Michigan Republicans create "financial martial law"; appointees to replace elected local officials

Republican Michigan governor Rick Snyder, along with the state's Republican house and senate, have passed a controversial bill that allows the governor to dissolve the elected governments of Michigan's towns and cities, replacing them with unaccountable "emergency financial managers" who can eliminate services, merge or eliminate school boards, and lay off or renegotiate unionized public employees without recourse. Republican senator Jack Brandenburg -- who supported the measure -- calls it "financial martial law."

While local governments are subject to electoral recall by residents, the "managers" the governor appoints will answer only to the state legislature. There are no limits to the salary "managers" may draw (an amendment that would have limited their compensation to $159,000, which is the governor's own salary, was defeated).

"Managers" will be able to govern as they see fit. Practically speaking, this opens the door to the kind of "governance" we've seen in occupied Iraq, where high-paid appointees who don't answer to the governed get to award no-bid contracts to their pals, with little or no oversight or control.

Michigan Senate passes emergency manager bills (via Reddit)

(Image: Rick Snyder for Governor Yard Sign, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from billrice's photostream)


  1. Snyder must be determined to do as much damage as he possibly can before the recall campaign gets under way.

    Good to know that the far right has finally lifted the mask. Now if we can just get the constituents to pay attention.

  2. Financial martial law? More like financial Sharia law! Get me Rep. King on the Homeland Security Hotline, stat!

  3. Everytime I read stories about this kind of thing lately, I’m reminded of Margaret Atwoods Handmaid’s Tale. The Rich of America saw power in the great unwashed electing Obama, they’re making sure they get to pick the presidents in future with no interference.

  4. Blatantly unconstitutional. But expect months and years of fighting in court instead of actual justice.

    1. because the courts and judges are in on the game too.. these dictators can and will do whatever they want – what can people do to stop them? do you think they care its illegal?

  5. Sounds kind of like Obama’s pay czar.


    At least Snyder is acting within his limits of power. Obama made sweeping “reform” in private markets which he undoubtedly had no Constitutional power over – to the cheers of liberals and populists alike. Snyder is at least acting within the bounds of public employees – which as Governor he undoubtedly has executive power to manage?

    Obama justified the pay caps as a result of the bailout. Will the State not have to bail out local municipalities if they go broke? The answer is yes.

    As a lifelong resident of Michigan, and an active participant in the political debate, I applaud Snyder’s efforts. You wouldn’t believe the corruption and political maneuvering our local governments have gone through in order to create little kingdoms from which they can draw taxpayer money at ridiculous rates – and then retire at 40 with pensions nobody would call reasonable. Bell, California was only the tip of the iceberg.

    Our local governments all throughout the country have been hijacked by criminals and we need strong governors to take them back.

    1. It’s not the governor’s choice to say whether or not local governments are to be dissolved, it’s a choice to the people. He’s deliberately obstructing the electorate’s ability to engage in the decision-making process, and deliberately denying the ability of the people to participate in what is ultimately their decision and interest.

      What’s happening, regardless of how much you agree with the outcome, is an obstruction of personal freedoms granted to us by the United States government. This is unconstitutional and is by definition a coup of our government.

    2. I always thought the people who missed Stalin in Russia were nuts, now I know Mich has their own version of the “I wish we had a strongman” too.

      You are getting the government you deserve.

    3. Nixon appointed a “drug czar” in 1971 and an “energy czar” in 1973, and the term was in use long before that. Harping on the use of “czar” for appointees in the Obama administration simply shows an ignorance of American history.

      And yes, it made perfect sense to cap salaries of executives in companies that received government baillout money. That money wasn’t for their pension plans or vacations — it was to keep their companies from going under, and hopefully benefit workers and the economy.

    4. @ Anon. What I don’t understand about your comment is how is this situation going to make what you complain about better? You talk about criminal officials treating their municipalities as their “own little kingdoms”. How is having “managers” appointed by a governor, any governor (Rep. or Dem.) and accountable only to him and not his constituents and with no cap on his/her salary give that person incentive to steer away from corruption? It would seem to me that the less accountable someone is, the more likely they are to do what they want. Exactly the thing you say you want to see less of.

    1. Nah, only in their mastubatory fantasies. A2 is totally solvent – even if revenue sharing goes away all together. Council and the city manager have been trimming the budget for years. For the next fiscal year the cuts are pretty minimal compared to the last several. Fewer roads will get paved, fewer water mains will be replaced, but your trash will still get picked up and the parks will still get mowed.

      Honestly, kids, what did we think was going to happen by electing a venture capitalist who says he’s not a politician (so why’s he’s running for political office?), refused to provide any details on his plans, offered no proposals while running for office, and had to be heavily pressured into even one debate? I was pretty sure the state was being sold a bill of goods and I did not vote for this elite*.

      *Yes, I said elite. He claims he’s an Ann Arborite, but he doesn’t live in the city. He lives in a very exclusive part of Superior Township. Bill Ford Jr (as in owns controling interest in Ford Motor Company) lives in this part of the Township. They might be neighbors, I haven’t looked it up yet. Snyder’s daughter attends a quite expensive private school. Public schools will have to get by on less than $5,000 per pupil, but his daugther’s educators will have to scrape by on a mere $16,000 per pupil.

    2. Whenever someone starts off a comment about hippies in Ann Arbor or something of the like, you really know that their opinion doesn’t mean much because they probably don’t vote, they probably drive a crappy car, they probably hate anyone who isn’t exactly like them and they probably don’t earn much money and instead of looking in the mirror they probably blame someone else for their problems!

      Those types of hate filled people out there better watch out or you just might get what you ask for. The funny thing about it, is you think it won’t affect you negatively. Then you’ll just blame someone else for the new problems it creates. It’s the infamous “they” syndrome…”they” did this, “they” did that, I didn’t do anything…that’s right you didn’t do anything! Look in the mirror and do something positive!

      I think it’s hilarious that you put so much trust into a Governor. Use your brains! This proposal would do exactly what it’s saying it is supposed to fix!

      This isn’t about hippies in Ann Arbor. It’s about people deciding how their country is run. We don’t have men and women fighting for us abroad right now to give some Governor the rights to decide everything and to hand over plum jobs to his cronies! We have men and women fighting around the world to protect our way of life, oh and by the way part of our way of life includes living in a democracy!

