Under Republican Governor Rick Snyder, Michigan shows how starving the beast and corporate giveaways plays out on a micro level, in case anyone missed it during the Bush years.
Paul Egan at the Detroit Free Press reported:
The state will bring in about $400 million a year less in revenue than officials estimated in January, the House Fiscal Agency projects in a report released late today.
If confirmed, the report means a multi-year state budget surplus pegged at $971 million could be close to wiped out.
The state does revenue estimates for three years out. And according to the report prepared for Thursday’s revenue-estimating conference at the Capitol, the combined revenue numbers for the general fund and School Aid Fund were revised downward by close to $1.3 billion over that time.
And guess who is going to pay for the Republicans’ decision to low taxes on the elite whilst giving corporations giveaways from the coffers?
Yep. That’s right. The people.
So the first items on the chopping block are the bipartisan “Build Better Roads” bill that cleared the state House last week which provides $450 million for road funding this year and $500 million in annual long-term funding and of course, Detroit.
The numbers could affect how much lawmakers spend on road repairs and influence the debate over a requested $195-million state payment to help settle the Detroit bankruptcy case.
If you’ve ever driven in southeastern Michigan, you know that road repair has never been much of a priority to begin with, and the roads can be dangerously pitted and full of potholes. Driving on them in the winter can be a bit terrifying. The Senate is said to be debating a bipartisan road repair bill now.
And of course, “Detroit” – code for “inner city” which is code for “African American” — will take the brunt of it. Sure, Snyder had a quarter of a million to pay an “emergency manager” to file for bankruptcy for Detroit, but there is no money for Detroiters to do things like… vote.
While the people are getting outraged, Rick Snyder and his buddies are grinning, because once they’ve starved Detroit enough, they can swoop in and take the river front property, the beautiful old buildings, Belle Isle and anything else they think will turn a profit for pennies on the dollar, as they already did in Benton Harbor.
In case anyone doubts their intentions or how they see “Detroit”, Chris Savage at Eclectablog reported that the DEQ recently issued a permit to a favored business to pollute Detroit at a higher level. Yeah, go ahead, keep dumping pollutants in Detroit and Dearborn (home to the largest Arab American population in the country) at levels “in excess of state regulations”, because hey. It pays to be privileged.
On May 6th, the Detroit Free Press suggested that Rick Snyder’s “business-promoting agency” worked hard behind the scenes to “release even higher levels of pollutants and avoid current air quality regulations”, and may have bent the rules.
“Rules” are for “Detroit”, not for Big Business. Detroit must be punished for failing to follow the rules, and being morally corrupt enough to be poor. All of the entitled white collar gangsters (aka, Koch type “business owners”) will take the money and run. No, I’m not referring to small business owners, but then, Republicans aren’t either, as their policies tend to hurt small businesses.
The House Fiscal Agency still predicts economic recovery, but “The state also is paying out more Michigan Business Tax credits than forecast.” Oh. So much for “shared sacrifices”.
Per the Detroit Free Press:
“Employment growth accelerated during 2011 as 96,700 jobs were added, but employment growth has slowed; only 76,800 new jobs were added in 2012 followed by 47,900 new jobs in 2013,” the report says.
“Even after almost four years of job growth, as of March 2014 total non-farm employment in Michigan is roughly 11.7% lower than in January 2000.”
Yes, the Michigan economy is improving slowly, but it’s doing that around the country. Where is the dramatic job growth trickle down is supposed to “create”? Where is the huge economic boom that worshiping at the feet of big business promises? These promises were made as the honey that would come from the pain inflicted on the people of Michigan. They did their part, again. Even after the Bush years. And where is their reward?
Now that the fail of cutting revenue while giving tax breaks to big business is once again proving that math rules, the people will pay.
Study after study shows that Republican governors are associated with lower rates of growth. There’s a new one out that my colleague RMuse reported on Wednesday. “According to a recent comprehensive study, states that embrace conservative economic policies far underperform states enacting liberal economic policies.” This study showed that “pro-business” states did worst in private nonfarm jobs growth, compared to those with “anti-business” policies.”
Under Republican Governor Scott Walker, Wisconsin has been a petri dish of festering conservative “pro-business” fail. “Pro-business” does not mean good, sound economic policy – it means corporate giveaways and unfunded tax breaks to the people who fund the Republican party. The facts are that tax impacts are quite variable, while expenditure impacts are more consistent. This translates into liberal, Democratic policies being better for the economy on a state level, no matter what the dapper, sanctimonious Ronald Reagan promised.
And facts aren’t any more partisan than math. They exist, and denying them isn’t helping anyone. The problem is that Republicans are trying to excuse selling out their party as some kind of ideological principle that leads to “economic freedom”. Giving all of our resources to corporations has not led to economic freedom or individual liberty, nor will it ever.
Republicans are driving the price of Detroit down and when it’s cheap enough, they’ll do what the Republicans did in other areas of Michigan—take the people’s public land and appropriate it for corporations and the rich.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.