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    Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?

    Raise the curtain.

    Dillon confirms plans for another new tax hike

    By Nick, Section News
    Posted on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 07:44:59 AM EST
    Tags: Dillon, House, tax hikes, MESSA, budget, deficit, unemployment, public employees (all tags)

    Andy Dillon has an idea.  He doesn't have a proposal.  He certainly doesn't have a plan.  Yet.  But the man has an idea.  What he makes of this idea may be anything from awesome to atrocious- that will be a matter of debate for the coming months- but after yesterday's late-afternoon press conference there's little argument about one thing- interesting ideas aside, Dillon still doesn't get it.

    The same day we learned that Michigan's economy, in the third year of his "leadership" of the state House, has reached a devastating 15.2 percent unemployment rate and that 740,000 Michiganders are officially jobless, the ugliest number since they started keeping the statistic in 1976, Dillon strode to a podium in the Capitol City and told reporters that moms and dads across the state will be forced to endure yet another tax hike.  

    Peter Luke reports:

    Balancing the state budget in the next 10 weeks will require a combination of cuts as well as revenue, he said.

    Never mind the fact that higher tax rates do more harm than good to total tax receipts as they force companies out of business, workers out of jobs and families out of Michigan (remember that "budget-balancing" $1.5 billion tax hike in 2007 and the precipitous fall revenue has taken each year since).  

    Never mind the fact that a $10 million-plus property tax hike in Macomb County only three months ago, while aimed at wiping out county government deficits long term, has done nothing more than administer steroids to the problem, producing a projected $32.2 million deficit in 2010 and 2011.

    Never mind the fact no one has ever squeezed blood from a stone.  Yesterday afternoon the House Democratic leader made his intentions pretty clear... grab your wallets (those of you who can still afford them) because Lansing's coming calling.  Again.

    Not that that's why Dillon called his presser... like a magician distracting you with one hand and hiding an object with the other the man just snuck that one in there and hoped no one was paying attention.  Abra-kadabra.  Poof!  He's going to make our bank accounts disappear.  

    And while it certainly won't be worth the price of admission, the distraction coooooould wind up being pretty interesting.

    Read on...

    Dillon's idea is to pool more than 400,000 taxpayer funded employees in Michigan, cover them under the same health insurance "umbrella" while bringing coverage and co-pays more in line with the private sector.  He's talking teachers, police, administrators, the legislature and even the Governor's office and claims... CLAIMS... the move could save taxpayers $900 million.  A year.

    The MEA hates the idea and I have very little problem admitting that in a street fight between a tax-hiking liberal Democrat politician and the Michigan Education Association I'm prone to root for the scum-bag politician every time. Again, Peter Luke:

    The Michigan Education Association blasted the proposal. The union's insurance arm, the Michigan Education Special Services Association, which covers more than half of the teachers in Michigan, would have to compete with other insurers in a new health care program administered in Lansing.

    Conceptually.  There isn't a bill.  There isn't any language.  There isn't a proposal.  Despite the serious way it was unveiled this still amounts to little more than an idea.  

    I'll just have to hope Speaker Dillon will forgive me if I hold off on the "atta-boys" until we've had a chance to examine some language.  But as ideas go?  Dillon's had worse.  In the same press conference.

    < And the new Granholm-Cherry unemployment rate is... | Thursday in the Sphere: July 16 >

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    I'll admit that I like Dillon's idea... (none / 0) (#1)
    by KG One on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 09:35:58 AM EST
    ...to pool insurance coverage to save Michigan Taxpayers money.

    I'm just disappointed to hear it coming from a democrat.

    And regarding Macomb County's tax debacle, not to fear!

    County exec wannabe Paul Gieleghem will be letting the county's PR team go (we have a PR team???).

    Huzzah! We're saved.

    But, does this mean that he'll shut down the public before they can speak at commission meetings?

    The scary part here... (none / 0) (#3)
    by KG One on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 10:21:50 AM EST
    ...is that according to the fish paper, Dillon stated that this is the first of three proposals he will put forward before tax "restructuring" (whatever that means).

    Goverment run health insurance for state workers? (none / 0) (#4)
    by Adam Smith on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 10:24:55 AM EST
    Dillon's proposal may feel good to some conservatives because it will hurt union workers.
    But let's think a little deeper.

    At least now, private sector insurers have an opportunity to bid to provide this work. There is competition. Now, maybe some school districts don't work as hard as they should to solicit bids, etc, but that's not a good reason to rush into a government run program, which is likely to be less efficient than one run under competition and free enterprise.

    If this goes through, what's next? Government run workers comp programs, taking business opportunities away from those insurers? Government run property and casualty insurance, hurting our state insurers such as Auto Owners and Citizens?

    Let's see what the insurance industry -- which is doing a pretty good job providing good products in health care, despite the rhetoric -- says about this proposal before jumping on Dillon's bandwagon.

    Let's not forget, this is the guy who led the drive to kill Michigan's electric competition in favor of a monopoly run system, and we've seen nothing but rate hikes ever since -- even though power use is down throughout Michigan and throughout the Midwest. Uncoupling supply and demand offends Adam Smith!

    I understood this plan differently. (none / 0) (#5)
    by KG One on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 10:49:48 AM EST
    The gist I got from yesterday's article was that Dillon is taking the Walmart approach to this and looking at economies of scale to reduce costs, not for Michigan to adopt Obamacare.

    I'm not supporting this to "hurt" anyone.

    But I'm certainly not going to support a system that promotes a better benefit plan at no cost to the employees, than anyone in the private sector has available to them.

    Tax Hikes vs. Tax Cuts (none / 0) (#7)
    by stevenstmason on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 11:08:54 PM EST
    The state income tax went down every year from 2000 - 2004. Every year, revenue collections from the income tax declined too. That blows Nick's little cause-and-effect claim about taxes.

    Income Tax Revenue (none / 0) (#11)
    by stevenstmason on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 06:44:30 PM EST
    What does state spending have to do with tax revenues? Nothing.

    Conservatives claim, cut tax rates, tax revenue will increase. True or False?

    The state cut the income every year from 2000 - 2004. Here's the revenue from the income tax for that period.

    2000    7,246.5               
    2001    6,839.3               
    2002    6,260.3               
    2003    5,845.7               
    2004    5,912.0     

    Ah ha! 2004, the tax revenue went up! But that's because the state delayed the reduction of the rate reduction for 6 months leading to increase revenues coming in. If the state had cut the rate as planned, 2004 would have seen a decline as well.

    Let's review. Over a 5 year period, state income taxes dropped from 4.4% to 3.9%. In that 5 year period, there is zero evidence that cutting taxes led to increased revenues. The evidence shows the opposite.    

    Great Thanks! (none / 0) (#14)
    by BruceB on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 08:37:05 AM EST
    Where did you get this GREAT stuff?  Thanks!  

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