  6. This is the requisite post by a non-American citizen saying how increasingly fucked up your country looks to outside eyes.

  7. The disdain for even the trappings of a republic is appalling.

    Let’s throw out the plutocrats and try a proper democracy for a change. We need a bit of reflection on how we got here, how electoralism tends to go so quickly into the hands of the wealthy and how we can have a system that is not so prone to doing so.

    It might be worth thinking about a parliament drawn by lots in order to ensure better representation. You’d have a much more accurate reflection of demographics that way – both economically and ethnically and on a gender basis.

    They may not be the most qualified to rule, but it seems to me that the people who do rule are less qualified than random choice.

    To put it bluntly: Would you rather have these gobshites acting as your jury, or a random selection of the population. I know I’d be siding with the random selection.

    1. Funny, I was just thinking about random government, at least local government, at least at first. We could model it on the jury system. Enlist a group of people to tackle a single issue, lock them in a room, and don’t let them out until they’ve agreed on a solution.

      It would be way too expensive to have to buy off every group.

  8. Before everyone gets on the outrage bandwagon, let me give you the perspective from someone who lives in Michigan…

    We have, by some measures, the worst economy in the United States. So far, all I’ve seen that our federal “back to work” money has done is fix a very small portion of the roads in Southeast Michigan that are in such poor condition that I’ve had a total of five bent wheel rims on two vehicles this winter. The city of Pontiac, which is in dire financial straights – and has been for years – is closing down their police force and contracting with the county Sheriff’s office for services. Any cost cutting measure takes months (or years) to be put into effect because of political wrangling.

    So, this bill is, to my mind, a good way to quickly get faltering municipalities, back to properly managed governments, something we need to do if we’re to fix our economy and continue to provide essential services to our civil servants. If we can’t pay the police officers, will they stop working or work without pay out of duty to protect the citizens? Neither is a good option.

    Unconstitutional? Probably, but as Yamara points out, it will be a while before the thing is killed and in the meantime it may do some good.

    And don’t worry about the people of Michigan. If Gov. Snyder and his legislative cronies abuse this, they’ll find themselves out of office VERY fast. Madison, Wisconsin will look like Disney World in comparison.

    1. So a lousy economy in the state is reason enough for the governor to declare that he has the right to invalidate any local election he doesn’t like the results of?

      I guess you would be much happier living in a dictatorship than anything resembling a democracy.

    2. As another Michigan resident, I disagree that this is the proper avenue to fixing the economy. Completely disregarding elected officials in favor of some benign dictator appointed by a governor with no experience in elected office is a path to total disaster. And this doesn’t even include his 15% cut to higher education, elimination of the Earned Income Tax Credits and increased pension taxes all to fund a flat 6% corporate tax.

      If Snyder royally screws up, there will be no Madison protests this state is too tired, too sad.

    3. How will they find themselves out of office exactly?

      I’m sorry but whenever you say ‘they won’t become corrupt and abuse this’, it almost certainly happens. They might have the best intentions, and it might be quicker to tear down the obstacles to those intentions, but the obstacles themselves serve a purpose that was built over centuries of trial and error. Running rampant over government whilst unaccountable might be great – with incredibly intelligent and mindful people. But nobody takes that chance!

        1. StickTech came from a view that this would be beneficial, so it wouldn’t work to try and tell them that this is the case.

          The fundamental objection to this should not be their motives and their current level of corruption, but why is it is simply not done by a non-corrupt government.

    4. i understand your exasperation at the government’s ability to get anything done, but we need to think a little bigger than just the immediate problems.

      market capitalists and market fundamentalists do not care about “fixing problems”- it’s not in their job description. their job description is to seek profit and economic opportunity wherever they can. when there are harmful or unpopular consequences that stem from their profit seeking they MUST NOT take responsibility for them, because that cuts into their profit. so their strategy is, generally, to convince people those problems don’t exist (global warming and pollution) or to blame someone else (preferably government, liberals or foreigners). these people want government out of the way because it’s the only institution with the power or the ability to pin any responsibility for the consequences of their actions. governments are the only impediment to profit in the minds of these people. and profits are their prime directive.

      rick snyder, being a republican, obviously has philosophical affinity with market capitalists/fundamentalists, and i’d be willing to bet that a large portion of his election treasure was donated by same.

      having said that:

      do you think his main goal in doing away with rightfully elected governement bodies is to “fix problems”? or could it be to remove impediments to profit?

      republicans and conservatives have been dressing their anti-democratic urges in the cloak of economic necessity for quite a while now. the problems never get fixed this way, they just get driven out of the public’s consciousness by bread circus and war. are we so stupid that we’re going to keep falling for this stuff forever? we’re like a battered wife that keeps telling herself that “he’s going to change.”

      the only reason any of these “austerity measures” are necessary is because any possibility of taxation of the wealthy has been taken off the table. several huge, ostensibly american corporations posted record profits last year and paid exactly zero in taxes. meanwhile those of us down here on the ground can’t skip a single payment or they’ll take everything we have.

      we could fix ALL of these budget holes, educate our children, pay for universal health care, build new bridges and roads if we would simply levy some taxes on the rich.

      please refer to spock’s unimpeachable logic in star trek 2 “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” in this case it’s just the orgulous desires of the few.

    5. @ Stitch Tech:
      The thing I most worry about from this situation is what we’re now seeing being set up in Wisconsin: preparation for the cheap sale of valuable public property (power companies, in their case) to private cronies of the temporary holders of government. Once that gets done, will Walker, in Wisconsin, care if he gets recalled, since he may have a cushy payback waiting in the wings for him from the private industrialists he appears to so blatantly be working for?

      It may be unconstitutional, it may be in court for decades, but that really won’t matter to the private interests who will benefit from this rape of the public.

    6. “If” they abuse this, you’ll do what to them, exactly? They aren’t elected officials!!

    7. as another Mighigander, I’ll point to the failures of Emergency Financial Managers in Highland Park and the Detroit Public School system, to illustrate that this isn’t about finances at all. It’s a pure power grab that traditional republican conservatives should oppose along with the unions and workers of our state.

    8. If anybody thinks Michigan’s economy is a total disaster, they missed the sales figures just announced by the big three (or big 2 plus Fiat’s Chrysler).

