Lengel: Hooray for Gov. Snyder, Who Chides GOP Lawmakers Over Tax Cuts

Gov. Rick Snyder (file photo)

At the outset, Gov. Rick Snyder was supposed to be a William G. Milliken-type leader of the state, a Republican moderate far more concerned with doing the right thing than playing partisan politics.

But as time went on, it was clear it was not meant to be. He repeatedly failed to stand up to the Republican leadership on very partisan issues like right-to-work and straight-ticket ballots.  

To boot, his political future vanished when he messed up in the handling of the Flint water crisis, which became an issue in the presidential campaign. No Republican candidate wanted his endorsement in the Michigan primary last March. He was what kryptonite was to Superman.

But wait. There's still time for him to leave office with some dignity and deliver on those initial expectations of some voters.

And this might be a good start.

Snyder scolded House Republicans on Wednesday, saying he was “disappointed” a legislative panel advanced a sweeping plan to cut and eventually eliminate Michigan’s $9.7 billion personal income tax after a single 90-minute hearing, writes Jonathan Oosting of The Detroit News: 

The proposal, approved by the House Tax Policy Committee in a 7-4 vote with two members abstaining, would reduce Michigan’s 4.25 percent personal income tax rate to 3.9 percent in 2018. It would then be rolled back by another tenth of a percentage point every year until it is eliminated by 2057.

Supporters have offered up the weak argument that the cuts will stimulate the state economy.  Nonsense. It's just a another feel-good ploy by the GOP to try and look like it's putting more money in individuals' pockets, when in fact, it could harm the long-term economy of Michigan and ultimately cost jobs and result in cuts to essential services.

Snyder, rightly argues that it can harm the financial well being of the state. “This is an issue that requires thoughtful discussion with input from throughout the state,” he says in a statement. “I hope the House will be more deliberate before taking a full vote.”

He's got nearly two more years to govern before he finishes up his job.  

It's not too late to be the right governor -- or at least go down trying.

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