Ignore everything written in this Washington Post divide-and-conquer attempt targeting new Michigan governor Rick Snyder: there is no adversarial relationship between the governor and his Republican colleagues. In fact, it would not surprise me in the slightest if Rick Snyder makes a point of ending each day by thanking God for Chris Christie, John Kasich, and – most assuredly – Scott Walker. If they didn’t exist, Snyder would be the target of a lot more media attention right now.
And it’d be very hostile media attention, mostly because of the budget proposal that Governor Snyder revealed last week. It is a fascinating proposal; which is to say, it is an exercise in raw political courage even by the currently-high standards of state Republican organizations. Elimination of state Earned Income Credits. Lifetime cap on welfare benefits. The current corporate tax break system largely ripped out and replaced with a flat tax. Cuts to education and police services, not to mention local municipalities. And – this is the one that is going to cause Snyder problems with the GOP – the imposition of state taxes on public and private employee pensions. This last one is actually pretty standard, but it is still a new tax… on senior citizens.
Oh, and $180,000,000 in concessions from unions. Governor Snyder will be happy to let them work out how they can come up with the money for that. And just as long as it’s understood that this is independent of public sector unions paying for more of their healthcare plans. (more…)