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Michigan state capitol at night
Michigan state House Republicans are bragging about all the great stuff they've accomplished over the past two years, and it makes for ... instructive reading. "The Michigan House Republicans kept their promises to the people of Michigan," they begin, "delivering results when the state was in crisis and staying true to the guiding principles they laid out shortly after being elected into the majority."

Those guiding principles include "lead responsibly in all our endeavors, making state government answerable to the public and respectful of its wishes." Yet the long list of things Michigan House Republicans are bragging about includes the anti-union law rammed through during the lame duck session over massive protest, and very much against the wishes of the public.

Other things Michigan Republicans are proud of include "provid[ing] better job security for Michigan's best teachers through nation-leading teacher tenure reform." That would be their doublespeak for ending the provision that firing or demoting a teacher require "reasonable and just cause," downgrading teacher job security to allow them to be fired for anything short of "arbitrary and capricious" reasons. In addition to making it easier for administrators to fire teachers for almost-arbitrary reasons, Michigan Republicans are proud to have "expand[ed] school choice and cyber school opportunities." Cyber schools are a big failure, with one study finding that just 30 percent of them meet minimum progress standards under No Child Left Behind, compared with 54.9 percent of regular schools.

Of course, probably half the things Michigan Republicans are bragging about involve tax cuts, which they paint as helping all sorts of people around the state. Yeah, right:

While enacting $1.7 billion in tax cuts for corporations last year, Snyder also “shaved billions of dollars off future health care and retirement commitments,” ended the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit, enacted a regressive increase in personal taxes, and cut aid for 11,000 families and nearly 30,000 children.
Throw in a few other things on the order of repealing the state's motorcycle helmet law, and you've got the Republican record in Michigan. Of which they are very proud.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 10:57 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  They should be rightly proud. They have a vision; (9+ / 0-)

    they have a clear agenda; they have unwavering commitment to their agenda and they do what it takes to move that agenda forward, regardless of public opinion.

    That goes to show that "public opinion" is overrated.  They will continue ramming through their fascit ALEC-written agenda until the left finds a spine, a vertebrae, a clear agenda.

    •  And they are relentless (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Was there ANY part of their agenda that they did NOT pass?   They passed everything they said they wanted to pass and then passed more.  Hell, they passed right-to-work even when their own governor had to be dragged along.

      It wasn't enough to cut business taxes; they just recently eliminated the property tax on business equipment, thereby blowing up the budget; take a guess who's going to be making THAT money up (hint: NOT businesses).

      They got the votes and they used them.  It's up to the left to do the same when it gets the votes to do so.

      "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing glove." P.G. Wodehouse

      by gsbadj on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 01:15:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  the business tax issue is a tough one (0+ / 0-)

        I don't claim to understand all the motivation, but I know that much of the push to lower business taxes in states is a push to get jobs to their states. I wouldn't be surprised to see this trend continue and expand.

      •  Governor was not dragged along on right-to-work (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        At the start of this year he said it was too divisive  and we didn't need one now and he did not want one at his desk.  No fight, no bill.
        Then after the election... either pissed at unions for their ballot measure or just knowing enough to wait until AFTER people had voted, he said he is ready for such a bill and viola! It was timing.

        Another post 2012 election hit to the people will be the tax changes that were passed very soon after the election.  Smart planning to delay it until now because a lot of people are really going to feel the hits. So they cut taxes for businesses, oh my, this is the first year that many who rely on homestead Property tax credit wiull feel that gut kick. They made so many changes to it, eliminating many (income cap is now 50k, not prior 82+k and more things are considered income.
        Out of work sister or friend Staying with you? Anyone who lives in home has income added in to see if owner qualifies now, related or not, shared income or not. Home assessed value  over 132k?  We don't care that the state assessed value (thus taxes) is rising up as actual worth is crashing, no credit for you.
        While more things are income counted less things are deductions. Wiping out most credits...
        Excuse me, just credits that help the lower and moderate income, directly or indirectly.
        Giving money to homeless shelters? Good for you, we need them more than ever having cut tens of thousands of families off assistance a year early...
        and after all those business tax credits don't require employers... you know, hire people and we also cut unemployment...
        so... good for you for helping.
        You lost the deduction.

