I stand before you in opposition specifically to House Bill 4609, an impertinent solution that misses the mark. The question before us today is “Why are we continuing to ignore a very real fiscal reality?”

That reality? – That the generous corporate welfare that has been provided to Michigan’s corporate elite in the form of business tax cuts has created a revenue hole that keeps this Legislature from meeting a fundamental legislative obligation – good roads.

A solid infrastructure plan that will meet the needs of Michigan commerce and travelers is well understood. What this body seems to not understand is that when the people of Michigan turn down the road proposal, they did so because of our failure to lead.

Yet once again, we are ask to support a road funding plan that takes more dollars out of budgeted, tax payer-approved programs. We all know that favorite expression: “What is the definition of insanity? “eep doing the same things and expect different results.” So why are we again being asked to repeat the “take from the mix” strategy?

And what is one of the things I find most egregious that we are taking from the mix – the Earned Income Tax Credit. Once again, we ask those who have the least and who are doing what they can to improve their family conditions to sacrifice so that we don’t have to ask the corporate elite to “pony up” and begin to pay their fair share.

If we must ask something to be lost – it must not be the Earned Income Tax Credit. It has already been drastically reduced, even though empirical studies showed that the return on the credit help maintain family necessities as well as boosting our local economies. HB 4609 is a slap in the face to those who work hard, yet face the daunting reality of limited resources and incomes. Are we without any compassion for these Michigan citizens? This is unadulterated, unapologetic bullying.

If we do not have the fortitude to look each other in the eye, and look the corporate elite in the eye, and say enough is enough, then we do not deserve to be the representatives of the people of Michigan.

My question then to each of you is, when do we stop kowtowing to the corporate elite and harming those with the least, and when do we lead? When are we going to be strong enough to say that the burden of improving our roads should not fall on those who are doing everything in their power “to do the right thing” and are already struggling at the bottom?

Finally, a reminder from an article. The Earned Income Tax Credit first proposed in the 1970s was signed by President Gerald Ford. It was later substantially expanded by President Reagan, who deemed it “the best anti-poverty, the best pro-family, the best job-creation measure to come out of Congress.”

We are better than this, colleagues. Let us reject HB 4609 and hold those who have the leverage and ability to contribute more in additional revenue to “chip in” their fair share and help out. PLEASE – SAY NO TO HB 4609.