Senate votes to boost minimum wage to $9.20/hour

The Michigan Senate approved raising the state's minimum wage to $9.20 an hour from $7.40 in a compromise that some supporters hope will pre-empt a ballot drive to raise it to $10.10.
AP Wire
May 16, 2014

The bill sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, passed 24-14 on Thursday with bipartisan support and now goes to the House, where its future is uncertain. It would raise the minimum wage to $8.15 an hour in September, and then to $9.20 by January 2017 in three 35-cent increments.

"Everybody gained a little bit here and everybody lost a little bit here," Richardville said. "But I think it was good legislation. I think that businesses can plan now for the future."

House Speaker Jase Bolger, R-Marshall, has "grave concerns" about some aspects of the bill, which will be closely reviewed in the House, Bolger spokesman Ari Adler said. He didn't specify a timeline for moving the bill through that chamber.

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder will also review the legislation, which he thinks deserves "an open discussion," according to spokeswoman Sara Wurfel.

Fourteen Senate Republicans and 10 Democrats voted for the bill, while 12 Republicans and two Democrats voted against it.

Richardville designed the bill to nullify an ongoing ballot drive to amend current law to $10.10 an hour by 2017. His bill would repeal the existing wage law and enact a new one, rendering the ballot measure moot.

Richardville proposed a target wage of $8.15 last week but changed it to $9.20 on Thursday after negotiating with Republican and Democratic lawmakers.

The bill would allow the minimum wage to rise by up to 4 percent annually to adjust for inflation starting in October 2017, a measure that wasn't included in the original bill. Democrats say it will limit the need for future legislative action on the issue.

Employees who receive tips, such as restaurant waiters, would see their minimum wage gradually rise to $3.50 an hour from $2.65 an hour by 2017 under the bill. Ballot drive organizers seek to secure a $10.10 minimum wage for those workers, too.

The campaign led by the Raise Michigan coalition has collected more than the 258,000 signatures needed for the measure to appear on the November ballot, organizers said Tuesday.

President Barack Obama has called for a rise in the national minimum wage to $10.10 per hour but Congress has not acted so far.

Raise Michigan member Dessa Cosma-King said Thursday the campaign will continue its efforts passage of the bill.

"It's disappointing to see the Republican-controlled legislature hell-bent on derailing our grassroots effort to help lift Michigan families out of poverty," Cosma-King said in a statement. "The bill they passed today just doesn't go far enough to help struggling Michiganders."

Under Richardville's bill, Michigan's minimum wage would rise to $8.15 an hour on Sept. 1, $8.50 on Jan. 1, 2015, $8.85 a year later and $9.20 on Jan. 1, 2017. It would be adjusted for inflation every October starting in 2017, and could not increase if the state unemployment rate is above 10 percent at any time in the previous year.

Democratic candidate for governor Mark Schauer visited the Senate after the vote and congratulated Richardville on the measure, which Schauer said was "almost identical" to an increase he proposed in November.

"I'm thrilled," Schauer said. "This is the kind of bipartisanship we need at the state capital. This will give a million low-wage earners a raise in Michigan."



At least it's something. Now when business don't close will the Nay sayers shut up?


It's reasonable for a minimum wage, no skill, entry level job the minimum wage was intended for, at least they are getting something done.

Harry Kovaire

"This will give a million low-wage earners a raise in Michigan."

Businesses will not close.
Prices will increase.
Revenues will decrease.
Tax revenue will decline.
Costs will be cut.

When this creates 400,000 no wage earners in Michigan, will the Yay sayers shut up? Doubtfully. #AtLeastItsSomething


You forgot:

Politicians will go back to pretending they took care of the people!

Harry Kovaire

The quote should have been "This will buy a million low-information votes in Michigan."


No the naysayers won't shut up. They are against the working people. So worried about their coveted money they don't care about the poor. You can't take you money with you when you die. But then It would burn up any way.