        So many changes, all for the bad for joe main street. It is going to hurt... not just the individual families loosing hundreds to thousands they've relied on
        but businesses who will not get their money spent there
        and food lines who will see more hungry
        and so on.

        On the bright side I won't be nagging my son to bring his young family back here. An ugly atmosphere. Michigan has been my one geographical loyalty. Wherever I was it was home, I've never felt such revulsion as I have the last two years

  •  It took 8 yrs of Clinton to repair (9+ / 0-)

    what Reagan did to us.

    It will take 8 years of Obama to try to fix what Cheney/Bush did to us.

    But, on a local level, it will be just as hard, if not harder to fix the crap that ALEC and others have forced up us.

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 11:19:42 AM PST

    •  I'm not so sure (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Amber6541, cybersaur

      that we'll ever repair what Reagan started, and the Bushes continued.  Despite the fact that Clinton and Obama have each had 2 Supreme Court picks (so far), we still have an enduring 5-4 conservative majority.  What really hurt was Carter had no picks in 4 years, while Reagan and Bush #41 had 5 over 12 years.  I think Scalia and Kennedy are prepared to hang on for another 12 years, if need be.

      Early on in the Clinton Administration, with Democrats still a majority in Congress, there was actually talk about repealing the Hyde Amendment.  When was the last time anyone seriously talked about that?  While it's true that Hyde was enacted in the '70s, the point here is that it seems to be damn near impossible to undo a lot of the damage Repugs have  done, and continue to do.

  •  Damn Hatriots All! (3+ / 0-)

    Maybe they should all be required to re-read Tale of Two Cities

    It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

    by War on Error on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 11:36:00 AM PST

  •  They're really proud of Raising Taxes on 51%... (8+ / 0-)

    of Michiganders, including seniors.  Thanks to the new Republican budget, 51% of all Michigan tax payer will pay MORE... personal income taxes in 2012 and beyond...

    The GOPer legislature and GOPer governor have also cleverly protected themselves from any reprisals from the people, at least until the next election: Michigan Republicans Inoculate Themselves from Recall in Lame Duck Marathon

    Outrage doesn't begin to describe the reaction of those who are paying attention right now.  Wait till the rest of the 51% finally all wake up and notice that they've been robbed--by their "representatives" so that the rich can get richer.

  •  I can imagine a successful "cyber-school" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It would start with it being "free" but where's the profit in that?

    Who needs an educated populace when you can have a nation-full of drone "consumers?"

    Poor people have too much money and vote too often. Republican platform plank, 1980 - present

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 01:43:16 PM PST

  •  Living here in Michigan, (9+ / 0-)

    I've thought quite a lot about it and I can't think of a single thing about these Republicans that doesn't suck in one or more ways.

    They were elected by too many Michiganders who weren't paying attention to what is actually underway in Republicanville and, once the drowsy voting slumberers began waking up, the Republican congress critters and governor "nerd" affirmed that they don't give a crap what the voters expected or actually wanted.  

    •  As a summertime resident, I agree. (5+ / 0-)

      We have a summer home in Union Pier. The residents of Michigan should be fighting mad. Unfortunately, we get the government we deserve, even when people are voting against their own self interests, they still have a say in the process.  With any luck, and a lot of progressive messaging, this can all change in 2014.

      "You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else." Winston Churchill

      by Blackhawks on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 01:33:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  How bad is the MI Dem Party? (6+ / 0-)

    Minnesota managed to oust the GOP from majorities in the House and Senate. And MN GOP didn't do anything between 2010-12 that Michigan GOP hasn't done. MI GOP arguably is worse.

    I have to wonder about the state of MI leftist leadership if they can't do better. The seems immune to Democratic waves.

    (And I am aware of complaints the MI Dem Party has stood down on some of the grassroots fights.)

    "The marriage fight is over when we say it's over, and it's over when we win."—Dan Savage

    by Scott Wooledge on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 01:11:30 PM PST

    •  Heh (4+ / 0-)

      The guy that almost got the Democratic party nomination for Governor in 2010, Dillon, has been Snyder's Treasury secretary, in change of lowering the boom on cities with financial trouble and shoving them into EFMs.

