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Michigan Rally Defends Middle Class, Opposes Budget Cuts

August 09, 2011

Michiganders rally in Lansing
Michiganders rally at the Capitol in Lansing on Wednesday to oppose Gov. Snyder’s anti-worker budget plan. (Photo by Jon Melegrito)

More than 7,000 Michigan residents from throughout the state rallied at the Capitol in Lansing on Wednesday, angry that Republican Gov. Rick Snyder’s anti-worker budget plan cuts education, imposes a new tax on seniors’ pensions and gives $1.8 billion in tax breaks to corporations.

“Attacking child care workers like me is not the solution to our financial problems,” said Robin Edwards, a child care worker who spoke at the rally. “Denying us a voice and bargaining rights won’t create a single job. This is our house. It’s time for our leaders to start working together, stop attacking middle class families, and start creating quality jobs for Michigan workers.”

Edwards was part of a broad coalition of public service workers, students, seniors and supporters who want Snyder to pay attention to the needs of middle class Americans, not just to the governor’s Big Business and Wall Street benefactors.

Legislative committees, convening after two weeks of paid vacation, will soon begin to vote on Snyder’s budget plan, which includes nearly $800 million in cuts to K-12 and higher education. It also would eliminate the Earned Income Tax Credit for working families, and impose other draconian cuts that will hurt the state’s economy.

As House Fiscal Agency Dir. Mitch Bean said last week at the Michigan Municipal League’s Conference on the Budget, “There is no guarantee that Gov. Rick Snyder’s tax plan would translate into job increases.”

“Politicians are unfairly exploiting the economic crisis to tear apart our community instead of working together to find creative solutions that will build a strong Michigan and a vibrant economy with thriving businesses,” said Kyle Holmes, a small business owner who also spoke at the rally. “I am eager to be a partner in making our community and our state strong and economically healthy.”

Read more in the Lansing State Journal, Detroit Free Press, and this AFL-CIO blog post.

Also, view rally photos on Flickr, the We Are the People Michigan Facebook page, and on Twitter under #miunion

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