Do those working people go out and work to make money for college, then work to earn the degree, then work to find a career? So to say we are against working people is off base. You earn what you work for, not the other way around. I would burn my money before giving it to your working people. Your people get Obama to pay for their education and expenses, then they get a degree that won't earn money after 6 years of Higher education, then they default on their loans and guess who pays for it??? THE REAL WORKING PEOPLE.


You have proved my Point. You would burn your money before helping people. Surely Satan is proud of you.


you will never learn anything unless you work for it, thanks for proving my point. Handouts don't make people's lives better, it just makes them feel entitled like you clearly do.


I am not on any handouts. I am 73 and collect Social Security and a pension. I have worked from the time I was old enough to get a job until I retired. Now people like you want to cut the Social Security,and Medicare. I believe in helping those in need as Jesus commanded. I really feel sorry for you. You must have a pitiful live to be so Selfish. The love of money truly is the root of all Evil. People like you are what is wrong this Country. The people that work the minimum wage jobs work harder that those who make a lot more.


Preach it, Brother!


You should not put your stock in the things of man. Jesus didn't go about giving handouts to able bodied people because they gave up or they felt they should have the same as others which is coveting your neighbor's holdings.
Every breath you have taken and take this day and every penny you’ve been able to earn was granted by God but instead of praising him for what you have been given you lament what man may take as a political point and then accuse your fellow man. Since the poor and people unable to make ends meet while working for minimum wage is your burden you should give all you have to them to ease their suffering…but that’s not likely to happen is it?...Enjoy all you have and see if you can resist spending others money for them, you didn’t earn it.


People like you are what is wrong this Country. The people that work the minimum wage jobs work harder that those who make a lot more.

Please enlighten me how people that make minmium wage work harder than I do? Did they work as hard as I did to get where they are today making min. wage? Do you truly think they have more drive and determination than someone with a legitimate college degree? Do you think they made good decisions when they were teenagers to set themselves up for success later on?

Social security and medicare are corrupt political programs that your grand kids are paying into to fund your retirement and there will be nothing left in the pot when they retire b/c of your liberal friends sucking it all dry and people like LTA that think they have a bad back and need to be removed from the work force at 45 years old. How is that sustainable? Keep feeding the pig. Not to mention the increase in life expectancy since the programs were created...real sustainable, sounds like you are the one being a little bit selfish. My Mother is 80 years old and she works everyday still...and trust me she doesn't need to.


Above is exactly what the political class in the country is striving to create. ..a divide citizenry that argues among themselves while they maintain their control and power.

Wake up people! Don't attack each other, throw out the bums that are encouraging this nonsense. Discuss the issues amongst each other.... Make your your believe.


Once again, a handful of fact-deficient posters rant and rail about an issue, emotionally, and with not a shred of proof to back up their fear-ridden diatribes and preconceived prejudices.

Studies look at what happened when cities raised minimum wage -
Raising the minimum wage doesn’t have a drastic, negative impact on employment, according to university researchers who have studied pay hikes in other cities.

"Ten years ago, San Francisco raised its minimum wage from $6.75 to $8.50 an hour, a 26 percent increase. Since then, it has gone up at regular intervals to its current $10.74 an hour, the highest big-city starting wage in the country.

The city has slapped other mandates on businesses, including paid sick leave and a requirement to provide health-care coverage or pay into a pool for uninsured residents.

What have the effects been on employment?

Almost none, according to economists at the University of California, Berkeley, who have studied San Francisco, eight other cities that raised their minimum wages in the past decade, and 21 states with higher base pay than the federal minimum.

Our data show that an increase up to $13 an hour has no measurable effect on employment,” said Michael Reich, a Berkeley economics professor with the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment.

There is considerable churn among small businesses. Firms are going out of business and new businesses are rising all of the time. What is important from the research is that you do not see a net decline in employment as a result of the minimum-wage ordinances."

Let's just move along, take care of your own lives, and quit whining and making broad judgements and blanket statements about those people whose jobs happen to pay minimum wage. And for the love of God, quit trying to pervert the teachings of Jesus to justify your selfish, egotistical, and arrogant attitudes.


thanks for your google facts that fit your view. I wish to stand on my own two feet and develope an opinion based on what I see from my own life experience and i wish not to rely what google, tribune, politicians etc tell me.

