Monday, March 14, 2011

Contact: Leigh Fifelski, (517) 999-3646

Coalition of citizens send message statewide, urge rejection of budget

MARSHALL – Citizens and groups from a range of backgrounds today delivered a message across the state, including in Calhoun County, warning that Governor Rick Snyder’s proposed budget endangers Michigan’s families and their future.

“Michigan families deserve a fair, balanced budget that spreads the sacrifices – not this attack on Michigan families, seniors and our common future,” said John Freeman, SEIU. “We need to shake things up in Lansing, but politicians are exploiting Michigan’s budget crisis to attack seniors, workers’ rights and ordinary families across our state.”

Snyder’s proposed budget is a vivid illustration of an unfair budget whose winners are large corporations and losers are ordinary Michigan families:

     Tax breaks for large corporations, worth $1.7 billion

     Tax increases on Michigan seniors, totaling more than $1 billion

     Tax increases on low-income families, totaling more than $350 million

     Cuts to students and schools, amounting to more than $700 per pupil

     Cuts to revenue sharing for already cash-strapped local communities, exceeding $100 million


“The Earned Income Tax Credit is the single most effective tool to keep working families out of poverty and help them provide for their children in this difficult economy,” ,” said Nathan Triplett, East Lansing City Council member. “Now some Lansing politicians want to eliminate EITC and raise taxes on working families already struggling to make ends meet to pay for a massive corporate tax giveaway. That’s not shared sacrifice. It’s an outrage.”

“This budget puts communities’ ability to protect Calhoun County families and businesses at risk,” said Michigan Corrections Officer Brent Kowitz. “This budget raises the risk that when Calhoun County families call 911, nobody’s going to answer the call. Lives and property will be at risk, and that’s why this budget is wrong for Michigan.”

“This budget puts a squeeze on many seniors who are already struggling to make ends meet,” said retiree Lynne Haley. “It asks seniors and ordinary families to make sacrifices, while a privileged few keep their perks and tax breaks. Politicians in Lansing must stop exploiting Michigan’s budget as an excuse to attack ordinary families and seniors in Calhoun County.”

The coalition said the Legislature should reject Snyder’s proposed budget and start from scratch, including supporting the following ideas:


     Stop cutting funds for education.

     Reject the tax increase on seniors and families.

     Spread the sacrifices to politicians, by immediately cutting their own pay and lavish benefits, such as lifetime health care.

     Cut the excessive taxpayer-funded salaries and benefits of Snyder’s political appointees, some of whom get up to a quarter-million dollars a year.

     Close unfair, outdated tax loopholes and giveaways, which totaled $35 billion in 2009 – five times more than the state’s revenue of $7 billion.

     Increase accountability and make sure citizens can see how it spends every dollar so we can see savings.

     Provide tax breaks for businesses that create jobs in the new economy, such as advanced auto batteries, biotechnology and more.



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