Friday, March 11, 2011

Snyder budget plan: Live and on YouTube

Posted By on Fri, Mar 11, 2011 at 1:38 PM

If you want to hear it without (much of) a media filter, a lively discussion about Michigan’s budget, tax plans and film credits is available for viewing on YouTube.

Uploaded by CMN-TV, the public access cable station based in Troy that hosted the town hall-style program this week, the program includes questions from the studio audience, callers and tweets.

The ever-energetic Charlie Langton, an attorney and legal analyst for WJBK-TV2, hosted. Guests were Gov. Rick Snyder’s budget director, John Nixon, in one his few visits so far to southeast Michigan, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner and Troy City Manager John Szerlag. The Oakland Press was a co-sponsor.

Much of the hour-long program included discussions about Snyder’s proposal to tax public pensions with Nixon defending it as being fiscally sensible. It’s estimated to raise about $1 billion for the state’s general fund.

“You have people making quite a bit of money that are not being taxed,” Nixon said. “If it’s not addressed now, it will need to be in the future.”

Audience members urged government responsibility and accountability and fairness in tax plans.

Meisner (D-Ferndale), who spent six years in the Michigan House until he was term limited out, said he was worried about wild policy swings in Lansing. “One of things I’m a little concerned about is the continuity of policy,” he said. “If we start on a certain course as state and then quickly change back and forth? The business sector really needs some predictability.”

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