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Friday, February 18, 2011

Michiganders, AFL-CIO plan march to protest 'Draconian' cuts by Governor Rick Snyder

FLINT, MI - JANUARY 24:  Michigan Gov Rick Sny...Image by Getty Images
via @daylife
Michigan's Governor Rick
Snyder (R) is quickly bringing
his Gateway Computers
experience to Michigan at
large, in an attempt to kill
state jobs and employment
with proposed budget.

An Reach Out Job Search Op/Ed

It's spreading quick and fast across the United States but, 'IT' is not an annual case of the flu or the winter chill. Instead, it is the rumbling of a Michigan style protest against Republican Governor Rick Snyder (R) 'Draconian' cuts to state workers, primary, secondary education, local government cuts, middle, poor classes and Senior tax hikes.

Michigan, were Unions maintain a strong voice in both state, local, public entities and the private corporations of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler LCC, are under attack by new millionaire Governor Snyder. 

Snyder, in a former life, was the Chairman and Interim CEO of Gateway Computers from January 1991 to September 2006. Under Snyder's leadership, Gateway closed its' 188 U.S. based retail stores in 2004, costing thousands of jobs in Michigan and nationwide. 

In September 2007, Gateway Computers was sold to MPC Corporation, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in early 2009

Knowing how to effectively kill jobs, company operations and budgets from past experience, Governor Snyder latest attack in his new proposed state budget would not just impact unionized workers. If passed, his budget would spread the pain around to private non-unionized middle class workers, the poor, Senior Citizens, pension precipitants, every County, Township and City budget and last but not least, primary, secondary educational resources.

As for the wealthy or well-off corporations in Michigan, they would be the only entities spared by Snyder's 'chopping of our lifestyle' Michiganders have known for decades.

To start, Snyder's $47 billion proposal includes $1.2 billion in permanent spending cuts to help deal with a $1.4 billion shortfall in the budget year that starts October 1st.
  • It adds $1.7 billion to revenues by eliminating tax breaks for low-income workers, phasing out most senior tax breaks and getting rid of many other income tax deductions, such as one for donating to public universities. Personal deductions would be phased out for individuals making at least $75,000 or couples making at least $150,000.
  • Public schools would see a 4 percent cut, or about $470 per student. Intermediate school districts would be cut 5 percent.
  • Our state's 15 public universities, including one of top 10 education institutions in the nation, University of Michigan, would get 15 percent less, but $83 million would being set aside to be shared with universities that kept tuition increases around 7 percent or less. Community colleges would get the same $296 million they're getting now.
  • Spending on universities and community colleges would be switched from the state's general fund to the school aid fund. School districts have criticized the move, saying it would draw money away from public schools just as the school aid fund begins to again build a surplus that could allow per-pupil payments to rise.
  • Unionized State employees are going to be asked for $180 million in cuts. Health care premiums for those state employees would increase from 10% to 20%, and this is not counting medical deductibles.
  • Local governments would see their state payments cut. Due a state law barring many local communities and towns from accessing local taxes to increase revenue, operation budgets for those cities would be on the brink of bankruptcy and services like police, fire protection would fall apart. 
  • Eliminating 300 field worker positions in the Department of Human Services, before- and after-school program and, reducing the hourly rates paid to unlicensed aids and relatives in the child day care program.
Who would be spared the rod of Governor Snyder destroying Michigan and attacking the states current, former and future workers; businesses of course. The Republican governor wants to cut business taxes by $1.8 billion by switching from the unpopular Michigan Business Tax to a new 6 percent tax on corporate income that would affect only large corporations. That cut is larger than the $1.5 billion he originally said the switch would cost.

One industry that have created employment opportunities in the state that former Governor Jennifer Granholm (D) enacted, Michigan's Film Credit, is set to be cut by Governor Snyder. Golden Globe Award nominated actor and hometown hero Jeff Daniels cited candidate Snyder told him one thing before the election, then after becoming Governor, proposed another.

"The sound you hear today is of people packing and leaving the state," Daniels said by phone, describing the potential impact of Snyder's budget proposal, which would eliminate the film tax credit as we now know it, to the Detroit Free Press.

Daniels said Snyder told him privately that he didn't want to eliminate the incentives and discussed reductions in the current rate, which is up to 42%, and asked him what effect reductions would have.

"It's really disheartening," Daniels said of Snyder's budget plan. "It's not what he told me privately, so to be honest, I guess he's a politician after all. Say one thing, do another."

Pain of Michiganders, who managed survived a near collapse of the American Automobile Industry, Snyder's proposed budgetary cuts hits hard. Just as public schools are tacking how not to cut bus transportation services, athletics, cities attempting to keep basic police, fire services in their community and as tax revenue of localities are gutted by commercial and personal property foreclosures; Snyder's proposal is sure to add to Michigan's ever-decreasing population rate.

Ironically, Wisconsin and Michigan are separated on one end by Lake Michigan and the U.P. (Upper Peninsula) connected by roads. That could be why what started in Wisconsin is quickly spreading like wildfire in the Great Lakes state. 

Protests are being planned to oppose Governor Snyder's budget proposals and plans for emergency financial managers. 

Anticipating communities inability to deal with his 'Draconian' cuts, Snyder plans include revamping state law, making it easier for the Governor to appoint a 'Emergency Financial Manager' for a city or locality which files for bankruptcy. Localized union contracts would be at risk, to say the very least, if this were to occur.

Michigan's AFL-CIO will be organizing gathering members and the public-at-large in Lansing on February 22nd to protest and send a strong message to state legislators against what it calls 'Anti-union, anti-democratic emergency manager bills'. The union says the proposed state budget will place cities and schools in emergency situations and emergency financial managers will be used to wipe out all collective bargaining and remove locally elected officials. 

The group will meet at Central United Methodist Church at 215 North Capitol Avenue just across from the Capitol Building at 9:00am on Tuesday.

We will be in attendance at the event and host a special radio broadcast of the Reach Out Job Search podcast on Blog Talk Radio at 6:00 pm on February 22nd. We hope to have protesters reactions, including teachers, local Governmental officials, state workers, Senior residents and students up to college level thoughts on Snyder's budget. 

Tell us your thoughts about this article and Are You Attending the March?
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