase on lower and middle income individuals which includes seniors, young professionals with families and the very poor. Snyder is proposing to lower corporate income taxes on businesses and take money from the lower and middle income tax brackets and give that money to corporations as a proposed solution to instill and create economic development in this state. By the way Snyder's proposed budget does not fix the current deficit it simply changes the tax structure in the state while increasing taxes on the poor and middle class. Its really a transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich. Mr. Irwin's proposal is probably the most logical solution to the overall issue of decreasing revenue's in the state at the state level. At the local level most towns, cities, and counties will struggle to pay for services which are actually the services people use the most. Localities will be forced to either raise taxes through millage increases or reduce overhead by cutting administrative staff, public safety and social services. It's really a sneaky way of trying to raise taxes at the local level so the State doesn't have. Write your representative. Budget cuts to education at all levels is not good for job creation or job retention. Corporations can afford to pay more taxes, wealthy people can afford to pay more taxes. Is it fair, well it depends on your societal view point. Far more people at the lower and middle incomes buy and consume products and services than the top 5% of high income earners. Maybe a tax break for lower wage earners is really appropriate simply because there are more of us to keep the economy going. I think a graduated income tax is fair but again what do I know. I am just a middle class guy trying to support a family that invested heavily in his education. Maybe we should really be having a conversation about the student debt crises as the next big bubble in education.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 1:24 p.m.

@heardoc I don't know where you come off saying pensioners get away with first 40k being tax free. I have a fairly good pension and that would be 2 years pension for me. And the 40 years I worked to get that pension I paid my taxes regularly with hardly any deductions.

average joe

Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 4:33 p.m.

Pensions won't get taxed on the first 40,000 (or so) . By the way, how much taxes did you pay on your payments to your pension while you were working??


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 12:58 p.m.

Why stop there? Lets just cap the amount of income you can make - $100k for single, $175k for MFJ, $200k for families. All $$ beyond those limits will be confiscated by the state and redistributed as our government sees fit.

Arno B

Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 12:50 p.m.

I suggest that the guilt-ridden Mr. Irwin lead the way and send in a large &quot;Voluntary Contribution&quot; to Lansing. This would, of course, be in addition to what he owes at the bottom of his Michigan tax return. This might help finance the lifetime health benefits that two term (or 8 year) incumbents get for their hard work. I have yet to see any political jurisdiction where any additional revenue is not soon squandered on more grandiose spending schemes. This of course buys many votes.

Rork Kuick

Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 12:39 p.m.

I am wildly enthusiastic. Been wanting this for decades. Even if my taxes go up a tiny bit, it's the much richer folks who will be contributing more, and they are a small minority. The second fact is simple, but can't be understood by some people it appears - the most wealthy citizens are well able to pay a bit extra. Here's hoping that the majority will finally get a clue and realize what is in their own self-interest rather than accepting arguments from folks whose main job it is to protect the wealthy.

Top Cat

Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 12:23 p.m.

The flat rate tax is one of the few competitive advantages our state has over its neighbors. It is based on Federal Adjusted Gross Income which give middle income people the advantage of their IRA deduction and many others. Jeff is only looking for more money to pay off the public employee unions and tax consumers, i.e. his supporters.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 12:42 p.m.

March 30 2011, Dexter Village will save about $200,000 in a three-year contract with Teamsters employees approved Monday night by the village council. ----- Published January 20th, 2010 In an effort to cope with the city's mounting budget deficit, Ann Arbor firefighters will take a four percent wage reduction, according to their new contract ----- State workers have taken furlough days, unpaid days off. ----- Unions have given back, again. I heard someone talk about &quot;shared sacrifice&quot;. What sacrifice are you willing to make for the good of your state?


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 12:17 p.m.

This is a very popular idea. 90% of people want to raise taxes on the top 10%. 99% of people want to raise taxes on the top 1%.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 11:39 a.m.

One of the reasons people use to support Snyder's plan to tax pensions is that all the other states are doing it. Thirty-four states plus DC have a progressive tax system (which also, btw, makes pension-taxing more fair), but that doesn't seem to sway the same folks.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 12:01 p.m.

sh1 it has nothing to do with what the other states are doing. More along the lines of you live here are are not paying state taxes so here is your oppertunity to do your part. Sorry no free rides no matter how little you earn. Everybody needs skin in the game if it's going to work. If you're a free loader I welcome to move to one the the states that don't change you a tax.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 11:37 a.m.

