No Matter Who Wins on Tuesday, GOP Nominee Will Have a Clear Record of Supporting an Out-of-the-Mainstream Ideology that Would Devastate Michigan’s Hard-Working Families
LANSING – Mark Brewer, chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, spoke today with reporters about the upcoming GOP primary — and how little the outcome matters. That’s because both Clark Durant and Pete Hoekstra support an out-of-the-mainstream agenda that would devastate Michigan’s hard-working families.
“It doesn’t matter whether Durant or Hoekstra wins the primary because both men have spent the last six months pushing an agenda that will paint a target on the back of Michigan’s middle-class families,” said Brewer.
“Both Durant and Hoekstra want to raise taxes on the middle class to pay for more breaks for millionaires, privatize Medicare and Social Security and eliminate federal student loans. After making promises to the extreme elements of their party during the primary, these guys are going to have a hard time explaining their out-of-the-mainstream agenda to Michigan voters.”
On the call, Brewer also discussed the specifics of Hoekstra and Durant’s plans to end Medicare and privatize Social Security, cut taxes for millionaires while raising taxes on middle-class families, protect taxpayer giveaways to companies that outsource jobs, oppose equal pay for women, end federal student loans and more.
Below you will find background on the Hoekstra-Durant anti-middle class agenda:
#1: Privatize Medicare and Social Security
Clark Durant and Pete Hoekstra have repeatedly supported plans that would:
- End Medicare as we know it and let private insurance companies make health care decisions for seniors. [Wall Street Journal, 4/04/11; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 5/16/12]
- Raise the costs of health care for seniors by thousands of dollars. [St. Petersburg Times, 4/22/11]
#2: Cut Taxes for Michigan’s Very Rich; Raise Taxes on Michigan’s Middle Class
Both Pete Hoekstra and Clark Durant have pledged to raise taxes on Michigan’s middle-class families while cutting taxes for millionaires and billionaires.
- Pete Hoekstra supports Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan that would that would raise taxes for the average middle-class family by more than $4,000 a year while cutting taxes for millionaires in half. [The Hill, 2/16/12; Associated Press,10/18/11]
- Hoekstra also supports the so-called “Fair Tax” (i.e., eliminating the income tax altogether and creating a whopping 23 percent national sales tax) that would raise taxes on the bottom 80 percent of taxpayers by an average of $3,200 per year and give the richest 1 percent a $225,000 tax break each year. [Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, September 2004]
- Clark Durant supports Sen. Mike Lee’s 25 percent sales tax, even more regressive and more devastating to the middle class than Hoekstra’s 23 percent “Fair Tax.” [Durant website, accessed 8/2/12]
#3: Protect Taxpayer Giveaways to Companies that Outsource Michigan Jobs
- Hoekstra has also voted on numerous occasions to protect tax breaks for companies that outsource. [Vote #324, 5/28/10; Vote #518, 8/10/10; Vote # 120, 5/01/02; Vote #4, 2/1/06; Vote #258, 6/17/04]
- Clark Durant supports the Tea Party budget, presented by Sen. Mike Lee from Utah, that would also reward companies that have shipped jobs overseas and made huge profits on the backs of middle-class families. [Durant website, accessed 8/2/12]
- The Lee-Durant budget incentivizes the outsourcing of American jobs by moving to a territorial tax system where companies do not have to pay taxes for profits made in other countries — meaning a huge tax break for companies that move operations and jobs abroad. [Sen. Lee, Saving The American Dream Budget, accessed 7/18/12; CBPP, 2/28/12]
#4: Drive the Tea Party Social Agenda against Mainstream Michigan Values
- Pete Hoekstra Against Equal Pay for Equal Work for Women: Pete Hoekstra told a Tea Party crowd in Royal Oak that the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act “shouldn’t be the law” and called Equal Pay for women a “nuisance.” The Ledbetter Act ensures that women have the ability to fight wage discrimination in the workplace. [Grand Rapids News, 4/13/12]
- Pete Hoekstra and Clark Durant Making it Harder for Kids to Attend College: Both Hoekstra and Durant have called for the elimination of the Department of Education, a move that would eliminate Stafford Loans and Pell Grants. Pete Hoekstra even said he’s “tried to kill federalized student loans for eighteen years.”
- 303,000 students in Michigan make use of Stafford loans.
- 337,000 Michigan students rely on Pell grants. [Senate Dems, accessed 8/2/12]
- The Hoekstra/Durant plan to end these programs would be extremely destructive to Michigan’s middle-class families. [Tea Party Rally, 9/3/11; MLive, 7/20/12; Huffington Post, 5/14/12; Detroit News, 6/30/12; National Women’s Law Center, accessed 8/2/12]
- Pete Hoekstra and Clark Durant Fight to Ban Women’s Access to Birth Control: Pete Hoekstra sponsored “personhood” legislation seven times while in Congress. His legislation would outlaw some forms of birth control. In 2012, Durant was endorsed by an organization that fought to deny women access to contraception — he supports their platform. [HR 881, co-sponsored on 2/4/09; HR 618, co-sponsored on 1/22/07; HR 552, co- sponsored on 2/2/05; HR 3069, co-sponsored on 5/5/04; HR 639, co-sponsored on 2/6/97; HR 641, co-sponsored on 2/6/97; HR 1625, co-sponsored on 1/3/96; Washington Post, 10/28/11; Washington Post, 7/25/12]
- Hoekstra proposed creating an Office of the Birther, run by a joint FBI-CIA panel, to verify the president’s citizenship. [Lapeer Tea Party meeting, 5/01/12]
- Hoekstra supported drilling for oil in the Great Lakes. [Detroit Free Press, 5/12/12]
- In 2011, Durant said he believed the wealth gap “should be wider.” [Grand Rapids News, 11/10/11]
- Durant compared the public school system and the fight for school choice to the fight of Abraham Lincoln and the Republican Party against slavery. [Detroit Free Press, 12/08/11]