There are over 100 references in the bible about caring for the poor. One that seems to fit Michigan’s current political climate comes from Proverbs 22:16. “He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and he who gives gifts to the rich — both come to poverty.” Here is how Governor Snyder’s agenda affects Michigan’s poorest citizens.
Snyder lowered the earned income tax credit from 20% to 6% beginning in 2013. A single person with two children working full time at minimum wage would now receive a $302 credit instead of a $1,007 credit. Poor people who used this small infusion of cash to catch up on necessities like rent, heat, and electric are now out of luck.
Last year Snyder eliminated cash assistance welfare benefits for over 12,000 people and cut unemployment benefits from 26 weeks to 20 weeks. These “reforms” added people to the ranks of the poor, and made some poor people even more poor.
Snyder has repealed the tax credit for donations to homeless shelters, food banks, and community foundations. At a time when his policies will lead people to needing more charitable assistance, he created a policy that will likely lead to less charitable giving.
Snyder has proposed taking away cash assistance from poor people if their kids are truant from school. He has not proposed taking away tax breaks for wealthy business owners if their kids are truant.
Clearly, Snyder’s policy oppresses the poor and gives gifts to the rich. While the poor will pay 23 percent more in taxes this year, the corporate income tax rate will drop by 83 percent. When will Snyder and his Republican colleagues “come to poverty” for their actions? That process could begin as early as this November when Michiganders take to the polls.