      While many people are hurting, the sacrifice is not being shared equally. Many people continue to earn more than decent pay. Guess what, our income tax is scheduled to drop from 4.35% to 4.25% this year! And don’t think that a 1 billion dollar budget deficit stopped governor Synder proposing a 1 billion dollar tax cut to corporations. He just offset that by removing the income tax exemption on pension earnings.

      It may be hard to believe, but I don’t think I am a good enough writer to make this up.

    9. Wow! You and a lot of Michiganders seem to be of the same mind …

      Fuck the law and the constitution – we want to save money. We don’t care who you voted for. Your vote doesn’t count. The Tzar … sorry, I mean, the Governor, will tell you what your rights are, if he feels you have any rights at all.

      This is situational ethics at its’ best (worst). Do you people not understand that if you let this travesty exist, then the powers that be can do ANYTHING they want to ANYBODY, at any time, for any reason – or no reason at all?

      Michigan, like Wisconsin, and all the other states where naked totalitarianism is now raising its’ fascist head, are sovereign states. Nobody should interfere unless asked. If you want help to physically overthrow this rogue regime, then ask for it and many of us will flock to you to help. If, on the other hand, you choose … and it sounds like you, personally have … to accept this iron fisted rule in the name of money, then you are on your own and may the devil take your souls, and good riddance to you.

    10. OMG. This is almost word for word what Germans said as Hitler dismantled their democracy. He got in by appealing to people being fed up with a moribund economy, created by the Treaty of Versailles and the Great Depression. It was not the government’s fault that the economy was in the toilet like the rest of the world but people blamed it and the Treaty, of course. The cause of problems today is different but the response is turning out to be the same.

      It is a fundamental belief that capitalism is good and it is necessary to allow the rich to pay diddly squat in taxes and for corporations to off shore YOUR jobs, pay very little in taxes, and present the outgoing leader with a severance of $400,000,000.00 dollars after he trashed the company. Follow the money and know that it is these rich who have more money than they need to wallow in it for centuries that will be selected for the positions and make huge money. How many of you make the cap that they refused to accept or ever will?

  9. Oh hey they’ll “make” the markets efficient with their un-elected commands and decisions, will they?

    Free-market fanatics.

    It seems that their fanatical belief in the efficiency of free markets now requires that some of us lose our rights to vote, in order that “the market” may be free work its magic to make our lives all better, eventually.

  10. Next time, I’ll preview before posting. I meant to say “we need to do if we’re to fix our economy and continue to provide essential services to our citizens” not our “civil servants.” Quite a different meaning!

    1. Essential services = police and prisons and prosecutions and a vigourous pursuit of the war on drugs and minorities, especially property seizures before a finding of guilt is made….

      …but definitely NOT basic medical care.

  11. Wasn’t something similar undertaken during the Depression years of the 1930s?

    OH yes – but that was in Germany. After 1933.

    1. Thanks Canuck. It’s amazing how quickly some citizens acquiesce to these types of rights infractions, believing like cattle, while calmly being led through the maze to the slaughterhouse, that it is in their best interest to follow.

      1. i’m very surprised, Americans are usually much more careful with their property, than to allow this kind of unrepresented malarkey.

        That being said, back in the middle ages, when the italian city-states were so riven by internal faction and armed feuds that they found that life was simply becoming too difficult, the citizens of such cities occasionally had enough sense and wit to strike upon an idea which perhaps could help Americans , suspended between the Repubs and Democrats with their daggers drawn against each other: the Podesta.

        They’d recruit a rich noble without any prior connection or personal knowledge of their city’s feuding nobles, from abroad, the so-called Podesta, to impartially enforce justice, against all factions, without exceptions or indulgences due to either fear or the hope of future favours: and provided him with the means and arms to do it; the deal would be short-term, a year: the Podesta so engaged would be forbidden from any contact or socializing with the locals; and it worked surprisingly well.

        Something of that flavour yet resides in the political independence of the US Courts, imho.

        My fear for Americans is that their system of governance has not yet satisfied me that it is stable enough over longer terms (think centuries) to not be inherently subject to civil wars or recurring civil strife.

        But it will be for future generations to make that judgment.

        i hope that their system proves resilient and adaptable; but events of late do not leave me as optimistic as once i was.

        i wonder, though: what shall be the nature of the next Amendment to the US Constitution?
        For given time, such Amendments are unavoidable.

        iiRC, when asked his opinion as to the results of the French Revolution, Chou En-Lai, at that time the Foreign Minister for China, replied, that it was too early to judge.

        i now think that that statement may apply equally well to the American Revolution.

        1. …at the risk of thread drift…

          “Something of that (Podesta) flavour yet resides in the political independence of the US Courts, imho.”

          even in the Supreme Court?
          which is seen as “a superlegislature responding to ideological arguments rather than a legal institution responding to concerns grounded in the rule of law.”

          btw, i agree with your opinion that the American Experiment is still playing itself out. seems as if the country is in the corporatocracy phase

        2. I can kinda see your argument about the US system perhaps doesn’t have long term stability, but by that account, who does, at least in the context of Euro-American politics? The past few centuries have been a series of upheavals, revolutions, wars, and one version of the nation-state replacing another. The nation-state itself, for that matter (whether it be a republic, representative parliamentary system, communist centrally planned state, or a fascist dictatorship) has not been able to prove the kind of long term stability you are talking about (not compared to say, feudalism or the old land based Empires, both which had a much longer run). Look how many different governments, say, Germany has been through in the past 3 centuries (18th-20th).

          I’ve been thinking that the nation-state as imagined in the Enlightenment world might not fit with the realities of today, but then I also think that we are still very much in the “modern” period of history, meaning nation-states, (despite everyone being all about postmodernism and the end of history, and late capitalism, and living in the end times, in the words of Zizek)…

          In other words, I don’t know…

          1. The Anglo-American nation-states themselves have been pretty robust: the USA is yet a very long way from the type of civil strife which i fear, that of Civil War.

            By my rec, the USA has been free from civil strife since 1865.

            Just so: it has been an even longer time, since the succession of power in Britain has been determined by the chance of arms, rather than by negotiation amongst the interested people, whether or not the counting of votes was involved.

