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Congratulations, the central point in the debate has been conceded

by: Eric B.

Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 09:14:30 AM EDT

Normally, when we read opinion writing out of Livingston County, it's followed by annoyed rubbing of the forehead with the hand. We even cooked up the figure of Gary, the Hillsdale College Intern to explain the phenomenon that frequently the Press & Arrrrrrgus mostly just publishes painfully bad rightwing talking points disguised as real editorial writing. Yesterday afternoon, someone pointed me to this, and dear reader, we've won the debate. Who would have thought that Livingston County is your new Appamattox Courthouse.

More recently, we put the question to the new governor, who gave us a phone interview while he was driving in his car. He, too, declined to provide a state that had produced jobs with a tax cut.

He did say a better indicator would be a listing of companies that had left the state because of Michigan taxes. He couldn't provide one at the time but said he would get back to us.

He didn't, which, again, is understandable. He's got things to do. But when we called one of his spokesmen last week, we were told that Snyder was trying to avoid tying tax breaks to job creation.

And, so dies the great Republican shibboleth of the last 30 years. After 30 years of "tax cuts will create jobs and allow prosperity to bloom like flowers in the dessert," when pressed for evidence, what we get is a moving of the goalposts. Its not tax cuts that create jobs. It's creating a favorable tax environment so that businesses create jobs. It's a rhetorical trick, to be certain, and it's basically still saying that tax cuts create jobs. In the past, it's also worked. But, at least in this case, someone noticed and said, "The benevolent overlord is wearing no clothes."

The central point of the debate, over taxation, has been conceded. this is probably scant comfort to everyone who along the way has been demagogued as ticks on the body politic (that would be poor people, old people, public employees, union workers, etc...). There is a good opportunity here to continue shifting the debate in the direction of poor people, old people, public employees, union workers, etc... by making the argument about what creates jobs to be about quality of life. Will a state with lousy, underfunded schools and where colleges require incoming freshmen to take on so much debt that they start their professional lives as legal indentured servants attract creative, talented people to not just stick with Michigan but to come from overseas (remember benevolent overlord Rick Michigan's mad plan to replace Michigan's departed youth with foreigners?). Will people locate to a state where their vehicles shake apart while driving across our annual ocean of potholes? Will jobs bloom where intolerance is the law of the land? Will people invest in a state that practices hostility to new technologies in favor of century-old ways of doing things? Now is the time to advance the argument, "If this thing that you've insisted is true for the last three decades is not actually true (as we always knew it wasn't), then it's time to give our ideas a proper consideration."

Eric B. :: Congratulations, the central point in the debate has been conceded
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Taxes (4.00 / 1)
Y'know - taxes have existed for THOUSANDS of years.  You'd think that if tax breaks really did help create jobs - we'd have some proof of it by now.

Expanding and recovering Markets... (4.00 / 2)
... NOT lower business taxes (which consumers pay anyway as a pass-thru expense of business) are what create more demand for goods and services => hiring => jobs.

Snyder can't tie business tax buts to jobs, because it's simply NOT true, and he knows it. Where are the models for the budget?  

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