The League applauds the healthcare ruling

June 28, 2012

Contact: Karen Holcomb-Merrill  (517) 487-5436


MLHS Statement:
Supreme Court ruling affirms healthcare security for all Americans

“We are ecstatic! This is great news for all Michiganders who are one accident, one tumor or one layoff away from health and financial disaster. The Affordable Care Act was a century in the making to provide all Americans with access to affordable, quality healthcare. We commend the Supreme Court for its decision.

Everyone wants the security of knowing they can see a doctor when they are ill or have the medications or treatments that they need. The Supreme Court ruling affirms that security by upholding the Affordable Care Act and allowing implementation to proceed. We are elated.” (more…)

Many worry, wait for health care reform ruling

Sandwich shop owner Britt Slocum believes that national health care reform, if left unchecked, will put the brakes on his plan to add a new store in downtown Lansing.

Jan Hudson, a Lansing-based human services policy analyst, worries that more than 1 million Michigan residents who lack health insurance will lose hope of obtaining coverage if all or part of the federal law is thrown out. June 27, 2012 — Lansing State Journal

Student debt is a problem

A recent article in the Lansing State Journal highlighted the fact that more than half of Michigan State University undergraduates who graduated in 2010 finished with no student loan debt.

While that is something to be happy about, especially given that MSU had the third-highest tuition level among Michigan public universities that year, we should not be quick to infer that student loan debt is not a problem.

For one thing, MSU was only one of two out of the 15 public universities in which less than half the students graduated with student loan debt (the other was University of Michigan—Ann Arbor). Of the others, nine had more than 60% of their students and three had three-fourths of their students graduating with debt in 2010.

Another thing to consider is that these figures only count those who graduate. U of M—Ann Arbor and MSU do the best on this measure, both in the percentage who graduate with a four-year degree in four years and the percentage of those who do so in six years. But what about the 23% who do not graduate within six years at MSU, or the more than 45% who do not graduate within that time at 11 of the other 14 universities? (At eight universities, less than half of those pursuing a four-year degree graduated within six years.) Are they saddled with debt and no degree? Is it possible that debt is itself a factor in why some of those students did not graduate? (more…)

GOP vs. Obama tax plans

Michigan’s wealthiest households — the top 1% — are clear winners in the Congressional Republicans’ plan to extend the Bush tax cuts, a new analysis from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy shows.

And not surprisingly, President Obama’s alternative plan is a more limited proposal that would be far more favorable to those at the opposite end of the income ladder.

In fact, the GOP plan gives the poorest 20% in Michigan just $60 on average in tax breaks while Obama’s plan provides $230.

For the richest 1%, the GOP plan offers $55,450 compared with Obama’s $19,100.

While there are legitimate questions about both plans at a time when we need to invest in our public structures, the president’s plan will cost $1 trillion less over the next decade than the GOP plan. (more…)

How Michiganders fare in Obama vs. GOP tax cut plans

For Immediate Release: June 22, 2012
Contact: Judy Putnam, Michigan League for Human Services, 517-410-5798 (cell),, or
Anne Singer, CTJ, 202-299-1066, ext. 27,


New Analysis Finds GOP Approach to Bush Tax Cuts would Give Richest 1 Percent of Michiganders $36,350 Per Year More and Give Poorest 20 Percent $170 Less on Average than Obama’s Approach

Comparison of Two Approaches to Extending Some or All of the Bush Tax Cuts for All Americans Released

Middle- and low-income Michiganders would pay somewhat more in taxes under the Congressional Republicans’ approach to extending the Bush tax cuts than they would under President Obama’s approach, while high-income Michiganders would pay far less under the Republican approach, according to a new analysis from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) and Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ).  National figures show the same pattern.

“With Michigan in a very slow economic recovery, it’s important that we carefully examine the impact of tax policy across the board. We know that tax breaks to lower-income families will stimulate our economy more because the money will be quickly spent and spent locally on car repairs, utility bills, weatherization and other basic needs,’’ said Michigan League for Human Services President & CEO Gilda Z. Jacobs. (more…)

Supermajority proposal? Super-bad idea

If you’ve been anywhere near crowds recently, you’ve probably had a petition gatherer ask you to sign a petition making it harder to raise taxes in Michigan. While it might sound good on the surface, there are many reasons not to sign. (See our new brief: Supermajority Proposal: A Super-Bad Idea for Michigan.)

If the petition drive is successful, there will be a proposal on the November ballot to amend the Michigan Constitution to require a two-thirds vote by the Legislature to raise state taxes. In other words, it would be much harder to fund our schools, our roads, our local police and fire and other important services here in the Mitten.

While Michigan seems to be experiencing a slow economic recovery, during the next downturn it would be much more difficult for policymakers to make timely revenue decisions if the so-called “supermajority proposal” were adopted. A minority of lawmakers could thwart the will of the majority. (more…)

Picking up the pieces

There’s still time to sign up for the League’s free policy forum on Tuesday at the Lansing Radisson.

We’re hoping for a frank discussion on what’s happening in Michigan with cuts in unemployment, food assistance and cash assistance. With so much focus on the economic recovery, we have to make sure policymakers remember the recovery is slow and many people are still being left behind.

You’ll hear from David Eich, executive director of Michigan 2-1-1, which works to connect people in need with local resources. Also speaking will be Kareemah El-Amin, executive director of the Food Bank Council of Michigan and the Rev. Bruce Roller, executive director of the United Church Outreach Ministry. (more…)

State House committee OKs plan to cut income tax rate

A state House committee passed legislation Tuesday to sharply cut the state’s personal income tax rate during the next five years. June 13, 2012 — Detroit Free Press

House committee passes legislation for personal income tax cut over next five years

A House committee today passed legislation to sharply cut the state’s personal income tax rate over the next five years. June 12, 2012 — Detroit Free Press

Bigger break to upper-income households

June 6, 2012
Contact: Judy Putnam at (517) 487-5436

New analysis looks at all tax changes for 2012 and how it affects families at different incomes

A family of four with two children earning $25,000 will only have 3 percent of their 2012 state tax increase offset by a new tax break approved by the House Wednesday. But a family earning $250,000 will see a 13 percent offset.

When all tax changes are considered for 2012, the lower-income family will pay $742 in new taxes, while the higher-income family will pay $595, a new analysis from the Washington D.C.-based Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy concludes. This is for taxes due April 15, 2013. (more…)

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