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News and quick-hit commentary from around mid-Michigan ... from the Morning Sun.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Well, it's not really a clash of ideologies, because everyone but the Legislature (and key Republicans) -- including our editorial board -- agreed that the tax needed to either be reformed or repealed ... as long as there was a replacement plan public and attached to it. When you're dealing with one-quarter of the state budget, that's pragmatism, not ideology.

I don't doubt that they'll find something. The question of whether it replaces enough revenue to prevent deep cuts in programs is the real question. In fact, Granholm presented a plan to legislators earlier this year, but they declined to take it up (no doubt waiting on November to see if they needed to take it seriously). DeVos says he has a plan, but won't release it until after the election ... and he favors replacing a business tax with a business tax (or so he says). The state Chamber has a plan that eliminates sweetheart deals, and closes loopholes (insurance industry).

The question is a matter of how much it replaces and who pays. The Chamber argues that their plan wouldn't force the insurance industry to raise its rates because they've got such a sweetheart deal in this state already, and will want to remain competitive. That's true to a certain extent of all business taxes, which a business of course can spread their tax burden to all of its customers, rather than just Michigan citizens (and take it from a much bigger pot of money).


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