      There aren't many up-and-coming state-wide candidates.  Whitmer is eloquent and photogenic enough but other than her, there's nobody else with any recognition.

      "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing glove." P.G. Wodehouse

      by gsbadj on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 03:01:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes. (0+ / 0-)

        I have been following the news, and Gretchen Whitmer appears to be the only Democrat in Michigan.

        But, it's not only about candidates, it's about GOTV. Complain voters stay home, but shouldn't there be a machine FINDING the voters and calling, banging on doors until the get their asses to the polls? I have to imagine that machine could be improved.

        "The marriage fight is over when we say it's over, and it's over when we win."—Dan Savage

        by Scott Wooledge on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 03:19:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Even though Obama easily carried Michigan (0+ / 0-)

          And, Debbie Stabenow won reelection to the Senate with little trouble, at the state level, Michigan Democrats have proven incapable of harvesting these votes over multiple election cycles.  This is why Michigan Repugs are in a feeding frenzy -- they have no fear of any consequences, and why should they?  Liberal bloggers in the state have pointed out that Michigan Democratic party chair Mark Brewer is very good at trash talking, and not very effective at actually getting people elected.  In the NFL, the head coach and/or general manager usually get replaced after a multi-year record of failure.  So far, there seems to be no movement for change at the top.  Until we get energetic new leadership, with a concrete plan for success, I doubt that much will change.

        •  The "machine" has always been piecemeal (0+ / 0-)

          UAW pretends to be in overall charge, but isn't really in position to be so outside of Metro Detroit and to some degree Greater Lansing.

          There is no standing army in most of the state, and the natural reservoir for ground troops and ad hoc leaders in many states in the "hinterlands" is the Teacher's Union. Problem with Michigan is that until very recently a number of the regional leadership in MEA were (being as nice as I can) Milliken Republicans who did what they could to (again, being as nice as I can) suppress "anti-GOP" political organizing for decades. Their work now done, most have conveniently retired.

          I'm certain this is not unique to Michigan. I've seen similar dynamics in Virginia, Maryland, Colorado and North Carolina. NEA has always encouraged political diversity, and some states balance personal politics with organizational interests better than others. Michigan was never one of those " better" states, and with the stress of RtWfL now being brought to bear, actual small "l" labor organizing is now going to happen in this state. It's going to have to, because there is no alternative. It may not "bear fruit" from our partisan perspective in 2014 or even 2016, but it is long overdue.

          When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

          by Egalitare on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 04:01:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Here's the key disclaimer: (8+ / 0-)

    "...staying true to the guiding principles they laid out shortly after being elected into the majority."

    That's right - if voters had known what they were really going to do, they would have never been elected into the majority in the first place. Only after the election were they free to carry out the agenda of their real owners - ALEC and friends.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 01:14:03 PM PST

  •  with so many lower- and middle-income citizens (2+ / 0-) Michigan, how is it that the GOP has such a hegemonic hold on their legislative and executive branches without even worrying a whit about comeuppance at the ballot box? WTF?

    "A liberal is a man or a woman or a child who looks forward to a better day, a more tranquil night, and a bright, infinite future." – Leonard Bernstein

    by frisco on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 01:16:00 PM PST

    •  Not enough people vote. (5+ / 0-)

      And because of this, we end up with the government we deserve. A very bad one that doesn't care about the citizens. Except for DICK DeVos of course. Snyder kneels at his feet and fetches the paper for old DICK.

      "You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else." Winston Churchill

      by Blackhawks on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 01:36:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Simple (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Poor, largely racist whites vote GOP, just like they do in the middle of northern states like PA or OH.  Once you get outside Detroit, Flint, Lansing, Saginaw and Benton Harbor, the state is pretty much lily white, including almost all of the suburbs surrounding the cities proper.

      Democrats are for handouts to black people, don't'cha know.

      "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing glove." P.G. Wodehouse

      by gsbadj on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 02:55:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't know the exact demographics of MI (0+ / 0-)

      but I would imagine they are pretty standard. I don't believe it is exceedingly lower or middle class.