I am all for putting this on the ballot. I think it is great. I also doubt that people will be comfortable enough with it to vote for it. As for no tax raise for 80 percent of the people, that is great too. But you get to 80 percent right around where your household earns $80,000.00 a year in Michigan now, according to the US Census. So, this tax will catch a lot of households who may not think they are rich. So most married teachers, most UAW skilled trades members, most public sector union members with seniority, will get swept up in this tax. Based on the comments on this board, those really sound like the rich people that sh1 and David B are complaining about. If the tax is based off Federal liablity, the folks that you are really complaining about will not pay anymore taxes anyway, since they have the Federal loopholes working for them.

John Q

Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 10:58 a.m.

Can we stop pretending that the Tea Partiers like HearDoc represent some populist groundswell? They are nothing more than the far-right wing of the Republican Party who are pawns of the corporate interests in the country. That's why they claim to be for less government while demanding that they get their Medicare and supporting the passage of restrictions on abortion, blocking protection for gays, etc. The HearDoc's of the world don't want Michigan residents to vote on a progressive income tax because polls have consistently shown voter support for asking the wealthy to pay more. The average voter isn't fooled by the silliness of the flat tax crowd's argument that &quot;everyone pays their same share!&quot; The average voter realizes that the money a working class person pays in taxes comes out of the same money that pays for necessities. The same can't be said for the wealthy. I know the Tea Partiers will scream &quot;Socialism!&quot; I say &quot;let the people decide&quot;.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 10:42 a.m.

This is a silly proposal. We need to give Mr. Snyder a chance to balance things before we change the tax system in a way that would be difficult to repeal. I believe gov't must exist to keep us safe n companies will dump in the environment and rip off consumers if they don't think they'll get caught. But much of gov't at all levels is inefficient and needs reform including Medicare, schools, etc. Give him time to show that his ideas can work.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 10:37 a.m.

I have a simple solution to the problem. Lets make all individuals a sole proprietor business and all multi-wage families a partnership. (or a Sub s corp or a LLC) Then Michigan can first tax all wages at the higher business rate and then tax the same money at the individual rate. Seems only fair, since that is what we currently do with these business. and if we have a graduated tax rate then lets call it what it really is-an EARNED income tax.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 10:15 a.m.

Those who call for contraction in the face of a recession caused by inadequate demand, fail Econ 101. What failed is an unregulated, or inadequately regulated banking system stemming from 30 years of conservative Republican rule. (Yes, I said &quot;conservative / Republican rule&quot;; some call Bill Clinton a Democrat while I see him as a Republican in sheep's clothing.) For those who oppose the graduated income tax, consider this rationale for the same: &quot;Let's look at this issue another way: A homeowner who owns a $1 million home will pay more for insurance than will the owner of a $200,000 home. The insurer is not penalizing the first homeowner for his success. The first homeowner simply has more to lose and therefore pays more. If you believe the core function of government is to provide a stable environment (physical, financial, legal, social) in which society can flourish, the wealthy have more to lose from government's absence. Penalizing the successful wouldn't help anyone. Underwriting the successful costs money.&quot; We NEED (emphasis, not shouting) more revenue as the proper means to balance our budget, and a graduated income tax is the fairest way to get it.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 11:45 a.m.

A2 is right, I checked with my insurer. It is not 5x the price for insurance from $200,000 to $1 million it is 3x. Want more income for the state, let's start by reopening the forests in the UP and Northern Michigan to logging. That will open jobs and bring back sawmills and other industry. Governor Granholm quietly closed much of it.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 10:33 a.m.

Your logic is flawed. The $1 million house owner pays more for insurance because his house is worth more, yes. But his cost per unit of insurance is likely flat or lower, not graduated higher.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 5:36 a.m.

