Will the real Mark Schauer please stand up?

Saul Anuzis

The greatest credential for a politician is showing their loyalty to their beliefs.

That’s how you rally your base, shore up your supporters, and gain credibility amongst the populace.

Imagine a candidate for the chief executive office of the state, governor, coming out against the elimination of a business tax, saying it was just a $1.8 billion credit to corporations.

Imagine this same candidate coming out in favor of the elimination of a different business tax, saying it would create jobs.

Wait, what?

Confusing as it seems, this is exactly what former Congressman Mark Schauer did.

He’s repeatedly attacked Gov. Rick Snyder’s elimination of the Michigan Business Tax as giving tax breaks to businesses.

Then, in the weeks before the August primary election, Schauer came out in favor of Proposal 1, which eliminated the personal property tax, saying its passage was necessary for job creation throughout the state. He even went so far as to record a robo call in favor of the passage of Proposal 1.

Let’s compare and contrast these two double tax eliminations.

When Schauer helped create the Michigan Business Tax during the Lost Decade, Michigan lost more than 300,000 jobs. Employers just plain could not afford their employees anymore.

The elimination of the Michigan Business Tax has been the best thing that has happened to Michigan.

More than 275,000 jobs have been created.

We’re ranked sixth in entrepreneurial climate.

Jobs and businesses are coming back to Michigan.

The elimination of the Michigan Business Tax was the strong foundation under which Michigan’s reinvention was built.

Then there’s Proposal 1 which eliminated the personal property tax for Michigan’s small businesses while creating a more stable funding system to pay for important local community services like police, fire, ambulances, schools, jails, roads, libraries and parks.

This was a double tax because not only do small businesses pay the 6 percent sales tax when they purchase equipment, they also pay a personal property tax for every year that they own the equipment.

Apparently the elimination of this double tax on businesses was something Schauer could really get behind.

He even said in an interview: “Eliminating the personal property tax is going to help us create jobs in Michigan.”

At the end of the day, both of these dumb double taxes on businesses have disappeared. Job creators across the state are rejoicing and hiring hard working Michiganians.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad to see them both gone.

However, I’m confused by Schauer and his tax policy stance.

Is he for or against double taxation of small businesses?

Does it depend on the year?

The polling?

Shouldn’t it be a matter of political principle?

How can one’s beliefs change so drastically from 2011 to 2014?

Which Mark Schauer would Michiganians get next year? The one for or against tax cuts?

This isn’t how you rally your base, shore up your supporters, or gain credibility amongst the populace.

This is how you show that you’re just another career politician talking out of both sides of your mouth, grasping at whatever might help your fledgling campaign tread water.

Schauer, for not knowing your own policy convictions, you win the award for worst professional politician in Michigan.

Saul Anuzis is managing partner of Coast to Coast Strategies LLC and former chairman of the Michigan Republican Party.

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