This is From a Press Release Issued by the Republican Caucus.
House Republicans today decried the move by House Democrats to raise taxes by nearly $400 million on Michigan families and job-providers, and issued warnings on the effects the taxes will have on Michigan's economy.
"On a day when the Washington Post predicts Michigan will lose a million jobs during Granholm's tenure, we should be doing everything possible to prove them wrong - not help the prediction become reality," said House Republican Leader Kevin Elsenheimer. "A tax increase sends the wrong message not only to Michigan families and Michigan businesses, but to job-providers looking to come to our state.
"This is exactly what Democrats did in 2007 - they raised the state sales tax without public input, at the last minute and behind locked doors, taking Michigan down the path from 7 percent unemployment to 15.2 percent. We simply can't afford another doubling of the unemployment rate."
Elsenheimer also noted that the Democrats had to lock the members onto the House floor, for their tax votes to be approved. The Democrat tax increases were narrowly approved, with bipartisan opposition on all tax increases.
The House Republican caucus offered 15 amendments that provide serious reforms for state government. Republican cost-saving reforms include:
· Eliminating lifetime benefits for lawmakers;
· Stopping job-killing actions by the Department of Environmental Quality;
· Freezing the Earned Income Tax Credit at 2009 levels;
· Rooting out unemployment fraud;
· Encouraging local government consolidation of services;
· Allowing school districts flexibility in designing student curriculums; and
· Improving transparency by creating a Web site that details every dollar of state government spending.
"Democrats knew the public support for tax increases simply wasn't there, especially in the absence of real government reforms," Elsenheimer said. "There are better options - target agreements have already been reached to balance the budget without raising taxes. It couldn't be more clear that our state has a leadership problem, not a revenue problem."