I would like to clear up a misconception held to by many here: There is a direct economic basis for a graduated tax system. Specifically, the graduated tax system is a direct consequence of the law of diminishing marginal utility. For all risk-averse persons, the next unit of income holds less value than the previous unit of income. In other words: You receive more value when you have $1,000 and receive an additional $100 than if you initially had $100,000 and receive that extra $100. The difference in the value of that additional income is contingent upon your own utility function. As stated earlier, all persons who are risk-averse have utility functions with diminishing marginal returns. And it is very easy to establish one's risk attitude: I have a fair quarter [each side has an equal chance to land facing up], and a proposal. You give me $10,000 and I'll flip the coin. If it lands heads, I'll give you $20,000 [you gain $10,000]. If it lands face down, I keep your $10,000. Do you accept?


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 11:52 p.m.

Although it is true that the marginal value/utility diminishes, here are the counterarguments: 1. Is it the place of the government to tell the individual what is the value/utility of the individual's own money? If you think so, then with what endowment is the government so smart to know this? 2. The argument you post does not argue necessarily for a graduated tax. In a previous post, I posed the example that someone making $40,000/yr would pay $1,740 in taxes and someone making $4,000,000/yr would pay $174,000 in taxes. Obviously, the person making 4 million per year does not get 100 times the services/value/utility for their tax money as the person making 40 thousand per year. 3. Taking #2 further, in your post you mistakenly used a fixed &quot;unit&quot; (i.e. $100) rather than a fixed percentage. A person who receives $100 when then have $1000 (i.e. 10%) naturally value that more than a person who receives $100 when they have $100,000 (i.e. 0.1%). A more true example when comparing to the flat tax is that the person with $100,000 receives $10,000. My assumption is that both would perceive the same utility from the additional unit.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 11:42 a.m.

No Michael I don't, but I will except this: I give you $10,000, heads you give me $20,000 back, tails I get my $10,000 back. For some folks that is how the US Tax code works for some folks today. If we base a new Michigan Income Tax on the Federal system we just keep all the inequity that the Feds have created.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 3:42 a.m.

A progressive tax system is soundly based. See: (<a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 3:12 a.m.

Can I vote on a tax increase for anyone who makes more than I do?


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 2:46 p.m.

Clown it would be republican to cut anything that is not needed or over payed for.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 12:30 p.m.

CINN&lt; is it then &quot;republican&quot; to vote for pay and benefit cuts for those that make less than the legislature?


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 12:06 p.m.

That would make you a Democrat.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 11:39 a.m.

HOw about a tax increase for yourself too? It is easy to take money from someone else, much harder to agree to give more yourself.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 2:48 a.m.

Article IX, Section 7 of the Michigan State Constitution prohibits a graduated income tax at the state or local level. Jeff Irwin will never get such a constitutional amendment passed. He is engaging in political grandstanding.


Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : 12:43 p.m.

He's proposing a constitutional amendment. All it takes is the legislature putting it on the ballot and the electorate voting for it. You're right that he's not likely to get it through the state legislature, but the poll suggests that the people would vote for it if given the chance. The problem is that the legislature won't give people the chance to vote.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 10:18 a.m.

Not so sure your correct. When the effects of Snyder's budget hit home, people will be more than ready to consider it.

David Briegel

Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 2:41 a.m., what did Terrin say in her post to get it taken down. It was the best post on this thread!

Tony Dearing

Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 2:10 p.m.

David, Terrin's comments have not been removed.

Joe Hood

Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 2:38 a.m.

The Wall Street Journal just did an essay on how badly states are doing with the &quot;tax the rich&quot; schemes (<a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>.

Rork Kuick

Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : 3:32 p.m.

Actually, that article pointed out an interesting detail. It's that rich people can have more income volatility, so graduated state income taxes can also be more volatile, and it's best to be fully awake to that fact. Since mostly the rich have been getting richer though, it's mostly been a upside for states with graduated income taxes, until the last few years. Rainy day funds and not making taxes be too brutal on the just the rich can help reduce volatility. It's not a show-stopper, just requires a bit of thought. I'm not scared.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 9:27 p.m.

The WSJ doesn't want to tax the rich. Shocking, I say. SHOCKING!! Good Night and Good Luck

David Briegel

Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 2:38 a.m.

Terrin, A voice of sanity! Welcome.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 2:23 a.m.