Also, its ok to use the Bible to reference something you agree with, but surly it can't be used the other way around. Now thats arrogance at work. And it was your fellow liberal that started the religious mumbojumbo.


Yeah - you're a real Marlboro Man. Nothing says "I <3 Cherry-picking" like attempting to justify and back up your biases with your biases.

We've had this conversation before. You can reference the Bible anyway you choose - just don't drone on about how selfishness is part of the teachings of Jesus. There are many references about the poor in the Bible, for example...."Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, "You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions."

Tri-cities realist

I don't recall Jesus ever preaching to give ones money to the government so that they could redistribute it to the poor. Charity has its place, lets keep the govt bureaucrats from skimming from the poor.


English Standard Version
Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at him.
Mark 12:17


A HA! I knew it - in the liberal world, all money belongs to the government. It does seem to me, however, that Obama tends to think that he can get everything rendered to him, like Obamacare violating the tenets of many religions and his support of Planned Parenthood and partial birth abortions. I guess it is possible that Obama believes he is, in fact, ....


Perhaps you would care to explain the following:

1. Under Obama, Taxes Hit A 30-Year Low....."To hear conservatives and Tea Partiers tell it, President Obama is a serial tax-raiser who has increased taxes on “millions of Americans.” But according to the latest data from the Congressional Budget Office, tax rates under Obama hit a 30-year low in 2009, in part because of the tax cuts he implemented in response to the country’s economic downturn:

Americans paid the lowest tax rates in 30 years to the federal government in 2009, in part because of tax cuts President Obama sought to combat the Great Recession, congressional budget analysts said Tuesday. [...]

During Obama’s first year in office, the average tax rate paid by all households fell to 17.4 percent, down from 19.9 percent in 2007, according to the CBO. The 2009 rate was significantly lower than the previous low of 19.4 percent in 2003 and well below the 30-year average of 21 percent."

2. "On an issue like partial birth abortion, I strongly believe that the state can properly restrict late-term abortions. I have said so repeatedly. All I’ve said is we should have a provision to protect the health of the mother, and many of the bills that came before me didn’t have that." Barack Obama, 2008 Fox News interview: presidential series Apr 27, 2008


Wing said he didn't recall Jesus preaching to give all your money to the government; your response was the quote about rendering to Caesar what is Caesar's - thus you believe all money belongs to the gubmint and they decide how much we can keep - why not just be straightforward and admit it?

1. 2009? Under Obama's watch, between 2010 and 1011, tax rates on the bottom 50% of income-earners rose 70 times more than did tax rates on the top 1%.

According to the latest IRS data, released yesterday, the average tax rate for the bottom 50% of income-earners increased more in both percentage and in real numbers than it did for the top 1% of income-earners.

Obama's budget for 2015 "His blueprint includes some targeted spending cuts, but relies primarily on more than $1 trillion in new taxes to slow borrowing over the next decade – with much of the burden falling on major businesses and the wealthy."

Full List of Obamacare Tax Hikes: Listed by Size of Tax Hike

WASHINGTON, DC -- Obamacare contains 20 new or higher taxes on American families and small businesses. Arranged by their respective sizes according to CBO scores, below is the total list of all $500 billion-plus in tax hikes (over the next ten years) in Obamacare, their effective dates, and where to find them in the bill.

