Putting Michigan Back to Work: Reforming Budgets, Regulations and Taxes
Higher taxes, bigger government, and more bureaucrats are not the answer to turn Michigan around. The answer is in the people of Michigan, the hard working, talented Michigan workers. Whether it’s on the factory floor, in the field, the office, classroom, or in the hospital, the strength of Michigan lies in the people. For too long, rather than relying upon its people, the political class in Lansing has instead relied on the government to rebuild Michigan.
This is why Aric has stood up to the liberals in Lansing that have failed our families as they have grown the size of government, taxed businesses out of the state, and provided bureaucrats with better benefits and pay than those who pay the taxes, create the jobs, and build wealth.
Aric supported legislation that created jobs by reforming our budget, tax and regulatory systems. This has included passing a balanced and sustainable budget that reforms government and makes it live within their means just like families across southwest Michigan have to do. This has included increasing the state’s savings account from $2 million to over $500 million and paying down billion in liability. The credit rating agencies have responded with a positive outlook for Michigan, while giving a negative outlook to the federal government and many countries in Western Europe.
Tax reform has included eliminating the job-killing Michigan Business Tax (MBT), one of the worst business taxes in the nation, and replacing it with a fair, flat and efficient corporate income tax. This moved Michigan from a bottom five state to a top ten state in competitiveness.
Regulatory reform entailed eliminating hundreds of regulations and working to block new burdensome rules from coming into effect. There are more that need to updated, streamlined and eliminated. Working with the Office of Regulatory Reinvention, Aric continues to go line by line to help streamline regulations.
Michigan is starting to move in the right direction. The unemployment rate used to be well over fourteen percent, but is now being in single digits, because of the creation of nearly 300,000 new private sector jobs. However, more work needs to be done as we work to recover from the lost decade.
Reforms that are Getting Michigan Back to Work
- Passed legislation that would stop state bureaucrats from implementing workplace ergonomic rules that would cost Michigan jobs by raising the price of doing business in our state.
- Eliminated the job-killing Michigan Business Tax that double taxed small businesses trying to create jobs and contribute to our economy and was giving away dozens of special interest deductions, credits, and corporate give-aways. We replaced this job-destroying, complex tax with a simple, fair, and efficient 6% corporate income tax. This tax reform will place Michigan in the top 20 nationally for the treatment of business income, individual income, and retirement income.
- Passed a balanced budget before June, the first time a budget was passed this early in 30 years. We made significant cuts and reforms to the state budget, responsibly used unexpected revenue to pay down debt, deposited funds into the state’s savings account, and shielded schools from larger cuts. Additional unexpected revenue should be steered towards continuing reforms that will pay down Michigan’s nearly $50 billion in unfunded future obligations and start rebuilding Michigan’s drained savings account.
- Eliminated retirement healthcare for state legislators elected on or after January 1, 2007, which includes myself. Present and future members of the House and Senate will not receive any special benefits after their service. We felt it was important that state legislators lead by example.
- Reduced legislator’s salaries by 10%, while cutting office budgets by nearly 14 percent, on top of the 5 percent cut that had been enacted earlier in the year.
- Reformed welfare by placing a forty-eight month lifetime limit for able-bodied adults.
- Reformed the Bridge Card program so college students can’t game the system. Some other key changes include prevent cash assistance withdrawals at casino ATMs, preventing prisoners and wanted criminals from being applicable for public assistance, and requiring that recipients compensate DHS for lost or stolen cards.
- Passed legislation to address mortgage fraud and equip prosecutors needed tools to go after those who wish to criminally steal and deceive families trying to buy a home.
These were just some of the many reforms passed with the support of Representative Nesbitt and he is looking forward to continuing to be part of the solution to fix state government and get Michigan back to work.
Making Michigan the World Hub for Energy
As Chair of the House Energy and Technology Committee, Aric continues to work to increase Michigan energy production, lower prices for families and businesses, while ensuring our environment is protected.
Aric led a bipartisan Natural Gas Subcommittee issuing a report on Natural Gas in Michigan in the Spring of 2012; for the full report on Energy and Job Creation click here.
As Chairman of the Energy Committee, he has worked to implement many of the recommendations in the report, including encouraging more oil and gas production in Michigan, lowering costs to consumers by extending out natural gas lines to homes, farms and businesses, and proper regulatory oversight of Michigan’s oil and gas production.
He has worked to make Michigan’s electric rates more competitive to attract and retain manufacturers and will continue to work across the aisle to implement a 21st Century Energy plan that works for Michigan.
Protecting our Hometown Values
One of five kids, Aric supports the right to life and is the only candidate endorsed by Right to Life of Michigan and Citizens for Traditional Values.
Growing up hunting and as a member of the National Rifle Association, Aric supports protecting our Second Amendment and hunting rights.
Rebuilding our Roads and Infrastructure
For too long, our highways, roads, and bridges have been neglected. The investments needed to maintain the vast expanse of highways, bridges, and roads continue to grow. Aric has supported legislation that invests over a half billion dollars of additional funding for our roads. He knows more needs to be done.
He has supported legislation for stronger warranties by road builders, improved competitive bidding procedures for local governments, and streamlining the Department of Transportation. For example, changing the way road contracts are negotiated could save 20-30 percent. For every 100 miles of roads paved today, that would mean another 20 miles paved under a system that is based on merit. With rural counties, such as ours, reverting some of the paved roads back to gravel, it’s time to reexamine how these contracts are awarded to ensure money goes to improve our infrastructure, not those favored by the political class.
Aric has voted for legislation to direct gasoline taxes to actually go towards transportation, along with prioritizing more current revenues to be directed to building our roads and bridges.
Preparing our Children for a Brighter Future
Aric successfully helped pass legislation that would allow students and parents to have more options and greater control over a child’s education. Under legislation Aric helped pass was to provide more college opportunities to high school students through dual enrollment, and allow students to be able to substitute courses in career and technical training for other requirements. Aric believes that it is essential that Michigan seeks to develop a skilled and competitive workforce. To achieve this goal, he worked to allow our students the flexibility to pursue courses that will provide them with valuable tools in areas of future employment.
Reforming Michigan’s merit curriculum is great for those who are heading straight to college, however, other opportunities should be presented for those who are looking for technical training in career fields such as welding, tool and die making, and construction. Skilled labor is in demand and ways we can provide flexibility to prepare our next generation for careers is essential for us to compete and win in the 21st century.