A guy comes up with a proposal that would have to be voted on by the people of the State and people flay him. A graduated tax system is not inherently unfair because people pay the same amount of money for each tier they reach. For example, everybody might pay 5 percent on the first ten thousand, six percent on the second ten thousand, and so on. Graduated taxes likely would result in lower taxes for most people. Unsurprisingly, many people defend a system that awards a class nobody here likely will ever belong. That isn't because people aren't willing to work hard. It is just the system is stacked against most people reaching that status. Many people who reach that status reach it through inheritance, not through work. Moreover, the super rich lobby to have laws written to benefit them and make it harder for people to dislodge their wealth through honest competition. You see it in every industry. In farming, big growers are lobbying to have costlier rules put in place knowing small farmers can't comply with the costly measures. Big banks currently are lobbying for rules that favor themselves at the expense of local community credit unions. Even corporate accounting rules are purposely complex to put small competitors at a disadvantage. Only in america do people stick up for the folks creating legislation and policies intentionally designed to screw them. Apparently, the rich also have powerful marketing/ brainwashing skills. You want to get to get out of this economic mess. Undo the so called free trade agreements. Americans shouldn't have to compete with slave labor. The taxes created from american manufacturing paid for government services. Services nobody used to complain about. Now we are borrowing money from China, which China can afford because it is now receiving all the money we used to have over here.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 11:59 p.m.

&quot;Many people who reach that status reach it through inheritance, not through work.&quot; Not true. Eighty percent of millionaires are &quot;first generation affluent&quot; who have reached the status through hard work. What you decry, others call the American Dream. Social mobility in this country is not only possible but happens all the time through hard work, ingenuity and luck. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 1:58 a.m.

Great idea! The flat tax in Michigan is absolutely ridiculous. The rates should rise with every additional 10,000 of income.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 4:15 a.m.

No, this idea is a ridiculous idea. A flat tax that is enforced fairly(no tax shelters and limited write offs) will bring in more than enough money. How about we eliminate the tactics the rich employ to get around our taxes and see where that takes us before we restructure our tax system? I find it amusing that you lefties rail against inequality yet are openly agitating what is UNEQUAL treatment in terms of taxation.

Stephen Landes

Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 1:37 a.m.

Here's a different approach to controlling costs and it comes from New York (Andrew Cuomo country!). <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> This story is about consolidating small and overlapping units of government to achieve efficiencies by reducing duplicating efforts and costs. Our governor has challenged units of government in Michigan to cooperate and become more efficient. This is obviously not a Republican idea if a dyed in the wool Democrat like Andrew Cuomo sees benefit in it. Come on Irwin: Join the efficiency in government effort. This is the 21st century.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 12:26 p.m.

It is called &quot;centralized control&quot;. Is that what &quot;the right&quot; wants, more centralized government?


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 2:35 a.m.

That idea has validity, but it isn't being thought about correctly in Michigan. For instance, why does every city have its own police department and on top of that the State have a police department? Every City has to pay for its own equipment. It would be far more efficient to have one state wide police department with locally elected leaders for each city. Resources could be allocated based on need and their equipment costs would be much less because things like uniforms would be uniform and equipment could be shared. The State, however, is not taking the lead here but trying to get local governments to come up with the solutions. Further, what the new powers that be in Michigan don't seem to get is sure they are raising taxes just a little on people. What they forget though is everybody else, including local government, it also looking for ways to raise taxes as well. Despite the federal government saying taxes were going to be lowered this year, I paid more in taxes and made less. So a little bit here and a little there on top of raising costs for things like gas adds up. Especially for people on fixed incomes. Moreover, local governments do dumb things. I know a small business owner who has a fabulous garden center. To survive the winter months he wants to sell holiday items like Christmas trees. A local city government zoning board raised a stink because that went against his zoning as a garden shop. Yet, it has no problem letting big box stores sell everything.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 1:16 a.m.

Oh come on Jeff, Robin Hood politics is right out of the old liberal playbook. And we thought you had some new ideas. Fat chance!

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 9:25 p.m.

Spoken by Prince John's PR man. Good Night and Good Luck


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 5:20 p.m.

Robin Hood politics! HAHA! (Unless you are rich) the wealthy have been stealing from you for 30+ years! That's why we are in the situation we are in. The country hasn't been this broke in several decades and guess what? Taxes have never been this low!


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 1:08 a.m.

Go for it! I suspect it will fail by about the same percentage that Proposition A passed by, or Rick Snyder was elected by.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 5:26 p.m.