$123 Billion: Surtax on Investment Income (Takes effect Jan. 2013): A new, 3.8 percent surtax on investment income earned in households making at least $250,000 ($200,000 single). This would result in the following top tax rates on investment income:

Capital Gains











*Other unearned income includes (for surtax purposes) gross income from interest, annuities, royalties, net rents, and passive income in partnerships and Subchapter-S corporations. It does not include municipal bond interest or life insurance proceeds, since those do not add to gross income. It does not include active trade or business income, fair market value sales of ownership in pass-through entities, or distributions from retirement plans. The 3.8% surtax does not apply to non-resident aliens. (Bill: Reconciliation Act; Page: 87-93)

$86 Billion: Hike in Medicare Payroll Tax (Takes effect Jan. 2013): Current law and changes:

First $200,000
($250,000 Married)

All Remaining Wages

Current Law

2.9% self-employed

2.9% self-employed

Obamacare Tax Hike

2.9% self-employed

3.8% self-employed

Bill: PPACA, Reconciliation Act; Page: 2000-2003; 87-93

$65 Billion: Individual Mandate Excise Tax and Employer Mandate Tax (Both taxes take effect Jan. 2014):

Individual: Anyone not buying “qualifying” health insurance as defined by Obama-appointed HHS bureaucrats must pay an income surtax according to the higher of the following

1 Adult

2 Adults

3+ Adults


1% AGI/$95

1% AGI/$190

1% AGI/$285


2% AGI/$325

2% AGI/$650

2% AGI/$975

2016 +

2.5% AGI/$695

2.5% AGI/$1390

2.5% AGI/$2085

Exemptions for religious objectors, undocumented immigrants, prisoners, those earning less than the poverty line, members of Indian tribes, and hardship cases (determined by HHS). Bill: PPACA; Page: 317-337

Employer: If an employer does not offer health coverage, and at least one employee qualifies for a health tax credit, the employer must pay an additional non-deductible tax of $2000 for all full-time employees. Applies to all employers with 50 or more employees. If any employee actually receives coverage through the exchange, the penalty on the employer for that employee rises to $3000. If the employer requires a waiting period to enroll in coverage of 30-60 days, there is a $400 tax per employee ($600 if the period is 60 days or longer). Bill: PPACA; Page: 345-346

(Combined score of individual and employer mandate tax penalty: $65 billion)

$60.1 Billion: Tax on Health Insurers (Takes effect Jan. 2014): Annual tax on the industry imposed relative to health insurance premiums collected that year. Phases in gradually until 2018. Fully-imposed on firms with $50 million in profits. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,986-1,993

$32 Billion: Excise Tax on Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans (Takes effect Jan. 2018): Starting in 2018, new 40 percent excise tax on “Cadillac” health insurance plans ($10,200 single/$27,500 family). Higher threshold ($11,500 single/$29,450 family) for early retirees and high-risk professions. CPI +1 percentage point indexed. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,941-1,956

$23.6 Billion: “Black liquor” tax hike (Took effect in 2010) This is a tax increase on a type of bio-fuel. Bill: Reconciliation Act; Page: 105

$22.2 Billion: Tax on Innovator Drug Companies (Took effect in 2010): $2.3 billion annual tax on the industry imposed relative to share of sales made that year. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,971-1,980

$20 Billion: Tax on Medical Device Manufacturers (Takes effect Jan. 2013): Medical device manufacturers employ 360,000 people in 6000 plants across the country. This law imposes a new 2.3% excise tax. Exempts items retailing for <$100. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,980-1,986

$15.2 Billion: High Medical Bills Tax (Takes effect Jan 1. 2013): Currently, those facing high medical expenses are allowed a deduction for medical expenses to the extent that those expenses exceed 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI). The new provision imposes a threshold of 10 percent of AGI. Waived for 65+ taxpayers in 2013-2016 only. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,994-1,995

$13.2 Billion: Flexible Spending Account Cap – aka “Special Needs Kids Tax” (Takes effect Jan. 2013): Imposes cap on FSAs of $2500 (now unlimited). Indexed to inflation after 2013. There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children. There are thousands of families with special needs children in the United States, and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education. Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education. Bill: PPACA; Page: 2,388-2,389

$5 Billion: Medicine Cabinet Tax (Took effect Jan. 2011): Americans no longer able to use health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or health reimbursement (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase non-prescription, over-the-counter medicines (except insulin). Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,957-1,959

$4.5 Billion: Elimination of tax deduction for employer-provided retirement Rx drug coverage in coordination with Medicare Part D (Takes effect Jan. 2013) Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,994

