LANSING -- Senate Republicans made it official today when they introduced a bill to eliminate something that GOP Saint Ronald Reagan called the “best anti-poverty, the best pro-family, the best job creation measure to come out of Congress.”
Sen. Roger Kahn, R-Saginaw, introduced Senate Bill 103 on Tuesday that will kill the popular and effective Michigan Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and they thumbed their noses at those working Michiganders just trying to make ends meet. They took a stand to make sure the growing equity gap continues to grow that has the richest 1 percent of Americans taking home almost 24 percent of the nation’s income.
“It’s easy to say no to the poor, and it’s easy to say no to the sick, “said Sen. John Gleason, D-Flushing, who has been a skilled trade millwright for 30 years.” I didn’t choose to run for office or to represent this state by taking my legislative or political efforts out on the poor, particularly the working poor. To say that we can’t afford to help the least of these is a pretty powerful statement. “
The Michigan EITC is based on the federal EITC created by Republican President Gerald Ford and expanded by Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush. When it was signed into law by Gov. Jennifer Granholm in September 2006, it was introduced by a conservative Republican Senator, and it had overwhelming support; passing both the House and Senate by a combined vote of 141-3.
“So I have to tell you, I’m with the Gipper on this one,” said Sen. Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing. “I think the earned income tax credit should stay because it is one of the best public policies we have on the books to actually help the working people in the state of Michigan.”
The Michigan EITC is a refundable tax credit given to working families, not welfare. People apply for it when they fill out their state income tax forms. All families who are eligible for the federal credit are eligible for the state credit.
“I have heard comments from people in the Executive Office to people who hold gavels in this body saying that it is a handout for people who are not working,” Whitmer said. “Let’s really talk about the facts. This is about helping people who are working and doing the best they can.”The bill was referred to the Senate Finance Committee.