State Rep. Andrew Beeler on Monday criticized Democrats for recklessly spending billions of taxpayer dollars on wasteful programs and pet projects — a move that will require a tax hike to pay for everything.
The $82 billion budget, which became law Monday, eliminates Michigan’s multibillion-dollar surplus, spending more than $2 billion on politically connected pork projects and billions more on new programs that won’t be sustainable in future years. The budget creates more than 1,000 new bureaucratic positions in state government — arbitrarily growing government instead of making long-term investments in infrastructure or public safety.
“This tax-hike-funded budget makes a mockery of Michigan taxpayers — demanding more of their incomes to pay for extravagant programs and projects benefiting Democrats’ partisan allies,” said Beeler, R-Port Huron. “With one-party control of the state, Democrats decided to balloon the size of our government to unsustainable proportions. They’re hiring 1,000 new bureaucrats to run wasteful programs, staff new commissions, and investigate more small businesses in our communities. They’re also blowing money on pork projects for political allies. And with a tax hike in the works, Michiganders will have to fork over more money to foot the bill for Democrats’ lavish pork feast.”
Hiking taxes and fees: Legislative Democrats baked a future tax hike into their bloated spending plan. Beeler secured an income tax cut for every Michigander and small business this spring, but the Democrats’ budget won’t be balanced unless the new 4.05% income tax rate is raised back to 4.25% next year. Democrat Attorney General Dana Nessel in March ignored the clear language, history, and legislative intent of the law and decided that the tax cut should only last for one year, an assumption Democrats used to write their massive budget. The budget also raises fees on Michigan small businesses to pay for new bureaucrats to investigate those small businesses.
Creating wasteful programs: Democrats’ budget allocates billions of dollars to fund new, unsustainable programs. Examples include $7 million for a program to tell farmers about climate change; $161,000 for a diversity summit; $2 million for a population commission created by the governor and stacked with Democrats, which is expected to recommend tax hikes and give Democrats political cover for unpopular policies; and $1 million for a partisan sentencing commission, which will also be stacked with Democrats and is expected to recommend lighter sentences for criminals, including violent offenders.
Funding pork projects: The budget funds more than $2 billion in unnecessary pet projects. Examples of pork projects include $5 million for the AFL-CIO, one of the Democrats’ powerful union allies; $3 million for minor league baseball stadiums; $9.8 million for seven pools and splash pads; almost $1 million for a cricket field; and $1 million to teach rich children in Detroit to ride horses.
Ignoring Michiganders’ needs: While wasting billions on programs and projects, the Democrats’ budget failed to distribute any new funding to fix local roads, only selecting a few favored projects instead of distributing $1 billion as House Republicans proposed. Democrats also rejected a $100 million Republican proposal to help recruit and retain police officers at understaffed local departments, but they did pay for unarmed social workers in lieu of the armed officers needed to keep communities safe.
“The budget process is out of control. We are spending more and more money and are giving people less and less transparency. This is exactly why people do not trust government,” said Beeler, R-Port Huron.