$4.5 Billion: Codification of the “economic substance doctrine” (Took effect in 2010): This provision allows the IRS to disallow completely-legal tax deductions and other legal tax-minimizing plans just because the IRS deems that the action lacks “substance” and is merely intended to reduce taxes owed. Bill: Reconciliation Act; Page: 108-113

$2.7 Billion: Tax on Indoor Tanning Services (Took effect July 1, 2010): New 10 percent excise tax on Americans using indoor tanning salons. Bill: PPACA; Page: 2,397-2,399

$1.4 Billion: HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike (Took effect Jan. 2011): Increases additional tax on non-medical early withdrawals from an HSA from 10 to 20 percent, disadvantaging them relative to IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10 percent. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,959

$0.6 Billion: $500,000 Annual Executive Compensation Limit for Health Insurance Executives (Takes effect Jan. 2013): Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,995-2,000

$0.4 Billion: Blue Cross/Blue Shield Tax Hike (Took effect in 2010): The special tax deduction in current law for Blue Cross/Blue Shield companies would only be allowed if 85 percent or more of premium revenues are spent on clinical services. Bill: PPACA; Page: 2,004

$ Negligible: Excise Tax on Charitable Hospitals (Took effect in 2010): $50,000 per hospital if they fail to meet new "community health assessment needs," "financial assistance," and "billing and collection" rules set by HHS. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,961-1,971

$ Negligible: Employer Reporting of Insurance on W-2 (Took effect in Jan. 2012): Preamble to taxing health benefits on individual tax returns. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,957

2. You noted what Obama SAID about partial birth abortion - here's what he DID!

"In Illinois, Obama voted three times against a bill, identical to the Born Alive Infant Protection Act supported at a federal level by ardent pro-aborts, that would require medical care for a baby who survives an abortion.

The bill was introduced after a nurse at an abortion mill testified that babies who survived abortions, and who could have survived if given medical care, were just left to die. Apparently unconcerned about these born babies, Obama declared that the need to protect abortion was so grave that it would be wrong to require medical care for babies who survive since that might chip away at abortion "rights" -- even though the bill specifically stated that it would have no impact on a woman's right to an abortion.

Obama has referred to babies born in botched abortions as a fetus outside the womb. Obama appears to be trying to justify the murder through inattention of a born human being because the mother wanted to kill the child."

"Obama opposed a ban on sex selection abortions, where, generally, the unborn child is killed just because she's a girl and the parents want a boy."

He also said:

"I've got two daughters, 9 years old and 6 years old. I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby."


"thus you believe all money belongs to the gubmint and they decide how much we can keep - why not just be straightforward and admit it?"

That's a huge stretch and scrambling of Scripture, even for you. Good thing you weren't my Sunday School teacher. I would have had loads of fun jerking your chain, given your apparent lack of ability to interpret.

I'd better quickly rebut, before your comment gets moderated due to cut and paste piggishness, not to mention being off-topic.

1. Minor thing - it was TCR, not Wing, but hey, they all look alike, right?

2. Obama/Taxes (I feel I got a workout just scrolling down your comment...): a.) Federal taxes on middle-income Americans are near historic lows,[1] according to the latest available data. That’s true both for federal income taxes and total federal taxes.[2]

Income taxes: A family of four in the exact middle of the income spectrum filing its taxes for 2013 this filing season paid only 5.3 percent of its 2013 income in federal income taxes, according to estimates from the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center (TPC).[3] Average income tax rates for these typical families have been lower during the Bush and Obama Administrations than at any time since the 1950s. (See Figure 1.) As discussed below, 2009 and 2010 were particularly low because of the temporary Making Work Pay Tax Credit.
Overall federal taxes: Overall federal taxes — which include income, payroll, and excise taxes, and imputed corporate taxes — on middle-income households in 2009 were at their lowest levels in decades, according to the latest data from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

b.) Figure 1 shows that while the overall trend in a typical family’s effective tax rate has been downward, the 2013 rate is above the rates for 2008-2010. This is because of the expiration of the Recovery Rebate Credit of 2008 and Making Work Pay Tax Credit of 2009 and 2010.

