I’ve posted about this before and I don’t think I’m going to stop until the entire country knows what is going on in the State of Michigan. Our newly elected governor Rick Snyder is proposing – and more than likely will get his way – to pass some of the most anti-democratic legislation that has ever been seen. No hyperbole here, either. This is scary shit that even Republicans should be concerned about. Steve Benen at the Washington Monthly did an excellent post explaining what is going on in my state…(emphasis is mine)
Recent developments in Michigan and its new Republican administration are so astounding, I literally didn’t believe the reports when they first came out. And yet, shocking though they may be, those reports are true and represent a genuine assault on a credible system of government.
Newly elected Republican governor, Rick Snyder, is set to pass one of the most sweeping, anti-democratic pieces of legislation in the country — and almost no one is talking about it.
Snyder’s law gives the state government the power not only to break up unions, but to dissolve entire local governments and place appointed “Emergency Managers” in their stead. But that’s not all — whole cities could be eliminated if Emergency Managers and the governor choose to do so. And Snyder can fire elected officials unilaterally, without any input from voters. It doesn’t get much more anti-Democratic than that.
Except it does. The governor simply has to declare a financial emergency to invoke these powers — or he can hire a private company to declare financial emergency and take over oversight of the city. That’s right, a private corporation can declare your city in a state of financial emergency and send in its Emergency Manager, fire your elected officials, and reap the benefits of the ensuing state contracts.
You might be thinking, “C’mon, that can’t be right.” I’m afraid it is. Michigan’s new Republican governor is cutting funding to municipalities, and if they struggle financially as a consequence, he will have the power to simply take over those municipalities if he believes he should.
And once Snyder does take over these local governments, by virtue of his own whims, he can impose a local dictator — called an “Emergency Manager” — who will have the authority to undo collective bargaining agreements, scrap contracts, and even undo the results of elections.
And if that weren’t quite enough, the local dictator, at the behest of the new Republican governor or a designated corporate ally, can even “disincorporate or dissolve” an entire municipal government — effectively making a local government disappear — without any input from the public whatsoever.
I’m completely serious.
And by the way, the Tea Party crowd — those folks who worry about excessive government overreach and power-grabs — thinks all of this is just great.
One of the Republican state lawmakers who supports this effort characterized the plan as “financial martial law” — and as far as he’s concerned, that’s not a criticism, that’s a defense for this little scheme.
I’m storming the capitol tomorrow (Wednesday March 16) in Lansing along with a lot of other folks. We are not going to stand for it and every person who values democracy should be standing right next to us.
The Raw Story has this post up detailing 10 of the most shocking spending cuts being proposed by the Republicans. Just a reminder that they couldn’t bring themselves to cut $53 billion in subsidies to Big Oil, but they found it in their black hearts to cut the following. From The Raw Story…(truncated list)
Though the Democratic-led Senate rejected the proposal, here are some of the most shocking programs Republicans voted to slash.
1) The National Weather Service ($126 million)
The bill stripped $126 million from the Natural Weather Service, the agency within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tasked with preparing us for natural disasters such as tsunamis, hurricanes, blizzards, floods and fires.
2) Emergency Oil Reserves ($120.2 million)
The GOP budget plan slashed $120.2 million from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a critical source of emergency oil supplies in case flow is interrupted.
3) Assistance For Firefighters ($510 million)
$510 million was axed from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s grants for firefighters, part of a broader $1.5 billion cut to various FEMA programs.
4) Communication Among Emergency Responders ($70 million)
5) Oversight Of Financial Markets ($56.8 billion, is that right, billion?)
6) Prosecution Of Financial Crimes ($2.1 million)
7) Helping Women Escape Domestic Abuse ($70 million)
(Eight) 8) Helping Teens Avoid Unwanted Pregnancy ($110 million)
9) Helping Young People Get Jobs ($300 million)
10) Helping International Children Survive Into Adulthood ($783.5 million)
You can see the priorities of the Republican party by looking at that list, which is just some of the raping they did to America and its people. A very slight increase in the tax rate for the top 5% of the richest people in our country would take care of all of that spending and they wouldn’t suffer one bit. So Republicans choose to hurt millions of people with their draconian cuts but won’t ask the richest people in the country to give just a sliver of their wealth to help stabilize our economy and get people back to work. Republicans are nasty people
Michigan’s Trojan Horse Governor Raises Taxes On Seniors and The Poor While Cutting Corporate Taxes By 86%!
In my State of Michigan, we (not me) elected a guy named Rick Snyder as governor last November. He ran as a “tough nerd” with almost all of his advertising throughout the campaign having that theme, a folksy, nerdy guy…he featured his daughter prominently in his ads talking about her daddy and how nice and nerdy he is. It was all warm and fuzzy, painting him as a common sense moderate. The mask has come off the nerd, he is pure evil, through and through.
He surely will never be re-elected, he pulled the old bait and switch on the moderates and independents in this state and may actually be recalled if he continues on the path he has started down. It’s one thing to be conservative, it’s quite another to show such disregard for the struggling people in your state while giving tax cuts to corporations that have mostly been sending jobs overseas, which Snyder has a lot of experience at as the head of Gateway.
Think Progress has a great post up with details on how this evil nerd has begun destroying our state with his idiotic Republican ideas. From Think Progress…
Following suit, Gov. Rick Snyder (R-MI) has proposed ending his state’s Earned Income Tax Credit, cutting a $600 per child tax credit, and reducing credits for seniors, while also cutting funding for school districts by eight to ten percent. At the same time, as the Michigan League for Human Services found, the state’s business taxes would be reduced by nearly $2 billion, or 86 percent, under Snyder’s plan:
Business taxes would be cut by 86 percent from an estimated $2.1 billion in FY 2011 to $292.7 million in FY 2013, the first full year of the proposed tax changes…Taxes on individuals from the state income tax would rise by $1.7 billion or nearly 31 percent, from an estimated $5.75 billion in FY 2011 to $7.5 billion in FY 2013, the first full year of the tax changes.
Michigan already has a regressive tax system, which Snyder’s proposal will only make worse. Currently, someone in the poorest 20 percent of Michigan taxpayers pays a tax rate of 8.9 percent, while someone in the richest one percent pays 5.3 percent.
In addition to trying to make an unfair tax system even more problematic for Michigan’s low-income residents, Snyder has also asked that the state be given the power to dismiss local government and appoint emergency “town managers” who could break contracts and “strip powers from elected officials.”
Kudos to Think Progress for the great information and many thanks to Rachel Maddow and her staff for shining a light on Michigan’s evil governor. Thank you, thank you, thank you. And the reason I keep calling him evil is because I can’t think of any word that is more descriptive, that IS the word to describe him and his actions. Others that come close, deceitful, sadistic, uncaring, blind, stupid, crazy…etc. etc. etc.
UPDATE: Thanks to Nicole at Political Ruminations for keeping up with the scheduled protests in Michigan.
1. Pro-Union Protests – Monday, March 14, 2011 10:00 am – till… ?? Saginaw, Michigan
2. AARP RALLY – Tuesday, March 15, 2011 11:00 am to 1:00 pm Lansing, Michigan at Michigan Capitol building, on the east steps, at the corner of Michigan Ave. & Capitol Ave.
3. WORKING FAMILIES PROTEST – Wednesday, March 16 12:00pm – 6:00pm Lansing, MI, at Michigan’s Capitol building – MICHAEL MOORE WILL BE IN ATTENDANCE! Go here to read Michael’s Letter to the people of Michigan.
UPDATE 2: Steve Benen at The Washington Monthly has a great post up on this subject, check it out if you haven’t already.