This Week in Progress
It’s Friday! This week featured Tax Day, Gov. Rick Snyder filing for reelection and the Detroit Free Press’ Stephen Henderson winning a Pulitzer Prize (Congrats!).
Let’s get progressive!
This week in PM blogging:
As everyone (except maybe offshore tax haven-seeking CEOs) knows, Tuesday was Tax Day. Under the watch of Gov. Snyder, the tax system is geared toward rewarding corporations and burdening families and seniors.
Rich Studley, CEO of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, likes to complain about the roads and how great it would be for Michigan to fix them. Maybe he and his CEO pals should fork over the multi-billion dollar tax handout they got from Gov. Snyder. Shared sacrifice, right?
A guest column on MLive told the story of how one couple is leaving Michigan because of our elected “leaders” and their backwards priorities. PM’s Marissa Luna makes the case for taking the problem head-on to not only stay in Michigan, but fighting to make it a better place for everyone to live.
Tax Day with the Fake Rick Snyder
For those of you who may have missed it, the one-and-only Fake Rick Snyder had a special Tax Day message for everyone who isn’t a corporate donor:
Who doesn’t love the free market more than a former-CEO turned right-wing politician? One wouldn’t think Gov. Snyder would mettle in the affairs of private businesses, but that may not be the case.
When we tried to buy billboard space to educate motorists on Snyder’s tax hikes on workers and seniors, the company we were working with, Adams Outdoor Advertising, rejected our Lansing billboard placement because they were “really trying to continue to maintain good relationships with the governor’s office.”
Why are private companies afraid of the governor’s office? That’s what we’d like to know. Chris Savage at Eclectablog delved into the issue once the news broke. With Adams having such an influential spot in the political ad market — and with this being an election year — political intimidation is not out of the realm of possibilities.
BTW: We’re not done with this story. Something is afoot and doesn’t smell right. And at Progress Michigan, we just can’t let government overreach and Chris Christie tactics stand in our state.
Mackinac Center for Public Pie in Face
It’s quite apparent that the right is struggling to find its messaging voice when it comes to the debate behind raising the minimum wage. For the record, we here at Progress Michigan are completely supportive of the effort to raise the wage to $10.10.
Those on the right come off sounding out of touch and extremely callous when arguing against raising the minimum wage.
Enter Jarrett Skorup from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, (a right-wing, DeVos-funded, corporatist think tank) who was on the City Pulse Newsmakers television show debating Gilda Jacobs from the Michigan League for Public Policy.
Here are some of his best lines:
The lazy poor people argument:
“The best thing to do is encourage more people to get jobs.”
On the minimum wage in general:
“It’s a really ineffective thing.”
Forgetting about his white, male privilege when talking about the “No one should work full time and live in poverty” argument:
“It kind of assumes that every job out there is a career. And I don’t think so. I think there’s a lot of…where they’re just jobs.”
He goes on to say that tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit are better ways to help fight poverty. The only thing is that the Mackinac Center has advocated AGAINST the use of the EITC. (Oh, and Gov. Snyder cut it by about 70 percent)
Skorup made the same tired arguments against raising the wage that has been made by corporatists time and again: It will kill jobs, it doesn’t help people in poverty, and minimum wage wasn’t meant to live on.
The fact is that raising the minimum wage will have a positive impact on the economy and Michigan communities. And contrary to popular belief, most minimum wage workers are not teenagers who are trying to make some extra pocket change. Raising the minimum wage would save Michigan over $200 million in food stamps — something you’d think conservatives would be happy about.
This is a winning issue for Michigan, and the Raise Michigan Coalition is fighting to make sure Michigan’s workers earn a decent living.
The ACA is working
Contrary to what the Koch brother hacks over at Americans for Prosperity believe the Affordable Care Act is working. And here’s something that AFP doesn’t have — FACTS!
-8 million: The number of people who have signed up for health coverage through the exchanges
-3 million: The number of people who have signed up for Medicaid coverage
-3 million: The number of young adults who have coverage through their parents’ plan
–129 million: The amount of people with a pre-existing condition that cannot be turned away by insurance companies
-71 million: Number of Americans who have gained coverage of at least one preventative service like mammograms, birth control or immunizations at no-cost in 2011 and 2012
-60 million: Number of recipients of expanded mental health and substance abuse benefits