Extorting Michigan Businesses

January 23, 2006
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Michigan Democrats just can’t give up the “entitlement mentality.” That is that every person born or living in the state of Michigan is entitled to the profits of its corporate citizens. State Sen. Ray Basham, D-Taylor, has requested a public hearing on Senate Bill 734, which would “require corporations with more than 10,000 workers to either provide affordable insurance to their employees (and dependents) or reimburse the state for nearly $100 million in annual Medicaid-related expenses.”

Basham deserves to hear the outrage over such proposed extortion. One must ask why he and other Michigan legislators continue a policy of providing all health benefits to illegal aliens, including those who purposely bring pregnant sisters and wives into the state to take advantage of the protection of Michigan’s MiChild medical promises. State Rep. Jerry Kooiman last year repeatedly attempted to repeal such world health care provisions during budget conference hearings. Kooiman also repeatedly made the point that Michigan is the only place in the land where state benefits are unending, and attempted to set a “lifetime benefit” limit.

Basham’s office headlined his press release thus: “Basham Demands Hearings on Deadbeat Boss Legislation.” The brainless act of seizing upon and attempting to slaughter a scapegoat is exactly why Republicans will remain a majority party. Democratic inbreeding of such policy statements from the national to the state level assures they will continue to be the fools. Further, it is an example of party premise that entrepreneurs who manage to build a successful business somehow owe the state a public trough, even after paying every kind of tax the state imagines.

The Wal-Mart policy of low prices, low wages, and no benefits is not a business model, nor should such ever be implied. Businesses that remain competitive in hiring from a dwindling population in the work force do so with competitive salaries and benefits (and benefits is used in the plural form to include profit sharing, flexible hours, vacation pay and a multitude of innovative plans).

Basham is taking his lead from two other states serving up such socialist policy: the states of Washington and Maryland. Each is attempting to pass legislation that would require “profitable corporations” to invest a minimum of 8 percent of the payroll in health care coverage for employees, or be taxed for a “Fair Share Health Care Fund” so that states no longer need to provide Medicaid.

In Michigan, automakers already are paying an average of $1,600 per vehicle to provide health care for their Michigan workers. And they are already moving the work to other countries where such costs are avoided, providing the global consumer with a more competitive price on the vehicle. What part of this example Basham doesn’t understand as he watches businesses flee the state is incomprehensible. Continuation of such outlandish proposals for the country’s most economically crippled state will cost the governor her job.    

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