            No, imho we Anglo-Americans (if may be permitted to use that term – i do not use nor intend it to be a linguistic term, but rather use it as a term of description, applied to our political culture) have been on the right track, speaking generally, about how domestic political change should be decided, and brought about: now if we can keep it on the rails as things speed up…

          2. “No, imho we Anglo-Americans (if may be permitted to use that term – i do not use nor intend it to be a linguistic term, but rather use it as a term of description, applied to our political culture) have been on the right track, speaking generally, about how domestic political change should be decided, and brought about…”


            It’s actually been on the wrong track, ever since it began. What little gains ordinary people(s) have made in improving their general lot has come at great sacrifice to them, and very little to their “betters,” who have ALWAYS sought to keep the masses down–divided and emiserated relative to themselves.

            Here’s a quick primer on the origins of the largely race-based class war that’s always been happening in the U.S.:

          3. You mis-understand me: My point is limited to whether or not civil blood has been spilt to determine who next shall hold the supreme executive offices in society.

            Other societies, which indeed may be said to have been equally stable in this limited sense ( of being free from civil bloodshed to determine the succession of power) historically have had those “stable” methods of succession subverted or suspended by the chance of external war, in almost every recent case i can think of…Japan (defeated by external enemy), Germany (likewise, twice), perhaps Russia (insofar as WW 1 allowed the space for the revolution), perhaps China (insofar as Japan’s occupation of the 1930s and 1940s essentially weakened the old order).

            i must also note that my comments as to the lack of bloodshed to determine the next leader in any given State, in no way determines anything at all about the Justice, or lack thereof, of those political arrangements.

            But the lack of bloodshed in determining the identity of the next leader DOES count as a good, in my book.

            Of course, that that is not the only or sole criterion to examine when one is considering whether or not any political system is just, or good, or worth preserving, or worth supporting, or its continuance worth dieing for, ought to be obvious.

          4. “By my rec, the USA has been free from civil strife since 1865.”


            Try adding a hundred years to that maybe?

            (Oh, update:

            “You mis-understand me: My point is limited to whether or not civil blood has been spilt to determine who next shall hold the supreme executive offices in society.”

            What about “who COULD hold supreme offices”? That was a matter being challenged not 50 years ago in the US.)

          5. “What about “who COULD hold supreme offices”? That was a matter being challenged not 50 years ago in the US.”

            True: but i note that the resolution of that particular question did not, has not, and will not, result in civil war; nor has the identity of the President of the USA ever been determined by the chance of arms.

            Similarly, it has been as long or longer since the chance of arms has determined who shall sit upon the Throne of England.

            in both those states during that same time period, many many violent and bloody riots about many many issues, to be sure: but I’m considering the “top of the pyramid” in these comments, so to speak.

          6. I don’t understand your point. I thought you were claiming the US has been free from civil strife since 1865.

            Due to civil strife the political structure has changed.

            Then you explain further by saying “the identity of the President of the USA ever been determined by the chance of arms” but this is false as well – consider (past 50 years again) the assassination of JFK. Chance of arms has at least directly determined who ISN’T president, and very recently too.

            So I don’t know what you’re saying, except “No one has successfully toppled the government” – which proves…what exactly? Does the 500 year long Joseon dynasty in China prove they were good leaders too?

          7. I generally agree here with your point donncha-M. Violence has been part and parcel of major political changes in the US, often times from below, with ordinary citizens challenging the state monopoly on violence (I’ve been obsessed with that lately, as I think it’s sort of central to modernity).

            Canuck, the rights we do have in Anglo-American political landscape (or are supposed to have, anyway) were all hard fought, and much of this fighting is of recent vintage, too, and often from the bottom up, and it was a bloody affair more often then not. If we have a wider circle of political participation then we used to, it’s because blood was spilled for it, not because those in power decided that we’d be better off if more of us had a say, but because they were trying to save their own skins, either politically, or in fear of an actual revolt. They learned their lessons well from the French Revolution and the revolutions of 1848. Appeasement rather than suppression. Ernesto Laclau is pretty instructive on this topic.

            Besides, Canuck, the comment I originally replied to, you said that you were not so sure of long-term stability of the American system, and now you seen to be arguing for general robustness of that system (and advocating for an Italian Middle Ages Podesta system to work out our problems)? Am I missing something in your argument here?

          8. Chance of arms has at least directly determined who ISN’T president, and very recently too

            Yeah, and every 20 years since 1865. I remember discussion about whether it was a curse to be a “zero year” President. (Lincoln until Reagan, every President elected in a year ending with a zero died in office, no others)

    2. My point exactly. Hitler was elected because he promised to put the economy back on it’s feet. He played to the working class that had suffered so badly during the Great Depression. That working class was the strongest Marxist movement in the world and he conned them with promises. They ended up as the weakest workers with no say at all.

      Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. Between this, Arizona, and Wisconsin it looks like the end of the republic, the great nation taking Democracy to the world, is now dying. No, being killed from within. I think it was President Johnson who said something like this: If you let a bully in at your gate, the next day he will be on your porch and the day after that he will be in your living room raping your wife.

  12. Wow, and I thought Robocop’s OCP was too far fetched for fiction, but now, well, I’m surprised nobody’s mentioned it.

    I thought Republicans were for small government, and I guess no government is as small as they’d like, but this is just obscene.

  13. Stitch Tech, the naivete with which you welcome our plutocratic overlords is almost endearing. Almost.

  14. can we finally say this a a fascist uprising without being shouted down that we are over reacting?

    Where the fucking hell are the Tea Party asshole protesting this? Oh.. right they are all busy getting bent out of shape for being called racist.

    Right now, at this moment in time I say fuck America. There are a lot of great people here… but they let themselves get steamrolled and we now have to deal with a crop of dribbling proto-dictators. So fuck America, land of the almighty dollar, and the citizenry willing to put up with anything for the illusion of security. Fuck America and it’s xenophobic leaders who pander to the worst we are. Fuck America and it’s celebrity obsessed head-up-the-ass media who run the gambit from right wing shill to tepid inefficiency. Fuck America and it’s war on the poor and disabled, where the largest mental health provider is the prison system Fuck America where we care more about guns than food, take your god damned 2nd amendment and shove it up your ass, next to perpetuating slavery that was the biggest mistake our founding idiots made. Fuck America and the Horatio Alger myth, where buying a lottery ticket is the apex of financial planning, where anyone can be a star, if only they whole themselves out just enough.

    yeah fuck you sideways with a spiny dildo. Hey look over there Charlie Sheen is acting like an idiot again, what fun!!!

  15. I have this vision of Republican governors everywhere wringing their hands and chuckling saying “Hmmm, what ELSE can we get away with?”

