Politics as Usual Leaves Family Pocketbooks Tight


Photo by Karolina Grabowska

By Jennifer Conlin, Contributer

Like many folks in my district, the economy and inflation are top of mind for me. Of the dozens of small business owners I’ve spoken to, many note that goods like lumber and fertilizer, once plentiful and cheap, are now caught up in the woes of the global supply chain, driving up prices and availability.

Though we are all facing some difficult global economic trends, there are a number of solutions Lansing can take on to create good paying jobs, improve economic security, and reduce regulations to make it easier to do business in Michigan.

Time is running out to address these critical economic issues this year. Working families cannot wait for politics as usual to play out as their household budgets get leaner every month.

The State Legislature met last week for the first time since July 1st. Legislators are scheduled to be back in Lansing this week, the last time before November’s election. Now is the time to pass the Michigan Pocketbook Plan, an urgent economic agenda to bolster household finances and provide tax relief to seniors and working families.

This package of bills would put money directly back into the hands of taxpayers by expanding the working families tax credit and sending 730,000 working class families, on average, $3,000. That would immediately lift 22,000 people out of poverty.

Another bill in the plan would grant a $500 tax rebate for those filing taxes individually if their income is less than $125,000 or to those filing jointly if their income is less than $250,000.

The proposed package would also prevent employers from stealing benefits from employees and eliminate corporate deductions related to outsourcing, protecting Michigan’s local economy. Designed to bolster small businesses, these two bills would ensure investments made in Michigan stay in Michigan.

The Pocketbook Plan would repeal the retirement tax, saving 500,000 Michiganders on average $1,000, a proposal supported across the political spectrum. The retirees and pensioners in my district and across the state should not have our state’s budget balanced on their backs. It’s time, once and for all, we right this wrong.

These proposed solutions are common sense, fiscally conservative, and beneficial to the taxpaying, working-class families that need it the most. Michiganders don’t want handouts, they only want a financially sustainable future for their families.

The Michigan Pocketbook Plan can help do that and that’s why it’s time for Lansing to act now.

Jennifer Conlin is a wife, mother, daughter, caregiver, journalist, native of Washtenaw County, and a candidate for State Representative in the newly drawn 48th House District.

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