Happy 40th Birthday, EITC!

Today is EITC Awareness Day, and this year marks the 40th anniversary of the widely recognized tool that lifts millions of working families and children out of poverty each year. States have the opportunity to build on the federal credit, which Michigan does. However, in 2011 the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit was cut leaving behind over 15,000 families in poverty in 2012. On May 5, the voters will have the opportunity to restore the credit by supporting an increase in the sales tax by one penny.

The Michigan EITC is only available to families who have earned income from working. The credit ensures that working families are better able to make ends meet. When combined with the federal EITC, working families are lifted out of poverty and children experience better outcomes, such as improved infant and maternal health; better school performance; greater college enrollment; increased work and earnings in the next generation; and Social Security retirement benefits. All of which also benefit Michigan’s economy. (more…)

Governing: Michigan Sends Road Funding Proposals to Voters

After several years, Gov. Rick Snyder has finally convinced lawmakers to spend more money on roads. There’s one hitch: The state’s voters have to approve the deal in May. Jan. 28, 2015 — Governing

MLIVE: Report: Michigan’s highest-earning 1 percent make 25 times more than rest of population

Michigan plays into a national trend of increasing wages for the state’s wealthiest citizens and stagnating wages for the middle class, according to a report from liberal think tank the Economic Policy Institute. Jan. 27, 2015 — MLIVE

WSJM: Michigan Ranks 15th for Income Inequality

A new report is showing that Michigan ranks 15th in the country when it comes to income inequality, prompting some to call for policy changes in response to the issue. The Economic Policy Institute’s report released Monday shows the top one percent in Michigan took home 25 times more than the bottom 99 percent in 2012, which the Michigan’s League for Public Policy’s Judy Putnam says is hardly helpful to the economy: Jan. 26, 2015 — WSJM


Daily Tribune: Income inequality increasing in Michigan

The top 1 percent in Michigan took home 25 times more than the bottom 99 percent in 2012, according to latest analysis published Monday by the Economic Policy Institute for the Economic Analysis and Research Network. Jan. 27, 2015 — Daily Tribune

Lopsided income growth hurts Michigan

The top 1% in Michigan earned 25 times the income of the bottom 99%, a new report from Economic Policy Institute concludes.

The report ranks Michigan as the 15th most unequal state in the country and offers new evidence on why Michigan policymakers should refuse more tax cuts so that they can invest in building the skills of a 21st century workforce.

In Michigan, inequality looks like this:

•    $942,993 a year on average for the top 1% of taxpayers.
•    $37,324 average annual income for the rest. (more…)

Holland Sentinel: My take: Confront racial inequities

Whatever our racial identity, we should all agree that it is in our nation’s and children’s best interest to confront racial inequality in our public and private sectors. Jan. 25, 2015 — Holland Sentinel

Lopsided income growth in Michigan

Contact: Judy Putnam at 517.487.5436
Editor’s note: A noon Monday (today, Jan. 26) media conference call will be held by the Economic Policy Institute to discuss the findings of the report. Details below.

Michigan is the 15th most unequal state in the country

The top 1 percent in Michigan took home 25 times more than the bottom 99 percent in 2012, according to new analysis published by the Economic Policy Institute for EARN — the Economic Analysis and Research Network.

In The Increasingly Unequal States of America: Income Inequality by State, 1917 to 2012, Estelle Sommelier and Mark Price update their analysis of IRS data—using the same methodology employed by Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez to generate their widely cited findings—and show inequality is rising throughout the United States.

Between 1979 and 2007, the top 1 percent of taxpayers captured an increasing share of income in every state. While incomes at all levels declined as a result of the Great Recession, income growth has been lopsided since the recovery began. (more…)

Tax policies gone wild

Shortsighted tax policy decisions by Michigan lawmakers have created a budget shortfall of $325 million in the current fiscal year, despite growth in the state’s economy.

Because Michigan must balance its budget every year, cuts will be made in the state’s General Fund, the major source of funds for health and human services, higher education and public safety – before the end of September. The 2016 budget, scheduled to be released by the governor on Feb. 11, has an additional revenue shortfall of $532 million. (more…)

The Times Herald: State must do more for children in day care facilities

Michigan is failing its youngest and most vulnerable residents.

When parents place their children in a licensed day care home or center, they expect that the state requirements for health and safety are being met. Michigan is not conducting on-site inspections frequently enough to ensure that regulations are being followed, and many facilities are non-compliant. Jan. 21, 2015 — The Times Herald


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