Despite Billions More in Spending, Democrat Says GOP is Trying to Dramatically Reduce Budget

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.