  16. William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
    Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
    William Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
    Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!

  17. Hmmm, so how does this work with the Constitution, Article 4, section 4? :

    Article IV: The States
    Section 4 – Republican government

    The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.

  18. I think other states do this. I’m pretty sure Pennsylvania is about to appoint somebody in charge of Harrisburg’s finances because they’re so incredibly f*cked up.
    This makes sense for some states, like PA, because they have 3 large cities that make up a huge amount of their population and tax base. If the cities screw up too badly it will have a huge impact on their state as a whole.

  19. I think some central planning is occasional necessary. Balances between local and global need to be reached.

      1. Fascist is the word you are looking for. Fascism stripped of racism. Communism would have few wealthy leaders compared to the US now and no huge corporations. It would attempt to spread the thinning resources across the entire nation. Like American Democracy, it never met its goals and likely never would as it appears to be impossible to get even a quorum out of the trough to help their fellows. I argued in a political science essay that Communism could never work because of human greed. Now I say the same of American Democracy as it is not tempered by compassion and makes promises it cannot keep; like everyone can be stinking wealthy. Not true now and never true.

        1. The theory of democracy works. The problem is that the system of democracy here is rigged. Those with lots of campaign dollars make it to primaries. Candidates for both parties are promoted by the rich and powerful, for the benefit of the rich and powerful, via corporations. The regular citizens can not afford to finance new candidates and then subsequently pay for lobbying while these pols are in office. In the past, unions did have some pull in promoting certain candidates. Soon they won’t even be around. WE the people really don’t have representation any longer. The pols say one thing to get elected, and do another in office according to a hidden agenda, and then spin like a top telling us how their counter policies are actually good for us, like we are stupid stupid children. And people buy it, hook, line and sinker.

          We should all stop voting in the two party system, in every election. Pick a name outside of the elite’s selection. It’s the only chance we have. The pols will never agree to campaign and lobbying reform. It would be the only way to break out of this direction in which we are headed; one party for the wealthy and connected.

        2. I agree about fascism, actually. I was going off his statement that the government needs “central planning”, central planning being a major part of the soviet system. But, again, these are in many ways, all parts of the same thing — the modern nation-state, based on enlightenment ideals, predicated on state monopoly on violence.

  20. Greetings from inside the place formerly known as Michigan, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Omni Consumer Products . The “brilliant” or sinister thing about this is that the financial crisis is more or less self made. Despite rising costs, for the past 20 years Michigan Republicans continued to insist on, you guessed it: tax cuts! After greatly reducing revenue coming into to the state, the Legislature has pretty much eliminated revenue sharing. This constitutionally mandated funding was very important to cities now that property values are declining. This then ensures that many of the already struggling municipalities will need an emergency financial manager. Pretty sneaky, plutocrats.

    Paging officer Alex Murphy…

  21. Rachel Maddow has an excellent segment on this:

    The situation is even worse. Snyder have huge tax cuts to businesses, then slashed payments to cities and municipalities. When those towns become insolvent he can swoop in and ‘save’ them by taking over.

    1. Snyder’s tax cuts are for ALL businesses, not just big business. Your local plumber and corner store will benefit from this, not just Chrysler, GMC, and Ford. There are no loopholes or deductions on his 6% flat corporate tax. This will make it much easier for people to start their own small businesses and create new jobs. You do want jobs here in Michigan, right?

      I really wish people would read the budget instead of just saying “OMG! Republicans did it, it must be evil!” I didn’t vote for Snyder, as I figured he’d turn out to be a typical Republican, but so far I’m fairly happy with his budget proposal, and that he’s getting paid $1 for the year. If he can stay out of social issues I just might support him.

    2. In agreement with you on the Maddow segment; with Snyder raising taxes on senior citizens and the poor, not filling the budget gaps with these funds and giving it as business tax cuts is appalling. Tax deductible donations, not only to public schools, but to ANY non-profit organization. (Donations are the bread and butter that runs non-profits helping in all facets- think Goodwill Industries, Habitat for Humanity and the United Way for just only a few examples.) This situation is not making big news in Michigan as most would think – only mutterings in local press and news. Shock doctrine and financial martial law are terms that indeed need to be applied to this situation. Michiganders need to pay attention.

    1. I know the sentiment, archanoid, but if “electing” George Bush didn’t push me down into Canada, I damn well ain’t going to up and leave now.

      Viva la Snyder resistance.

      1. More power to you. My statement was more a way of expressing my gut feeling of what is going on in Michigan than an actual statement of fact. I don’t live there. If I did, I might not move. But things like this will cause Michigan to experience even further population loss.


        Snyder uses population loss as an argument for reform. But he will cause only more of the people with the ability to leave to do so, imho.

        1. You are right, archanoid. I am a Michigander, hard core. Many others don’t have the same attachment to Michigan that I do. Some of those people will leave.

          I believe our number one problem is apathy. As I see it, this over reach may start to wake people up. But we have a lot of work to do. Thanks happy mutants for your concerns and attention. We need it!

    2. Michigan is already the Amazing Shrinking State. What this law has done is ensure it continues to shrink, as no business will set up shop in a municipality in which contracts are tear-upable by some centrally-appointed plutocrat who is answerable to no one but his cronies. Sad.

  22. Wait, isn’t this a major subplot on Parks & Rec. Indiana sent in Rob Lowe and that other guy to fix Amy Poehler’s town’s budget? Maybe that’s where Republicans in Michigan got the idea?

    No, wait. That would mean they’d have had to watch that “ultra-liberal” NBC. Never mind. (Yes, I know NBC and MSNBC are not the same. Try telling ultra-righties that.)

  23. Speaking as someone who’s repeatedly gone against the party line here on the Wisconsin issue, yes, this does suck major ass, and it may be unconstitutional. (Although in US law the cities are in many ways considered to be the “creation of” the states. Cities do not have a Tenth Amendment).

    Much better to let defunct municipalities go bankrupt and reconstitute themselves from scratch. The pain of doing so is actually much greater and will therefore serve as a better incentive.

