Michigan Politicians Spend Over $147 Million On Their Earmarks In The Last Budget
Last year the Republican-controlled Michigan House and Senate passed our 2022 state budget totaling approximately $70 billion dollars. To put that in context the previous year’s budget totaled approximately $62.8 billion. That means Michigan Republicans increased our state spending, including federal money, by 11.5%. We are told the cash is coming from a “combination of federal COVID-19 relief funds and better than expected state tax revenue.”
Here are the numbers:
Our last state budget (2020/2021) totaled $62.8 billion dollars. Our current state budget (2021/2022) that started on October 1st totaled $70 billion dollars. That is an 11.5% increase. To be fair $2.7 billion of those dollars did come from the Democrats in congress via the world's largest slush fund.
$70 billion - 62.8 billion - 2.7 billion = a $4.5 billion Michigan Tax Payer increase.
That equals a 7.2% increase over last year's budget. A record in the history of Michigan.
To add salt to the wound, back in February of 2021 Governor Whitmer only and I say only facetiously, asked for a budget totaling $67.1 billion. Whitmer was looking for a 6.8% increase, to think of a day when a 6.8% increase in spending was less than they ended up passing. Did your family get an 11.5% increase or even a 6.8% increase this year?
Now we find out from reporting by the Michigan Capitol Confidential that our elected politicians spent over $147 million Michigan taxpayer dollars on their personal Earmarks.
An Earmark is defined as:
a provision in Congressional legislation that allocates a specified amount of money for a specific project, program, or organization
Here are some examples that are given to us by the Michigan Capitol Confidential:
- The Michigan Snowmobile and ORV Association received $1.5 million in equipment and training.
- An entity called the Amity Foundation received $2 million, although official budget documents and analyses provided no explanation of what the grant is for. The entity’s Facebook page says it will develop youth leaders. There are also numerous posts about raising money for relief efforts in Palestine.
- The Calvin Prison Institute in Ionia was given $1 million for prisoner education. It will allow 20 prisoners a year to obtain a bachelor's degree, according to the institute’s website. The site notes that 84 students are now enrolled, and 18 have received an associates degrees. There is no comparable data for bachelor’s degrees.
- The Dearborn Community and Performing Arts Center was given $1.5 million for a new roof.
- The Flint Social Club is getting $375,000 for “food entrepreneur training and mentoring.”
- The Flint Food Market was given $460,000 for “food access expansion.”
- The Grand Rapids African American Health Institute was given $500,000 for research into a health equity index.
- A senior living community called Presbyterian Village is getting $1 million for renovation and construction of new units. There are several developments in Michigan under this name; which one is getting this money was not specified. According to a website that tracks these facilities, the cost of a shared Presbyterian Village suite starts at $5,347 a month.
- The Motown Museum is getting $1 million to expand and develop a “creative hub of entrepreneurship,” according to The Detroit News.
- Goudy Park Amphitheater in Wayne was earmarked $500,000 for unspecific improvements.
- Degage Ministries in Grand Rapids is getting $500,000 for programming that appears unconnected to any specific purposes and outcomes.
- Invest Detroit gets $500,000 for a loan financing program. Its CEO made $400,322 in total compensation in 2019.
- The city of Flint was given $1 million for blight removal and clean-up funds.
Isn’t just grand how these politicians spend our tax dollars when most are not looking. These Republicans and Democrat politicians were just doing what they always do, spending other people's money. Now the Republicans in Michigan appear to be on the same spending path as the Democrats.
Now MLive is reporting:
Michigan is taking in billions more in state revenue than previously expected, adding to the historic amount of money currently at the government’s disposal, according to projections from the state’s top fiscal experts.
Great now they will have even more of our taxpayer dollars to blow on pet projects to assure them re-election.
Back in 2007 Governor Granholm and her compadres in the legislature raised our state taxes “temporarily” from 3.9% to 4.35% to avoid a Michigan government shutdown, that was a whopping 11.5% increase. When they increased the state income tax so greatly they did so promising us they would roll back that increase to 3.9 percent starting in 2011. The law authorizing this increase actually had the roll-back written right into its provisions. It promised, “Beginning on October 1, 2011, and each October 1 after 2011, the maximum rate under this subsection shall be reduced by 0.1 each year,” reverting to 3.9% “on and after October 1, 2015.”
Governor Snyder led this attack against the people of Michigan and the law and in 2012, the Republican House, Senate and Governor agreed to let the rate fall to 4.25% on October 1, 2012. They then decided that was enough of following the law and Snyder and his merry band of truth slayers and lawbreakers canceled the rest of the rollbacks.
Demand they roll back our state income tax to 3.9% like they promised and wrote into the law.