It would also bring over the independents who voted for Snyder who were fooled by bis faux moderation. Good Night and Good Luck


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 5:21 p.m.

This proposal would bring out the progressives/liberals. Almost none of whom voted in the last election.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 12:53 a.m.

It requires a constitutional amendment to allow a graduated income tax in Michigan. But just under 2/3 of the people surveyed were in favor of a graduated income tax in Michigan. He's just proposing that we let the public vote on something the public seems to be in favor of. That would be known as &quot;democracy&quot;.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 12:47 a.m.

FABULOUS!!!! I love you, Jeff Irwin. I am not wealthy, but doing fine, and SERIOUSLY want to be taxed a bit more. I want to contribute more to my community, so the schools can be well-funded. And so low-income workers don't have to lose their tax breaks. And so my community and my state are great places to live. So THANK YOU, and yes! I would be so happy to have a graduated income tax.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 12:14 p.m.

Really, BigMike? I assure you I contribute plenty &quot;voluntarily.&quot; But despite the predictions from the Right, it just doesn't cut it. Those voluntary contributions do not adequately fund our basic services.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 11:10 a.m.

@A2anon - you can always contribute voluntarily.

David Briegel

Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 1:01 a.m.

there are many good, responsible citizens such as yourself. Thank You


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 12:41 a.m.

The graduated income tax is one of the planks of the Communist Manifesto of Karl Marx. There were two attempts by Congress to enact such a tax at the federal level in the late 19th Century and both failed when they were struck down as unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court. It was not until 1913 when Woodrow Wilson was in office that the U.S. Constitution was amended to allow such a tax. The Federal Reserve Act was passed the same year and the U.S. economy has been altered ever since by these profound changes in federal fiscal and monetary policy. Now Jeff Irwin wants to bring this lovely idea to state government. Where have you gone Chase Ingersoll, Washtenaw County turns its lonely eyes to you, whoa whoa whoa....


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 12:24 p.m.

How many Americans want to live in the America of 1890? Oh, right, Tea Babies do! Oligarchs and Robber Barons Rock! in 1913 did we have child labor laws? Clean drinking water for the vast majority? Were women voting? Were &quot;Negroes&quot; allowed to eat lunch with you? Ho many people were killed in mines prior to &quot;Marxist revolutions&quot; in this country vs how many are killed now? Yep, let us ALL return to the 19th century!!


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 12:06 a.m.

@Heardoc: Is it also socialism to cut the business tax and then have pensioners pay for it?


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 1:39 a.m.

No-- it means that the pensioners have not been paying any taxes on the first 40K in pension salary they receive annually. Is it fair for a pensioner not to pay taxes yet a young family starting out does pay taxes? Nope. Pensioners should pay taxes -- your civic duty.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 12:54 a.m.

I have looked into it and know about the tax credits businesses can get to prevent the &quot;double taxation.&quot; I'd rather the whole thing was simplified, but right now is not the time to cut the tax completely because there is no sane way to pay for it.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 12:27 a.m.

Look into it, really. What is being proposed eliminates double taxation on small business owners. Big corporations actually pay more. I don't think you're really in favor of double taxation of small business owners then raising their taxes again with a graduated income tax.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 12:15 a.m.

I am all for a reduction, not elimination, of the tax. Compromise is needed during hard times.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 12:09 a.m.

The MBT is double taxation. Please look into it and I'm sure you will agree. The only people who don't think it needs to be eliminated are the partisans, demagogues and uninformed.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 12:04 a.m.

No new taxes! No new taxes! Unless maybe the elderly could pay a bit more....and teachers....or let's make that anyone with a pension...and maybe we could cut more money from education... In other words, tax the other guy, not me.


Tue, Mar 29, 2011 : 11:59 p.m.

Briegel and Townie -- He is proposing to raise taxes-- on the top 20% earners in our state -- then he wants to give that money to people who have not earned the money -- it is called socialism. What Irwin, and it appears the two of you, wants to accomplish is social engineering. If you want to be a success -- then rely ion yourself. If you choose to be lazy and just accept what the government will give you ----then you want to be a dem.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 3:18 p.m.