    1. Is this pain going to be felt by the big corporations, the sinfully rich, or these appointees? No. It will be felt by the working and middle class who still won’t have jobs because there are no jobs. You cannot pull them out of a hat. It is hard to imagine how jobs could be created out of nothing. The bulk of the missing jobs are now elsewhere though the companies are still in the US and pulling in even more money. They do not have to pay decent wages or provide safe work places in developing nations. They do not have to cope with environmental laws and if the locals get rowdy they call on the local governments to send in goons to put them down. There is no money for them in bringing the jobs back and you just won’t accept higher taxes on them. The idea that a corporation should be treated like an individual is ludicrous and the whole idea of “freedom” has allowed this to happen along with the dream that anyone can get rich if they just try. It is a closed club and the way in is not through hard work at a white collar or blue collar job. Define freedom for yourselves instead of falling for the bunk these people are shoveling at you.

  24. Those of you upset at the bill really don’t understand how current bankrupt cities work in Michigan. This bill puts many different warning signs in place way before the current system. Currently, the city goes into receivership months or years after the city has not been paying its bills, meeting payroll, or its pension obligations. Basically the city government goes to Lansing and says “We’ve screwed up, bail us out!” By having warning signs in place, like the first time they don’t meet payroll, or miss a bill of $10,000 or more, or don’t meet pension obligations, it serves as a warning where they go to Lansing and talk about how to deal with the situation before the “nuclear option” is used.

    They don’t really want to put the city into receivership. There was a huge flap years ago when Hamtramck had an emergency manager who happened to be born in Germany. Local media cried about how it was like Nazi Germany, since Hamtramck is mostly Polish and now had a German emergency manager.

    I believe many of you are resisting anything Snyder does because he has an R after his name.

  25. Naomi Klein was all too accurate. Prophetic.

    The Shock Doctrine.

    This is disaster capitalism. All over again.

    1. Yesterday on the Democracy Now! radio program Naomi Klein noted that this “financial martial law” bill in Michigan explicitly allows the appointment of a corporation or firm as a financial manager of an apparently bankrupt municipality.

      IN OTHER WORDS: you will see unelected corporations in control of municipalities in Michigan. Watch it happen.

      1. Wow, it’s just like “The Cape.” Y’know, when a state does something to make really really ridiculously awful television relevant….that’s not a good sign.

  26. @Wally Ballou: If the cities go bankrupt then the surrounding county or state has to use their resources for police, fire, garbage collection, etc., thus there’s no incentive for the city to keep their financial house in order. Pontiac police just voted to dissolve their union for these reasons.

    This bill puts serious penalties on the politicians for not having their finances in order, they get treated like Kwame and not allowed to run for office again for 5-10 years. But the hope is that it never gets that far because of the early warning system.

  27. In my mind the big question is Detroit. Is Detroit in bad enough shape that Snyder can declare it insolvent and take over? Would he dare? Boy, that would be the battle to end all.

  28. Perhaps Koch Industries will help bail out these failing states? To show our gratitude we could stop calling this year 2011 and just rename it year one of the Koch.

  29. It’s amazing me how strong the word “economy” has become. It’s not my favorite thing, but I understand why people lose their heads when it comes to terrorists and protecting the children. I’d understand it if people cared about who was homeless or starving, but the economy only incidentally measures that, and less accurately all the time. Why is the economy always invoked with such priority?

  30. This strikes me as a potential point of common ground between left-types and tea partiers. The move is clearly anti-democratic (don’t know the constitution well enough to say whether it’s “unconstitutional”) and I’d like to think libertarian types would be squarely opposed.

    If they do support such a thing, it will only reinforce my view that many who rally around “states rights” and “individual liberty” do not really believe in those principals, but simply use them as a smokescreen in their efforts to ban abortion, abolish the inheritance tax, etc..

    If the state sends unelected dukes and duchesses to rule over Michigan municipalities, perhaps we’ll see the tea partiers’ “second amendment solutions” in practice.

    1. I’d like to think libertarian types would be squarely opposed.

      I am squarely opposed to this law. I am not opposed to figuring out an appropriate way for towns and cities to reconstitute themselves in order to relieve fiscal obligations which thay can’t meet.

  31. If you take a minute to read about this in the Michigan press, there is some background on this issue. Once you run everything through the filters the governor’s reason seems to be that this has been tried before with the appointment of Robert Bobb as the emergency financial manager of the Detroit school system by the previous governor. Bob has butted heads in court with the Detroit school board and not been able to push through his agenda. Most of the court decisions have favored the school board, so I see this as an end run around the court that Snyder is going for. Plus he can do it anywhere else he wants to now. Maybe there are corporate overlords waiting in the wings to take over municipalities, a la Robocop, although I think by this time we’d have heard of them. I’m a union member and pretty liberal politically, and while I think this is super fucked up I don’t think it’s as nefarious as many are claiming. But I sure as hell don’t think it should get the chance to become that way.

  32. Governor Snyder: The Imperial Senate will no longer be of any concern to us. I have just received word from Coruscant that the Emperor has dissolved the council permanently. The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away forever.
    General Tagge: But that’s impossible! How will the Emperor maintain control without the bureaucracy?
    Governor Snyder: The regional governors now have direct control over their territories. Fear will keep the local systems in line. Fear of this battle station.

  33. I see quite a few posts from Canadians here. Would love to join you in civilized society, but your country makes it quite difficult for U.S. citizens to immigrate. Any advice?

  34. Yeah… it’s the Arab Muslims that hate our freedoms and style of governance…. of course it is.

  35. The abuse of the governed is not a bug of capitalism and plutocracy: it’s a feature. The system where 1% owns over half of the assets is working exactly as intended. The rich finance the media and the government so that their interests are best served. I’m honestly starting to think the crackdown on unions was a red herring; one aspect of the budget that Walker was trying to pass was a clause to allow no-bid, closed contracts on public utilities. Now we have the governor in MI effectively imposing an autocracy in the counties and cities.

    The Repubs and the Dems are nearly identical on economic issues. Perhaps the Democrats push a little less hard, but they’re still essentially corporate creatures. However, this sham of a political process is not the source of the problem. The fact that almost all the wealth in this country is controlled by a little more than 3 million people, who all have an interest in the status quo, minus any measures made to increase their power, is the problem.

  36. Wow. I’m so glad the people of Michigan have enough common sense to NOT re-elect Gov. Rick Snyder… Michiganders have enough finincial problems, and enough people out of work, without having the elderly and the poor taxed even more. Gov. Snyder is increasing the taxes on pensions, too, which will raise $1.7 billion to help balance the state’s budget, while he gives $1.8 billion in tax cuts to the richest people in the state. That’s supposed to balance out how??? What also worries me is that there seems to be no set of rules or regulations or criteria regarding a “finincial emergency” being declared. And remind me again how being able to dissolve school boards will fix any problems?