c.) In 2011, policymakers shifted their tax-cutting stimulus focus from the income tax to the Social Security payroll tax. They allowed the income-tax-based Making Work Pay credit to expire and, in its place for 2011 and 2012, cut the employee portion of the Social Security payroll tax from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent of workers’ Social Security taxable earnings (which were capped at $110,100 in 2012). The payroll tax cut did not adversely affect Social Security’s finances because general revenue transfers to the Social Security trust funds offset the loss of payroll tax revenue.

This payroll tax cut expired at the end of 2012. This was the most significant tax change for most people in 2013 (Table 1 highlights the tax cut’s value for workers in various occupations). A number of studies, including estimates by the Congressional Budget Office, suggest that the expiration of the payroll tax cut contributed to slower consumption and gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2013.[6]

d.) Households in the middle fifth of the income spectrum paid an average of 11.5 percent of their income in overall federal taxes in 2010, the latest year for which data are available, according to CBO.[7] This is the lowest on record in data that go back to 1979. When CBO publishes data for more recent years (such as 2013), overall federal average tax rates on this middle group will likely be higher — though still low historically — because they will reflect the expiration of the temporary income and payroll tax cuts discussed above.

2. PBA/Obama: You will have to define partial birth abortion, which is a political term. This term is not recognized by the American Medical Association. The fact that late term abortions are almost non-existent - .o8% of what is considered 'abortion', there are no real statistics kept as to the frequency of late term terminations of pregnancies, and the fact that these situations nearly always entail an impact on the health and/or life of the mother, requiring a variety of serious medical procedures based on the medical crisis, it's difficult to pigeon-hole any statistics.


"Minor thing - it was TCR, not Wing, but hey, they all look alike, right?"

Hey look TCR, we are being profiled!! Oh, well at least I'm in good company!


I'm quite certain you are far more handsome than TCR - I was strictly focusing on the conservative thought you and he share in lockstep, without an independent thought between the two of you....


My Bad - when rational, clear thinking, non-liberal (but I repeat myself) shows up in this forum, I tend to get pixilated and thus confuse the perpetrators of rationality.

Still wondering how you have to go back 5 years to find good statistics about Obama's taxes - normally when you go back 5 years it's to blame Bush, so maybe Bush was really responsible for the tax statistics you cited. Just sayin. :-D


I shall make every attempt to be as delicate as possible - are you hammered again? Don't rush to reply - the great, big smiley face tells the story.

Anyway, let's go directly to the major ball-dropping in your second paragraph. My link you are referring to is dated April 15, 2014, and is chock full of pertinent tax data, charts, and statistics going all the way back to 2013. Of particular note is the chart that shows the Federal income tax rates of a median family of 4, spanning the years from 1955-2013. Of course, it clearly indicates that the Federal income rates of an average median family of 4 is currently - under OBAMA - at historic lows, not seen since 1955, which was particularly exciting for me, knowing how much you love doo-wop.

A pixilated palooka indeed!......:-D


1. Sorry, my 2009 reference was to your first off-topic comment that started this diversion off.

2. Although my reference was to the bottom 50% having higher taxes, not the median income family, I admit I was surprised by a number of things in the chart provided in your link "Historical Federal Income Tax Rates for a Family of Four": (1) That the income tax rate for the median income family remained low from 2003-2013; (2) that the median income was roughly $75,000 from 2006-2013, when I thought the median income was about $51,000 [but then I realized that your chart was for a "family" having more than one earner - the figures would make more sense to me if they were based on the individual median income and taxes associated therewith]; and (3) that families making $75,000 a year qualify for government entitlements like the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Making Work Pay Tax Credit (no wonder we are going broke).