&quot;He is proposing to raise taxes-- on the top 20% earners in our state &quot; No, he is not. He said that were the state to implement a graduated tax like that of 33 other states, that would be the result. But there is no specific tax rate proposal attached to this proposed constitutional amendment. Time to go back and read the article and ALL that it says; not just cherry pick those slivers of the article that fit your world view, heardoc. Good Night and Good Luck


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 11:54 a.m.

Donbee, what you're missing is that the country is a democracy first and capitalist second. We've never had laissez-faire capitalism, and since we're a democracy, we don't have to have unrestrained markets if people don't want it. If the people of the country think we should ask the rich to pay more in order to &quot;promote the general welfare&quot;, then there's nothing un-American about that. It's democracy, our highest American value.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 11:24 a.m.

David - I really thought you have a better handle on history, you comment is disappointing. The New Deal, some of the land offers in the 1800's, and we could keep going backwards. For well more than 100 years the country has been transfering wealth from one group to another. Welfare, earned income credit, and loopholes, tax abatements, mortgage deductions, are all ways we make society uneven.

David Barry

Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 11:14 a.m.

So I assume you were always at the top 20 percent? If not then somebody carried your &quot;share&quot; of the burden until you got there. Unless of course you think you are paying your &quot;share&quot;. We need fair taxes but wages for most of Americans never kept up with the rising prices of everything else like health care, housing, etc. So &quot;fair&quot; taxes means lower taxes for everybody but you better shut down the military and Medicaid if you do not want progressive taxes. Much higher taxes for a tiny percent of Americans who have the majority of wealth in America will not impact their standard of living. Trickle up will adjust and they get it back anyways.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 2:49 a.m.

I guess you are going to write the us a check for the roads you drive on using socialist gathered money. Did you go to public schools? If so, maybe you should give that money back to the rest of us as well. Maybe you should also write us a check for the food you buy, as most food is government subsidized as well. The gas at the pumps is certainly subsidized. Your check back to the rest of us is going to be large. Perhaps you haven't heard, but people can accomplish more together, then separately. Now on to reality. The system he is describing is the same one the federal government uses. The tax rate is tiered. You pay a higher rate on earnings that exceed a certain amount but the same rate for income below a certain amount. What is wrong with paying more taxes the higher up you go? Clearly the wealthy are benefiting nicely from our system. Moreover, the rich have more tax breaks available to them. I doubt you aren't going to pay the higher taxes. Somebody here figured out that under the governor's proposed shared sacrifice plan somebody making under $20, 000 a year will pay something like $400 more a year (can't remember the exact number). Somebody making over $200, 000 will pay something like $72. Yep, that is fair. Don't you think it odd that Bank of America, the biggest bank in the world, pays zero federal taxes? The system currently favors the rich. The rich aren't sharing anything.

David Briegel

Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 12:44 a.m.

Social Engineering is what has occurred since Ronnie Reagan and his kitchen cabinet of billionaires and multi millionaires decided that they were paying too much tax and Ronnie got into politics to fix that. The result are the delusions that we see being sold to the populace to get them to vote against their own self interests. Sad.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 12:06 a.m.

Actually, it's called social capitalism. The US left unfettered capitalism a long time ago. I don't believe most poor are there by choice but by circumstances.


Tue, Mar 29, 2011 : 11:54 p.m.

I think the devil's in the details. If we had a graduated tax that taxed increased 0.1% at $100,000, increased another 0.1% at $1,000,000 and another 0.1% at $10,000,000 then I'm not sure that it would be a big deal (and I'm not sure how much added revenue that would generate). Unfortunately, once the cat is out of the bag then who knows where things will go. The big question, of course, is what exactly is &quot;fair&quot;. Answering that is about as slippery as a eel.


Tue, Mar 29, 2011 : 11:52 p.m.

Where did Irwin say he wanted to raise taxes? Or spend more money? We have a very regressive tax system where those least able to pay are hit the hardest and the wealthy get a great deal. I guess there are a lot of people who would like to see the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor. Sad. Jeff - I'll sign the petition.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 12:02 a.m.