  37. I don’t remember this much coverage when counties across California did this during the Clinton administration to combat the state and local debts…

  38. Todd Dunning thinks that in our new corporate utopia he will be a member of the landed gentry when in fact he will be lucky to be allowed to muck out stables for scraps of food.

  39. This is what happens when you let other people chose your governor. Many Dems were disappointed that Obama led as a moderate centrist seeking bipartisanship instead of the firebrand progressive/liberal of their dreams. They sulked in their tents instead of voting and we got another GOP governor elected in 2010. Who immediately took up where the last one, John Engler, left off privatizing everything he could get control of.
    Learn a lesson, Democrats. If you won’t vote, someone else will and you might not like the results.

  40. So is there any organized recall or impeachment effort going on? Some friends of mine started a Facebook group “Impeach Snyder” but I don’t even know if that’s feasible. I think about everyone is sick of being trampled on like serfs, and not just in Michigan. The seniors are even rallying in Lansing on Tuesday to protest this crap.

  41. Here in my own school district, I am seeing the school’s staff being gutted from the bottom up. The board members sitting high and dry, only concerned for their own jobs ignoring the impact they are having on the entire school district; destroying the school’s ability to teach the kids.

    Now they want to hand over financial control to a hand picked elite, with no responsibility to the people; its insane.

    “Removing elected officials and overturning local ordinances,” could have very scary results in both the short and long term. Not limiting the EMF’s salary just reeks of potential corruption; the same corruption they are claiming to try and clean up.

    @Todd Dunning, when your governor is gutting your state’s economy, then come to the big table and have a chat with the rest of us adults. It also helps if you actually read the article, and not just post reactionary statements.

  42. @Todd Dunning
    “It’s great to see elected leadership finally take **spoiled liberals** over the knee for a spanking….Since you kids can’t debate this, I expect you only to call names”

    Seems like you were the first in the name calling business, so I guess based on your own opinion, you really can’t make a cogent argument. Point taken.

  43. This like Venezuela, we don’t have a really vote rights ‘cauz the president lie and change the results; he say we are going to have cheaper products and food in public market, but it’s a lie! The private service has better prices, quality and comfortable (if u want to buy in a public market, u need to do hours of long lines to buy in it. And, it isn’t all, recently thousand of tons Of food rot lost, and the government don’t do anything. We don’t have money, we don’t have food even the basic things ike tooth past… Trust me, if u don’t protest and say what u think about that, it’ll could be worst

  44. Taxation without representation. I would cheer any man with the balls to take justice into his own hands over this anti-democratic horse shit.

    I really don’t get why so many progressives refuse to call these people fascists. Probably because that would mean they’d have to actually do something more direct than holding hands in the street. I blame our focus on the horrors of the holocaust rather than the profound evils of the ideology itself, rather than equipping ourselves with the tools to recognize the roots of tyranny. Sad that so many people think fascism is in any way related to socialism, when fascism is actually the ultimate right-wing ideology. Sad that even if these monsters get their way, most people on the left will call anyone who does something about it a terrorist, when the election is bought and paid, when the corruption is rampant, when these bastards feel free to ignore protests and demonstrations, you’ll still lie down and take it, and demonize those who’d give up their lives for the freedom and justice that we are increasingly being denied.

    Anyway, there had best be some big fucking protests over this shit.

  45. Don’t worry.
    There’s no way this could be Constitutional.
    This Putin-esque end run will never survive a lawsuit.
    Funny how Republicants yell about the Constitution
    but love to violate it when it suits their ends.

  46. B wrote:

    >> We should all stop voting in the two party system, in every election.

    Agreed! That would certainly do the trick; those currently in office for their terms would remain, and after those terms ended, Constitutionally, there would be no-one and we could start again. Of course if the executive can suspend habeas corpus it would come up with something pretty drastic to counter no-one voting. Enforced voting perhaps for either R or D, perhaps. Don’t vote? Jail… or worse.

    Voter apathy on a massive scale would send a clear and legitimate message, though.

  47. It looks as though the United States is heading toward ” failed state” status….move over Robert Mugabe, here comes Rick Snyder.

    Helena, Glad to be from

  48. I just love how the right goes on and on about small government and individual rights (guns! guns!) yet they have no problem stripping localities of control over their own finances or telling woman what to do with their own bodies. The only thing that gets their slavish devotion is the rich.

    Bunch of hypocrits.

  49. I’d like to think this is unconstitutional, but is it? The Constitution guarantees a “republican form of government” and by implication requires a state have a legislature and “executive authority”, and this bill would not seem to violate any of those requirements. Is it against the Michigan Constitution?

    That said, whether constitutional or not, this is totalitarianism – deposing the elected representatives of the people because the governor doesn’t approve of their policies? That’s ridiculous.

    Honestly. If the actions of these Republican governors proves nothing else it’s that when the Tea Party that elected them speaks of “freedom” what they mean is their own freedom to dominate anyone who doesn’t share their views.

  50. As a liberal Ann Arborite, I am with Snyder on this. It’s very hard to side with local governments in Michigan, and my understand of the constitution is that this is probably kosher. Local governments only exist because the state says they can exist, pretty much.

    Aaaaaand the minute you start lumping him in with his ‘Republican cronies’ you reveal how little you understand about the political lay of the land here. The guy didn’t get elected by following the right wing party line. Snyder has less in common with mainstream Republicans than 90% of Democrats do and is pissing off *everyone*. That’s a good sign IMO.

  51. One of the last acts of any government is to loot it’s constituents.

    We are now moving from a Corpocracy into a full fledged Kleptocracy. Witness for example the recent Wisconsin union busting bill, it also allowed Wilson to sell off certain state assets to anyone he chose and for any price.

    The time is ripe for Revolution 2.0

  52. Aaaaaand the minute you start lumping him in with his ‘Republican cronies’ you reveal how little you understand about the political lay of the land here.

    He’s anti-choice and his first budget gave almost two billion to business while cutting services for and raising taxes on the poor, working, and middle class. He eliminated the earned income tax credit and the homestead exemption, and he cut funding for education. The doesn’t sound different from any other Republican crony, and it doesn’t seem better than 90% of Democrats.

