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Press Release

    The Michigan Report: Sept. 13th

    09/13/2005

    The Michigan Report:

    Forget “Cool Cities” – Tax Cuts Are Cool

    Ann Arbor, MI - Along with over 111,000 citizens of Michigan that were in the game and another 50,000 milling around the stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, FreedomWorks Michigan activists were out in force protesting the failed economic policies that have kept Michigan lagging behind the rest of the country.

    Prior to and after the game on Saturday, FreedomWorks activists drove trucks around the city of Ann Arbor with 4’ by 8’ signs that read: “Granholm: Raises Taxes, Losing Jobs – Call Governor Granholm and tell her to stop raising taxes and losing jobs.”

    FreedomWorks State Director Randall Thompson said, “We want to provoke a discussion that will fundamentally change Michigan’s economic future. Feel good initiatives like “Cool Cities” and bonding proposals that drive Michigan into a deeper hole are not solutions.”

    Note: Due to the overwhelming success, we are going to the mobile protest throughout Michigan at college football games this fall. If you would like to join us in your pick up truck – we need your help. Please call 517-402-1712.
    Read more at http://www.freedomworks.org/newsroom/press_template.php?press_id=1458

    TIME To Repeal The Death Tax

    Repealing the Death Tax would be one important measure to improving Michigan’s economy, as well as the national economy. The Death Tax not only confiscates wealth when an individual dies, but many small business owners and farmers, year-in-year-out have to divert money to legal costs and must set up financial arrangements to minimize the bite of the Death Tax. Financial capital and expertise which could be used to grow the economy is siphoned away from productive hands due to the death tax.

    There are three things you can do:

    1. Visit the Freedom Works web page and use the electronic letter to email Senators Levin and Stabenow. Both Michigan Senators have been reluctant to repeal the death tax. Make your voice heard.

    2. Use the information on the web page to write a letter to your local newspaper and include the link to www.freedomworks.org/michigan

    3. Please forward this message to others; let’s put the pressure on Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin to do the right thing.

    TABOR Tour WRAP up

    Recently off the road from our 19 city TABOR tour around the state of Michigan, it is clear that Michigan citizens want fiscal responsibility. Over 200 individuals from Traverse City to Monroe – from Benton Harbor to Bad Axe showed up to discuss the Taxpayer Bill of Rights and to form FreedomWorks Chapters in their area. Special thanks to the Kalamazoo and Shiawassee crowds – your hospitality and hard work are appreciated.

    Now, as you may or may not know, our budget situation in Lansing is coming to a close. Leaders are huddling together to put the final touches on a near 40 billion dollar budget. Nevertheless, it demands one question: What could have been?”

    House Speaker Craig DeRoche has put forth a meaningful proposal to reduce government spending and cut taxes. He and the state House are prepared to cut taxes and spending by one billion dollars to put Michigan on a sound economic footing. They trim the Single Business Tax, reduce the Personal Property Tax and offer other tax reforms to create investment and employment. This is the bold approach citizens expected when they elected a governor who promised to “think outside the box.” Despite the fine efforts of the House Republicans, it seems many of these proposals will not come to pass because others in Lansing lacked resolve. FreedomWorks will continue to push for these important reforms that can fundamentally change the spending dynamic in Lansing and TABOR is one way to make this work.

    As a result of grassroots activists all over the state – FreedomWorks now has nearly 20 chapters and over 25,000 members in Michigan. Please contact Michigan FreedomWorks if you would like to become an existing chapter member or to start a new FreedomWorks Chapter in your area.

    Also, If you would like to have a presentation on state or federal issues – please call 517-402-1712 or go to www.freedomworks.org/michigan

    An Interesting Read:

    Michigan's troubles: too much government
    By Ray Wilson, Common Sense
    Kalamazoo Taxpayers Association

    Michigan's political leaders are engaged in a fierce debate on the causes of our poor economy. Despite recent improvement, Michigan's unemployment rate is still near the bottom of the 50 states. Businesses are cutting jobs and closing plants.

    Any rational examination of the facts leads to one inescapable conclusion: Michigan's state and local governments tax and spend too much.

    Fact: from 1996 to 2005, the total state budget grew from $30.05 billion to $39.92 billion,
    an increase of 33 percent. During the same time, inflation rose only 21 percent.

    Fact: A study released last year by the Tax Foundation shows that Michigan has jumped to 13th place in the state and local tax burden it levies, compared to the other 50 states. Michigan was in 22nd place as recently as 1999.

    Fact: The Small Business Foundation of Michigan (SBFM) has given Michigan a failing grade in "entrepreneurial dynamism." The SBFM study measured crucial elements for job creation by small businesses, such as growth in high-performing small firms, growth in self-employment, and other changes in entrepreneurial activity.

    Since small businesses, and not large corporations, are the source of most new jobs in our economy, this report bodes ill for Michigan's future.

    Unfortunately, the ideas being tossed around by our Lansing elite would do virtually nothing to fix these problems, and would likely make them worse. Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm has made the centerpiece of her jobs effort a $2 billion bond scheme to invest tax dollars in unproven business enterprises.

    This plan would do little to create jobs and only make Michigan's tax burden worse.
    Me-too Republicans in the state senate have passed a scaled-down, $1 billion version of the governor's bond plan. They apparently are operating on the theory that a bad idea, if cut in half, becomes a great idea.

    What's needed is discipline and courage. Discipline to turn off the taxing and spending
    spigot in Lansing. Courage to stand up and say "no" to the educrats, public employee unions, corporate welfarists, and special interests who will howl when their place at the public trough is taken away.

    House Republicans have taken the first step to fiscal sanity by passing a budget for 2006 that cuts $800 million in spending, and balances the budget with no tax hikes or accounting gimmicks. Legislators cut funding for Medicaid and welfare programs, and the big-government "compassion" lobbies predictably went berserk.

    "But Michigan spends well above the national average on both [Medicaid and welfare]," writes Detroit News columnist Thomas Bray (6/15/2005). "Last week brought welcome signs that Michigan is finally getting serious about living within its means."

    Now the governor and state senators need to display similar discipline and courage.