Michigan Leaders Must Be Accountable
The May 5th ballot initiative is bearing down on Michigan voters and the lawmakers that punted the issue back to the people in the first place. Proposal 1 is deeply flawed and amounts to a nearly $2 billion dollar annual multi-dimensional tax increase that would not only begin to address crumbling roads, bridges and infrastructure but it is also a pile of political money for a laundry list of other things. For example, about $120 million dollars a year is earmarked for buses and urban mass transit systems. That is not what most Michigan residents think is an emergency and in need of a special election. Simply put, it is a mess and it’s not getting better.
From very early on I told you this alleged solution, which would most notably raise the sales tax from 6% to 7% and trigger another ten laws that will move money around like a Ponzi scheme, had no chance of passing. I said it would fail by a two to one margin. The latest polling from Epic MRA indicates I was being pretty optimistic. Proposal 1 it seems has only 29% support when it is explained and a whopping 65% say they will vote no.
This poorly conceived initiative is well on it’s way into the trash. That’s how bad it is and most voters don’t even realize the most shocking part- that not one penny of sales tax revenue can be spent on roads at all. That was a fact conveniently not mentioned by those that delivered this lame duck special in December. If voters actually knew that I doubt support would even reach double digits.
Republican Governor Rick Snyder teamed up with then Senate Majority leader, Republican Randy Richardville and Minority Leader Democrat Gretchen Whitmer, to deliver this ‘road fix’ for voters to decide and then washed their collective hands of any responsibility. That simply won’t due.
And that, in my opinion isn’t even the worst of it. If the advertising that is being spewed across the state is to be believed voting no on Proposal 1 is akin to allowing our children to be killed because school buses will in short order be careening of the roads and innocent drivers will be having chunks of concrete flying through the windshields. Yeah it’s a bit much to say the least.
Then as it if that isn’t enough, we are told that there is no Plan B and we shouldn’t expect one any time soon. If we don’t vote for Proposal 1 then too bad, we get nothing. Really? The politicians of this state abdicate their responsibility granted to them by the voters and then blame the voters for not bailing them out and doing their job? Wow- talk about stones!
Let me lay it on the line for you. Michigan taxpayers have been putting the money on the table just like those in other states for decades but it seems our money didn’t end up where it belonged nearly enough and now the politicians are putting it back on us and they have no idea what to do when we, Republicans and Democrats alike stand together and say no. Enough, no more taxes and promises that this time it will be done right. Well, politicians all say they want bipartisan solutions to big problems and I am here to tell you we are about to deliver one here in Michigan. It’s not the solution those in Lansing want and they will apparently use whatever imagery, no matter how off base or in bad taste they think may make us change our minds.
I’ve got news- we won’t be changing our minds and we will reject this pile of tax increases and convoluted nonsense in pursuit of something better. We frankly deserve something better. We certainly deserve more respect than we’ve been getting.
I will tell you, all this talk makes me think the drive for a part time legislature is a really good idea. After all what are we actually paying for these days? I thought we elected the Governor and those around him to solve these tough problems and yet it’s back in our lap- again. This time however it also came with a proverbial gun to our head.
I will also tell you very clearly that the first person in Michigan no matter whether it’s a man or woman, Republican or Democrat or Independent, that delivers a real, honest, simple solution to fixing the road problem with or without raising taxes, will be a very important person- and on track to be Governor. It appears we could use one.
We will all be watching very closely on May 6, to see what that person looks like and sounds like. So far we have been kept in the dark.
It is time for leadership in Michigan and the time is now.