The Mackinac Center for Public Policy publishes “The Michigan Capitol Confidential” and has the nerve to call it “news.” A recent edition praises the Snyder tax cut that eliminates the “horrible” Michigan Business Tax. However, the Mackinac Center is now trying to convince the legislature that they haven’t done enough, despite voters telling them they have already done too much.
The Mackinac Center’s mouthpiece Ken Braun criticizes the legislature who passed the business tax cut because, get this, they didn’t take more money from public schools! To justify greater cuts Brawn uses one of the the Mackinac Center’s tired lines noting that “the nation’s poorest taxpayers fork over some of the nation’s highest teacher salaries.” This is typical misinformation from the so called conservative “think tank.” Michigan teachers are the 12th highest paid in the nation (and falling). Teachers make a whopping $46 a week above the national average. Meanwhile, Michigan legislators are the 4th highest paid in the nation. While Braun stretches the truth on teaching salaries, he may be right about our poor tax payers. The Snyder plan shifts more of the tax burden onto individual tax payers including the poor. Meanwhile, rich individuals like Biggby Coffee co-owner Mary Roszel are praising their new tax cut, or what the Snyder administration calls a “shared sacrifice.” The Mackinac Center opinion piece also attacks teacher benefits by comparing them to the private industry. However, they fail to mention that teacher pay is about even with private sector workers when you factor in level of education.
What is most disturbing about this particular Mackinac Center release is their solution to the tax problem (Note: taxes are at their lowest rate since 1950). Their solution is for Tea Party groups to “finish the fight” by “providing their lawmakers . . . a map to the battlefield.” Apparently the battlefield is our public schools and the Mackinac Center is fine with kids becoming collateral damage in their war on teachers.