    Clearly, he’s not pissing off everyone; two billion has bought the love of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, as evidenced by their support for his regressive tax plan. But you know, even if he were, why would anyone believe that, in itself, to be good? Is it a “good sign” for Gaddafi?

    I don’t live in Michigan, but I do know that anyone who claims that their state is a special snowflake is speaking more to their ignorance of other states than the uniqueness of their own.

    I live in the Detroit of my state and it is forever being derided and lectured by the smaller (and, oh yeah, whiter) cities in our state, generally conservative but sometimes “liberal”, too, as to how it should conduct its affairs. It usually has less to do with how well it is run than it has to do with who runs it.

    While every city does have its problems, and some are better run than others, there are better solutions to the problem than depriving the people of their right to self-government and turning their town into the modern equivalent of a plantation.

  53. The law is far from perfect, but way to cast in the worst possible light, Cory. A more balanced view can be found here:


    Lessenberry’s a generally even-handed commentator on the left side of the spectrum so I hope that will help moderate some of the hysteria about this. On that note, how can you call the EFM’s unaccountable in one paragraph and note they will answer to the legislature in another? That’s pretty accountable.

    Obviously, it will take vigilance from voters to keep the EFM’s under control, but that’s not much different from saying voters need to keep standard local government accountable. The possibility of both courts (see the limitations placed on the DPS EFM Robert Bobb) and voters (through their legislators) keeping the EFMs limited make your comparison with Iraqi appointees completely asinine.

    It’s not quite the doomsday law Democrats and public union spokespeople are making it out to be. And in a state with the municipal financial issues Michigan has, it may even be a necessary law. Some towns, cities and school districts are in such financial trouble that extreme measures are necessary. I don’t like the dissolution of contracts or the stripping unions of power either, but this is for extreme cases such as the Detroit Public Schools, which are in some of the worst shape in the country. What good are union rights and contract sanctity if the town, city or school district goes under and can no longer serve the people?

    This is ultimately about correcting mistakes made in by local officials that have all but ruined their areas of responsibility, not summarily dumping valiant local heroes, whatever the spin may be.

    It’s also important to be aware of the fact that Snyder and the Republicans in the state legislature are separate entities. The Republican legislators are much more right wing than Snyder, who is walking a center right tightrope from what I can see.

    We dodged a bullet in getting a moderate Republican nominee for the election–had it been any of the other candidates, the state would be in a Wisconsin situation today. Given that a Republican governor was a given after two terms of the Democratic Granholm, Snyder’s the only reason we don’t have a Walker here and for that I’m incredibly thankful. Unfortunately, the legislature took a strong Tea Party turn, and Snyder can’t fully rein them in. You know how Tea Partiers are: they do what they want, no matter what moderates try to do.

    Snyder draws a salary of $1 currently. That’s very symbolic, but he is not pulling in $150,000. I gather you were referring the governor salary in general, but I thought I should point that out.

    1. Indeed, I think you have a point.

      I mentioned, somewhere far above in these comments, an Italian invention, or institution, of the Middle Ages: that of the Podesta, an independent outsider brought in to arbitrate disputes and execute impartial judgments between and amongst people, so riven by faction or party or family, that they could not manage that office themselves.

      Upon reflecting on this matter, another italian invention or institution of the Middle Ages which suits this situation more nicely came to mind: that of the “banca rotta”, the “broken bench”, or table, of the merchant unable to pay his debts when due: the “bankrupt”.

      And the appointment of a receiver or manager for the orderly liquidation into cash of bankrupt’s remaining property would then be made upon an weighted election by his just creditors, and without consulting the bankrupt as to her identity.

      Were these commercial corporations, rather than municipal corporations, then the appointment of a Receiver by the Creditors, when the corporation became unable to pay its debts, would not be unusual nor remarkable in any way: nor would the shareholders of the bankrupt corporation have much, or any, say in her appointment.

      Speaking generally, if a town can no longer pay its bills, it’s properly time to wind it up as a going concern.

      And insofar as they are the legal creations of the State, the State is the one to do it, if the townspeople will not, or can not, do so themselves.

      If the townspeople object, all they need to do regain their powers is to pay their bills.

      So I can see the logic behind what’s going on, i suppose.

  54. Governor Tarkin: The Imperial Senate will no longer be of any concern to us. I have just received word from Coruscant that the Emperor has dissolved the council permanently. The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away forever.

    General Tagge: But that’s impossible! How will the Emperor maintain control without the bureaucracy?

    Governor Tarkin: The regional governors now have direct control over their territories. Fear will keep the local systems in line. Fear of this battle station.

  55. mmm. I am not for Obama this time, but I do think we need a similar Federal law, just for one single day, so Obama can remove this Governor. After all, the GOP went too far in Michigan.

  56. With conservatives typically being sociopaths who believe that rules are for other people, I can’t wait to see how many of them still support the governor and his plans once such measures are used where they live. I’m certain many of them believe that this bill is solely being used to teach Those Other People A Lesson.

  57. I am a Michigan resident, briefly came across this…so just to chime in. Probably will be the bad guy.

    For anyone who is attacking the new proposed business tax; one of the top reasons companies don’t come here is the Michigan Business Tax (MBT). It is simply too complex, and too uncompetitive with other states. I’m a CPA and have studied this tax. When it was first enacted, I learned about it in a tax course, and half the other accountants in the class could not wrap their heads around it. It was ridiculous, and it is costly for businesses to implement (you need professional assistance). I also know this because a friend of mine is a commercial real estate broker…and one of the top reasons his clients don’t choose to relocate to Michigan (or LEAVE Michigan altogether) is the tax system. A flat 6% tax makes us much more competitive in that regard. Any smart business person always includes a tax assessment in their analysis of whether or not to set up shop.

    The pension tax makes the system fair; it surely is unpleasant for those protected under current regulation, but keep in mind very few other states have pension exemptions. I don’t agree that corporations, small businesses, young families, and individuals should shoulder the entire burden of state income tax, while the same state services are available to all residents (and the senior population is quickly growing over the next 20 years, meaning the unfair burden under current law will keep growing). My 401(k) will be taxed when I retire…and I’ll never receive a pension.

    Anyways, stop reading these comments. Get outside and enjoy the weather…unfortunately, i’m still chained to my desk.

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