Governor Snyder spent part of his afternoon today signing the new fiscal year budget into law, treating the event with great fanfare and even inviting the media to watch him put the final stamp on the severe and callous cuts to our schools and public safety that are included in that budget.
While the Governor was eager to celebrate the “success” of passing this budget, the real effects of it will unfortunately soon be seen. He has put in place a system that asks seniors and working families to give more so big businesses can give less. He has established a complex, confusing and inequitable three-tiered tax system on retirees. He has left school districts across Michigan teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. Worst of all, he has done all of this without creating a single job in the process.
Governor Snyder explained the burdens he was placing on our working families and seniors as “shared sacrifice” and necessary evils if we were to balance our state’s budget this year. Unfortunately, his own Budget Director John Nixon seems to disagree. In a speech Mr. Nixon delivered to the Jackson Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Club only yesterday, he stated,“We could have balanced the budget without taxing pensions.”
I’m sure as Governor Snyder signed the budget into law today he’d rather nobody ask him about that statement his Budget Director made yesterday, but the question simply must be asked: If it is true that we could have balanced the budget without taxing pensions, why didn’t we? Why did the Governor make a choice to burden our senior population in order to pay for a tax handout that simply has no promise of creating jobs?
Unfortunately, that question will likely go unanswered.