In short, those who oppose the graduated tax generally argue: 1. We spend too much anyway. Cut spending first. 2. A flat tax is inherently fair. Someone making $40,000/year pays $1,740 in taxes. A person making $400,000/year pays $17,400 in taxes. A person making $4,000,000/year pays $174,000 in taxes. They all get exactly the same services - the person making 4 million/year does not get 100 times the services as the person making 40 thousand. 3. Once graduated taxes are started, in times of stress it is politically convenient to increase the taxes on the &quot;rich&quot; (which is also a difficult to define term) rather than everyone. The argument is that the disparity in taxation increases and incentives to reduce spending lessen.

David Briegel

Tue, Mar 29, 2011 : 11:51 p.m.

Jeff Irwin is a sane man in an insane assylum! Heardoc asks &quot;what is fair&quot;. As long as it is Slick and his Quarter Million Dollar per Man Executive Team deciding Heardoc is thrilled. Just don't ever ask for facts, numbers or audits. Those are for the lesser amongst us. At what point do those that have benefitted the most have to pony up their fair share? How long do we have to wait for that promised &quot;trickle down&quot;? Your gang knew all along that gushing UP is exactly what would occur. Leftists? you left out secular/progressive/communist. Come on, you can do better. Just not with real facts!

John Spelling

Tue, Mar 29, 2011 : 11:49 p.m.

I'd be happy to consider the proposal if on the same ballot was a (separate) proposal to take Michigan's legistlature to part time, their office and payroll expenses are cut by at least 50%, and their benefit packages are slashed, also by at least 50%. Add this to the ballot and I'm happy to consider a change to graduated income tax. I'm with the others that suggest Irwin doesn't have a clue.

John Spelling

Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 3:23 a.m.

Beloved term limits was just a start. Certainly saved us from one of the worst governors (Granholm) this state has ever had. Term limits have saved us from ourselves.

Marshall Applewhite

Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 2:26 a.m.

@ David Briegel This likely wouldn't do much to tax billionaires. Nobody becomes a billionaire by taking the majority of their pay in actual income.

David Briegel

Tue, Mar 29, 2011 : 11:56 p.m.

you mean your beloved term limits didn't give you what you desired?

David Briegel

Tue, Mar 29, 2011 : 11:54 p.m.

Wow, that really help. And how much tax should a billionaire pay? You only want the wealthy to represent us. And you will never discuss their benefits packages. Ever!

Patrick Maurer

Tue, Mar 29, 2011 : 11:37 p.m.

When will these politicians get the message? We demand they cut spending and put away our credit cards.Enough already the free spending days of political hacks are over. Thank you very much!!!!


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 11:20 a.m.

Your right David and these Republicans will be replaced too. We the people are starting to wake up and realize how dangerous it is to live on debt. The party is over.

David Barry

Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 11:10 a.m.

Do you really think Republicans want to cut spending? Look at what they ran on and what they are actually doing. Too many Americans rely on government spending to make a living because that is how the system works. The government hires a certain amount of excess for example government employees, government contractors that cannot fit into the private sector especially since off shoring became more profitable for corporations. Notice how the Republicans are barely budging on defense spending cuts? Its not about the war on terror its because a decent size of their voting pool rely on that government spending through employment and or benefits.


Tue, Mar 29, 2011 : 11:36 p.m.

Mr. Irwin, What do you do for a living ? Oh, that's right, you collect a big fat paycheck on my and the taxpayers dime. How dare you suggest raising taxes in Michigan right now, you are clueless dude ! We cannot keep big or small business in this state and you want to raise taxes on the producers, ridiculous and dangerous !

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 12:50 p.m.

&quot;another purposeful miss&quot; heardoc, apparently, is &quot;mindreadingdoc&quot;, as well, since they &quot;know&quot; what was pursposeful. Yes, I saw that. And I also saw that there was no specific tax rates attached to this proposed amendment. The amendmendent will PERMIT a graduated income tax, it does not IMPOSE one. The legislature would need to do that. And I also saw that, were Michigan to impose a graduated tax rate similar to that of 33 other states (which is, BTW, the justification for taxing pensions) taxes would stay the same or go DOWN on the other 80%. So, yes, I read ALL of that. And understood ALL of that. I did not CHERRY PICK those &quot;facts&quot; that were convenient to my point and then turn them into fiction. And so my base point remains: This proposed Constitutional Amendment DOES NOTHING to raise the tax rates. And if it is adopted, and if the legislature passes enabling legislation, the VAST MAJORITY of Michiganders will see no increase in their taxes, and many will see a decrease. I, likely, will see an increase. And that's fine by me. I'm willing to invest in the future of my state. Too bad so many others are not. Good Night and Good Luck


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 12:16 p.m.

