Rep. Greg Markkanen released the following statement today after the governor’s population council proposed tax hikes to curb population declines. Recommendations include $2.5 billion in new spending without clear methods to increase state funding without raising taxes.
“When our kids start asking us to pay for U-Hauls to manage moves to Texas, we can all look back and thank the governor for the tax hikes that drove them away,” said Markkanen, R-Hancock. “Young families aren’t going to notice freshly paved walking paths or fancy playgrounds when they’re built around homes that are hundreds of thousands of dollars out of reach. We have 20-year-olds that can’t afford to live independently already. Now, Democrats are flaunting their expensive new program initiatives and ignoring the tax hikes that will drive people out of the state or into their parents’ basements.”
The population council’s recommendations include unpopular liberal initiatives like redistributing school funding from fiscally responsible areas to failing districts with widespread financial mismanagement. The proposals also include raising taxes to pay people to move to Michigan and suggest implementing a state-run initiative to provide illegal immigrants with drivers’ licenses.
“Yoopers will recognize this report is filled with the same reused liberal talking points we’ve been hearing for years,” Markkanen said. “The governor and Lansing Democrats seem to believe that if they spend millions of dollars putting new makeup on their same overused initiatives that people will just magically begin to believe in their failing leadership. Getting people to call our state home shouldn’t be hard. But the answer isn’t expensive new programs or bribing people to move here. The solution is promoting our great outdoors, embracing our friendly and hardworking background, and lowering taxes so people can afford to live here in the first place.”
“Democrats clamoring about process means nothing when they won’t engage with us legislatively,” said Markkanen, who serves on the House Education Committee. “I know there are former educators across the aisle. I’m sure they dealt with the same classroom distractions that I did. It appears they forgot about the remedies for those problems. If they truly recognize the need for school safety resources, I’d give them some of the same advice I gave some of my more distracted students – it’s time to turn off the phone, sit down at your desk, and get to work. We need a committee hearing so we can get these bills done.”
“There are so many Yoopers with Finnish heritage, making celebrating Finnish history all the more important in the Upper Peninsula,” said Markkanen, R-Hancock. “Saunas are essential to Finnish culture. Finns of all generations enjoy traditional saunas for cleansing and as a vital source of relaxation and socializing.”
“Pvt. Karna served his country bravely in its time of greatest need,” Markkanen said. “As a fellow veteran, I’m honored to introduce a bill to memorialize his service and sacrifice in the Painsedale and South Range communities.”
“The governor’s new Good Jobs 2.0 proposal has a lot in common with Hollywood’s recent obsession with remaking classic movies; the only difference being, unlike many of the movies, the original Good Jobs program was terrible too,” said Markkanen, R-Hancock. “Michigan doesn’t need to lure coastal corporations into our state so we can have more big fancy ribbon cutting events. We need a real economic development strategy to support our struggling small businesses across Michigan.”