    •  The Repubs have spent lots of time carefully (0+ / 0-)

      REDISTRICTING so that they can stay in power. They have made sure that bills they want have appropriations attached so that THE PUBLIC CAN'T VOTE on them. They write laws that they want to keep themselves in control. I don't know how Michigan can recover. It is becoming a businessmen's and Republican's paradise. What will they do when the lower class leaves?

      I have been born and raised in Michigan and am very sad what has taken place here. I am looking for another state to retire. I don't know if I can stand to stay here.

      Liberal (from Webster's Dictionary): tolerant of views differing from one's own; broad-minded

      by 50sbaby on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 08:37:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  P.S. I am a public school teacher. I will pay (0+ / 0-)

        higher income tax due to the current legislature and my paycheck will be reduced to pay for my pension, current health insurance, and health insurance for my retirement. My co-pays and deductibles have also gone up. I am the sole provider of health insurance in my household. I don't know if I can survive without a second job.

        Interesting, the legislators in Michigan are some of the HIGHEST PAID in the U.S. As a public school teacher with a bachelor's and master's degrees, I will never make as much as a Michigan senator or representative. Their entry level salary is $17,685, plus an expense account of $10,800.

        Liberal (from Webster's Dictionary): tolerant of views differing from one's own; broad-minded

        by 50sbaby on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 08:59:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I begin to fear for the life of our Republic when (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lorla, Amber6541

    I read about the way the GOP in general and  in Michigan in particular tramples on democracy and the needs of ordinary people.  People are being ground into work-dust, or thrown away.  How can we mend all of this?  How sad our country has become,  I hope the New Year brings new hope for all of us who struggle to produce social justice.

  •  I hate to say this, (5+ / 0-)

    But this is the wish of the majority (however silent it may be).

    Michigan residents can change all of this if they want to. At some point we can't just keep fighting for them if they don't want to, they have clean voting rights.

    I mean 11,000 families got their aid cut, and thousands more lost their state Earned Income Tax Credit. That should be 11,000+ automatic votes against their leaders at the next go around, 11,000+ folks to help us knock on doors.

    But you and I know it is not. When push comes to shove, we will be the ones donating our last dollars, and locking our house doors to go knock on theirs to 'convince' them to join the fight to save themselves. Of course I'm not speaking of everybody, but the majority (which is all we need to make a difference).

    So we have to agree that Michigan Republican lawmakers are doing exactly what they promised. Ironically enough, they probably can 'brag' to those who voted them in, they are keeping the very promises they made that got them elected.

    •  Perfectly said. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tikkun, rhauenstein, Scott Wooledge

      We get the government we deserve. Even though most of us hate it, most of the people THAT VOTE voted for it.

      "You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else." Winston Churchill

      by Blackhawks on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 01:38:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No, we don't deserve this. Nobody does. I (6+ / 0-)

      think I finally understand how people here who live in some of the southern states feel when someone goes off on how they deserved what they got.

      Thanks too much.

      I hope they keep bragging loud and long so that, just maybe, some of the people who believed they were reasonable human beings will finally get the idea.

      Please proceed, Rethugs.

      Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by maybeeso in michigan on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 02:02:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The people that got their aid and/or EIC (0+ / 0-)

      cut probably don't have any extra money to drive anyplace but for their very basic needs.  Or, maybe have no car and have to take the bus (still a cost involved).  Makes it hard to do some of the things you would like them to do, and that they might even want to do.

      Mother Teresa: "If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other."

      by Amber6541 on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 08:35:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Republicans are brain-damaged.... (3+ / 0-)

    the part of their brain that detects irony is dysfunctional.  They constantly make statements that would have a normal person's irony detector SCREAMING.


    > Those guiding principles include "[snip] making
    > state government answerable to the public and
    > respectful of its wishes."

    Such as the Emergency Manager law that Michiganders hated so much that they overwhelmingly signed a petition to recall it and then voted overwhelmingly to overturn it?