I was also struck by the language in your link that: " In 1998-2000, the years before the 2001 tax cut enacted by President Bush and Congress, the median-income family of four paid roughly 8.0 percent of its income in individual income taxes, according to TPC estimates — a smaller share than in any year since 1967.[4] The Bush tax cuts further reduced taxes for middle-income taxpayers, and the 2012 “fiscal cliff” bill (the American Taxpayer Relief Act) made these middle-income tax cuts permanent." Amazing how little credit George Bush received for cutting taxes for the middle class - it seems the mantra has always been he "cut taxes on the rich."

Nonetheless, we have ventured far into the weeds in this thread - I guess we'll just have to see how the voters decide what kind of stewards Obama and the Democrats have been on the economy.


Huh? You were the one to start the Obama tax/partial birth thing...mumble, mumble...

I declare that tax cuts for lower and middle class workers are not too far off topic when discussing the raising of the federal/state minimum wage, so will reply to your comment and bound even further into the weeds.

1. You may have noticed I generally stick with "tax cuts" when talking about Bush, because I realize his tax cuts were across the board. I also add to the mix his starting of two unfunded wars and Medicare Part D, because it is this trifecta that created the Bush 186% increase in the Federal debt, and demonstrated a stunning lack of good governance.

2. As to ATRA,...Bush Tax Cuts Have Provided Extremely Large Benefits to Wealthiest Americans Over Last Nine Years. "The tax cuts first enacted under President Bush in 2001 and 2003 have made the tax code less progressive and delivered a large windfall to the highest-income taxpayers.[1] Tax Policy Center estimates for the years 2004 to 2012 (the years for which TPC provides data that are comparable from year to year) give us a sense of the cumulative effect of these tax cuts:

The average tax cut that people making over $1 million received exceeded $110,000 in each of the last nine years — for a total of more than $1 million over this period.
The tax cuts made the tax system less progressive. In each of the nine years from 2004 through 2012, the tax cuts increased the after-tax income of the highest-income taxpayers by a far larger percentage than they did for middle- and low-income taxpayers. For example, in 2010, the year in which all of the Bush income and estate tax cuts were fully phased in, they increased the after-tax income of people making over $1 million by more than 7.3 percent, but increased the after-tax income of the middle 20 percent of households by just 2.8 percent.[2]"

3. Just for the record, not that it matters, one reason for my disdain and disgust with the lack of competent governance, primarily by Republicans, prior to the ATRA of 2013, was that by ramming the debt ceiling crisis threat down our throats, waiting until New Year's Day to pass it, a perfect opportunity to address serious spending cuts, entitlement and tax reform was squandered, and Congress kicked the can down another 5 years.

4. As to the EIC, this was a small program that started in the 1970's, then expanded under Reagan, and then Clinton. Apparently, it's been a popular program under every president since inception. "This gets to one feature of the credit that economists love — something that goes back to Milton Friedman, one of the most influential conservative economists of the 20th century. He argued that, rather than creating lots of targeted programs for poor people, the government should simply give them money and let them decide how to spend it.

The Earned Income Tax Credit is not perfect. It doesn't help people who can't get work. Some people game the system. Others are eligible but never collect. But while most programs to help the poor are constantly under the magnifying glass, this one has expanded every decade since the 1970s. Encouraging poor people to work and giving them a boost for keeping at it remains relatively uncontroversial. For now." NPR


Understatement of the year: "The Earned Income Tax Credit is not perfect. It doesn't help people who can't get work. Some people game the system."


The Treasury Department has released its latest report on the fight against widespread fraud in the Earned Income Tax Credit program. The problem is, fraud is still winning. And there's not even much of a fight.

"The Internal Revenue Service continues to make little progress in reducing improper payments of Earned Income Tax Credits," a press release from Treasury's inspector general for Tax Administration says. "The IRS estimates that 22 to 26 percent of EITC payments were issued improperly in Fiscal Year 2013. The dollar value of these improper payments was estimated to be between $13.3 billion and $15.6 billion."


Post a Comment

Log in to your account to post comments here and on other stories, galleries and polls. Share your thoughts and reply to comments posted by others. Don't have an account on Create a new account today to get started.