Naked Corporatism

Unlike Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Michigan's Rick Snyder isn't even trying to hide the radical corporatism of his agenda. Think Progress reports:

Following suit, Gov. Rick Snyder (R-MI) has proposed ending his state’s Earned Income Tax Credit, cutting a $600 per child tax credit, and reducing credits for seniors, while also cutting funding for school districts by eight to ten percent. At the same time, as the Michigan League for Human Services found, the state’s business taxes would be reduced by nearly $2 billion, or 86 percent, under Snyder’s plan.

In addition, Snyder's income tax "reforms" would significantly raise rates on everyone but the top 1 percent of Michigan's taxpayers. And of course, this is to say nothing of Snyder's plan for unelected, unaccountable emergency "town managers," who could break contracts and circumvent the decisions of local elected officials.

It's worth noting that Snyder ran as a moderate Republican; in his primary campaign, he presented himself as the reasonable alternative to a flock of Tea Party candidates, and in the general election, he actively reached out to Democrats and independents. Indeed, insofar that he has anything in common with Walker, it's an apparent willingness to run with sweeping, transformative agenda items without ever presenting them to the public. Say what you will about the Affordable Care Act, but -- as Jonathan Bernstein noted yesterday -- the goal of health-care reform (and its broad outlines) were known well before the presidential election, and openly discussed by Democratic presidential candidates, including Obama.

Given the very negative consequences this "bait and switch" strategy could have for the legitimacy of representative government, let's hope that Walker and Snyder are outliers and not a new trend.

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