    The Republicans respected Michigander's wishes SO MUCH, that they passed a new Emergency Manager law and inoculated it against recall.*

    A normal person would would write "respectful of its wishes" and immediately say to themselves "What a second, that is a totally ironic statement that makes us Republicans look like dickwads."  They would then scratch those words out and try to phrase it another way.


    * For Republicans reading this comment, it is this action that makes the statement "respectful of its wishes" ironic.  Please take notes.

    Counting stars by candlelight...

    by frasca on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 01:32:00 PM PST

    •  A non ironic way to phrase it would be... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maybeeso in michigan, Amber6541
      "lead responsibly in all our endeavors, making state government answerable to the public and respectful of its wishes."
      Should instead say "despite the result of voters wishes, like the repeal of the emergency management law, the Michigan Republican lead government is going to continue to do what WE want to do, not what YOU want done. If you need an explanation of why, it is very simple. Because we CAN."

      "You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else." Winston Churchill

      by Blackhawks on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 01:52:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  At least if you are a failure at a cyber school (0+ / 0-)

    you'll learn the skills to join Anonymous.

    Mitt Romney rides off into the sunset in his Audi.

    by captainlaser on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 01:46:16 PM PST

    •  That's really not fair to Anonymous (0+ / 0-)

      they may be many things, but they have some serious highly skilled folks in their collective.

      Can YOU hack into the Ugandan government and shut down their servers? Anonymous can.

      "The marriage fight is over when we say it's over, and it's over when we win."—Dan Savage

      by Scott Wooledge on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 02:45:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Carl Levin should be forced to read this (3+ / 0-)

    ... In case he has any doubts whatsoever what the GOP will do the very instant they ever take control of the U.S. Senate again: They will get rid of the filibuster completely and ram through the ALEC agenda word for word down to the last paragraph.

    It is obvious the GOP will use the "nuclear weapon" the instant they get the chance to do so. The Democrats are idiots if they do not do it first.


  •  I'll know they did something to be proud of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maybeeso in michigan, Amber6541

    when they cut their own pay or cut their own benefits instead of someone elses.

  •  Michigan republican actions (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maybeeso in michigan, Amber6541

    Isn't this just more ALEC?

  •  Please proceed, Baggers. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Scott Wooledge

    Two of my most favorite words.   The seem to fit so many things lately.

    Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by maybeeso in michigan on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 01:57:54 PM PST

  •  Let me be a Republican for a second here.. (0+ / 0-)

    Meh, I don't live in MI so none of these disasters affect me. Bad luck MI middle class families, keep on voting red.

  •  Nothing to brag about in Idaho, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    as we are dead last in median income. Deadhead governor and Rethug dominated legislature couldn't care less.

    I think, therefore I am. I think.

    by mcmom on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 02:11:01 PM PST

  •  well we'll see if the voters agree (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Scott Wooledge

    should be an interesting next election in MI.

    Bet most of these bozos get re-elected.

    big badda boom : GRB 090423

    by squarewheel on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 02:39:41 PM PST

  •  All this talk about "goin' over the 'cliff" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RadGal70, m2old4bs, Amber6541

    I think we did that back in the 1970's, led by some dumb, untalented actor.  What we're doing now is hitting the base of the cliff.  There's nothing to do now but cringe and take it.  There are enough non-thinkers in this country to insure that the blight that has infected Michigan, Wisconsin and the rest overtakes the nation.

    To paraphrase Henry II "is there no one who will relieve me of these wack-a-loons?"

    You have the right to remain silent. If you waive that right you will be accused of class warfare.

    by spritegeezer on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 03:08:37 PM PST

  •  Apparently Michiganers like being shat on (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    A generation ago they rushed to be the prototypical Reagan Democrats.  And they seem to be still in the grip of this vile aberration.

  •  And don't forget making retired teachers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    pay income tax on their pension, which they were not supposesd to do.  My sister and brother-in-law, already retired found themselves suddenly having to pay taxes.  They are comfortable but not everyone is as lucky.  

  •  Has anyone (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    checked the seismic activity at George Romney's grave? No doubt he is on spin cycle, at the very least.

    Being "pro-life" means believing that every child born has a right to food, education, and access to health care.

    by Jilly W on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 05:19:29 PM PST

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