Gov Snyder has proposed raising taxes on pensions. Are you against that? He has proposed eliminating the Earned Income Tax Credit, a raise in taxes. Are you against that? Instead of rolling back the income tax to 3.9%, he wants to keep it at 4.25%, many on The Hill would call that a &quot;tax increase&quot;. Are you against that? How dare you suggest raising taxes in Michigan right now, you are clueless dude !


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 1:47 a.m.

Edward R Murrow makes yet another purposeful miss. Did you not read that the top 20% would see their taxes rise? Was this missed by you? Please re-read the article and do a little more critical thinking prior to commenting.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 1:13 a.m.

Where in the article, exactly, did it say that Representative Irwin proposed raising taxes. Please quote it for me, because I missed it entirely. And please tell me what a personal income tax has to do with business being in the state? Aside from that, just another one of Stun's fact-filled posts! Good Night and Good Luck


Tue, Mar 29, 2011 : 11:22 p.m.

Nowhere in the article does it say that this proposal would raise taxes or give the state more money to spend. In fact it says that specific tax rates are not included in the legislation. It also says that 80 % or more of the taxpayers would see a decrease or no change in taxes payed. Before we call for a recall we should at lest understand what his proposal is.

David Briegel

Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 12:34 a.m.

&quot;Stupid is as stupid does&quot;. Love, Forest!


Tue, Mar 29, 2011 : 11:21 p.m.

Who decides what is fair Irwin? You? How about someone who pays no taxes telling another to pay higher taxes so that the first individual (the one who pays no taxes) can obtain more services from the government free-- is that fair? At what point does the 'lower class' become responsible for their own situation? Is it fair for one to work hard and finally succeed only to have that success taxed away and given to another who does not work hard and does not want to work anymore than is minimally necessary? Irwin wants to abandon individual responsibility (as do most leftists and dems) and replace that with dependence on the government. That is called socialism and Irwin espouses this belief. Let' recall Irwin.


Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : 2:26 a.m.

@sh1 Business taxes are always added into the costs of goods or services we purchase. Why would you oppose lowering the cost of goods sold in the state? The taxes are paid by the citizen one way or another. Why not have these taxes out in front of us rather than hidden in the price of goods. That is why we do not have a VAT -- it increases the costs of goods and services through the roof -- look at europe. Lesson over.

Marshall Applewhite

Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 2:21 a.m.

@sh1 This is about making people on a fixed income actually pay income taxes. Surely you can't have a problem with repealing a policy put in place by Republicans decades ago to obtain the Senior vote, right?


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 12:02 a.m.

Where does cutting the business tax so people on fixed incomes have to fill in the gaps fit in your scenario?


Tue, Mar 29, 2011 : 11:06 p.m.

Let's see -- the state is broke, extremely high unemployment and failing schools. Jeff Irwin has decided that we need to raise taxes.... spend more money -- Irwin just does not get it.. it maybe his age and he needs to mature a bit, it maybe his lofty ideas -- what ever it is this gut is way out of line. We need to cut spending, reign in government and reduce the intrusion of the government into our live. Irwin must think we need more of a failed system. I do not know how these people get elected but this gut needs to be recalled.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 12:50 p.m.

The system of graduated tax is well established and considered to be appropriate by a large majority of the people who live in this country.

Stephen Landes

Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 1:20 a.m.

If Jeff Irwin &quot;got it&quot; he would be in the majority. As it is he is just a warmed over Democrat who wants things to be the way they used to be. Only in the minds of a Democrat is it more &quot;fair&quot; to have a graduated income tax than a flat rate. We see how &quot;fair&quot; a graduated income tax is at the Federal level where 5% of the income earners are paying more than 50% of the taxes. That's only &quot;fair&quot; if you are courting votes from the 95% of the people who pay a lot less (and in many cases zero) of the tax burden.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : midnight

You misunderstand the issue. The reason more money needs to be raised is because Snyder wants to cut the business tax. They money has to come from somewhere, and Irwin's proposal is to make it as fair as possible.