In a Detroit Free Press commentary published Wednesday, state Rep. Jim Townsend, D-Royal Oak, wrote, “Far right conservatives, who have come to dominate the GOP’s caucuses in the state legislature, are on a mission to dismantle the government by dramatically reducing its funding and curtailing its authority.”

Townsend was referring to votes this week to divert an amount equal to about 2 percent of state tax revenue to road repairs starting in five years, and also expand a low- and middle-income income tax credit by an amount worth around 0.7 percent of current state revenue.

ForTheRecord says: If Republicans’ goal is truly to “dismantle the government by dramatically reducing its funding,” they are failing miserably.

For starters, the amount of state tax dollars appropriated by a Republican Legislature and governor to the Department of Health and Human Services — the state welfare agency — reached an all-time high of $5.3 billion this year. That’s $385 million more than Gov. Rick Snyder’s first budget in 2011-12 when the GOP assumed control of both houses in the Legislature.

The amount these “far right conservatives” granted to the Department of Transportation was $2.5 billion, another record high, and $553 million more than Snyder’s first budget in 2011-12.

The same crew dedicated $12.1 billion to K-12 public schools this year, also an all-time high, and $1.0 billion more than in 2011-12.

In fact, the amount the far-right conservatives appropriated this year for the entire state budget set one more all-time high record, of $30.1 billion. That’s $2.8 billion more than 2011-12.

And on top of that, state revenue is projected to rise by $700 million next year alone.

These amounts refer to just state tax dollars, not federal money, which added much more to recent spending increases.

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As part of our efforts on government transparency, we obtained data on the compensation of most public employees in the state. This information has been used to fact check claims about salaries, verify data from other open records requests, and hold government spending accountable.

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