Tomorrow morning the polls open for those who have yet to electorally weigh in on the largest tax increase that Michiganians have ever had the opportunity to give themselves.
We have chronicled the multiple failures of the package here in nearly 80 articles, specifically referencing the proposal itself and dozens of other articles leading up to it. Our efforts over the last five months have demonstrated that the overall issue in Michigan’s roads situation is one of complete dysfunction. In fact we’ve shown the proposal is hardly about roads alone, though that aspect is the only legitimate premise under which the proposal is being sold.
Aside from the convoluted language and constitutionally flawed (and with predictably BAD outcomes) package, it is a cacophony of noisy promises to Michigan’s recipients of taxpayer largess. Townships, schools, ‘the working poor’ and the road builders themselves all seem to have a dog in the fight if one was to buy into the governor’s hype.
It all comes at a cost, and it appears the taxpayers are wising up.
These are the six points we would like every Michigan voter to know:
1) Road construction and maintenance have become an exclusively political issue in Michigan – devoid of any, economic, technical, or managerial rationales. Our roads amply demonstrate this.
Think about it. The condition of the roads have deteriorated rapidly in anticipation of the vote. What better way to ‘sell’ the spending on the much needed repairs! The warranty elements have been conveniently ignored by the incompetent management of the MDoT, in perhaps a reward scheme to the funders of this boondoggle vote.
2) Road funding has become a political perquisite, bound by rigid formulae (PA 51 of 1951), and distorted by political influence.
Actual need has become the least influential consideration. Road funding revenue is viewed by politicians/bureaucrats in Lansing and local governments as a bountiful resource used to reward special interests and enable politicians to further their careers through splashy (“bringing home the bacon”) projects. The emphasis on ‘transportation’ in the Proposal 1 campaign is emblematic of this situation.
10% of road funding is siphoned off to support economically untenable mass transit projects which only exist to further the careers of urban politicians and the delusions of lefty demagogues. Another 10% is siphoned off by bureaucrats in Lansing through bogus charge backs and even more is siphoned off by local politicians and bureaucrats. Politicians and bureaucrats throughout Michigan are gaming the PA 51 distribution system to accumulate maximum revenues from the MTF, rather than improve our roads. This has severely disadvantaged the less politically influential areas in Michigan. Transportation funding is distributed mostly on a per capita basis, rather than an actual needs basis.
3) The financial backing of SafeRoadsYes! is the best illustration ever of the warped, incestuous relationship between MDoT and their contractors.
This incestuous relationship denies Michiganders a fair return on their roads tax dollars. Road constructors have a powerful economic incentive to build poor and repair/reconstruct often.
4) There are significant technical issues to road construction and maintenance in Michigan which are being deliberately ignored due to political and economic gaming:
– truck weight limits
– road and bridge construction quality
– road and bridge design
– alkali-aggregate reaction in concrete
– road condition rating
None of these technical issues are being competently addressed and the cumulative costs imposed by these failures are rising rapidly.
5) While our State government dealt with the most pernicious effects of pensions and OPEBs on the State fisc, our local governments have not.
Most of the additional revenues from Proposal 1 will actually go to financing local government pension and OPEB promises, rather than roads work. This allows local politicians to forestall the inevitable day of reckoning coming for worker benefit packages which few private sector Michigan workers enjoy. Local politicians have become totally beholden to their employees and Governor Snyder crafted Proposal 1 to accommodate this paramount interest of local politicians, thus avoiding any further local bankruptcies and emergency manager placements.
This is another fundamental reason that Michiganders will derive little real benefit from the 16.67% sales tax increase that is Proposal 1.
6) Proposal 1 is the worst crafted witches brew of legislative confusion in the history of Michigan. The complete idiots on Snyder’s legislative team have guaranteed endless future conflicts which will keep AG Schuette and our courts very busy.
The articles penned on the constitutional danger in this proposal are not fiction. This is not conspiracy talk. And even with the sneering poke at the executive failure in Lansing, the truth is there to see. Laws are enacted for reasons, and the legal mechanisms within this proposal are so haphazardly crafted, its actually dangerous to our legal system.
These sad circumstances can be corrected, but it will take real managerial and technical effort. Governor Snyder has demonstrated that he has no interest in actually solving Michigan’s roads issues; Proposal 1 is a political expedience that simply throws more money at the problems. As Sen. Durhal said “putting a band-aid on a gunshot wound”, although he was referring to addition GF transfers to MTF rather than Proposal 1.
We hope this vampire gets spiked at the polls
Regular RightMi.com readership knows we will address the issue of roads and other state concerns, and we will propose useful solutions.
Some initial thoughts on where to go after this fails (as we now expect) would begin with Judicious firings. There are reasons the roads are in poor shape. It is not because taxpayers have been hoarding excess cash. Management, from the elected parasites who to this day still support Proposal 15-1, to the bureaucrats who think that selective negligence in our infrastructure serves their political masters well, need to go. The legislative guys who oversaw transportation have a bit of answering to do as well.
But this is only the first action. We have about a dozen other Plan-B ideas as well that we will offer in the next few days.
See you after the polls close tomorrow.
Voted NO. Genoa Twp 8, number 41 (and there's 250 absentees).
Voted NO at roughly quarter past nine this morning at Kentwood City ward 2 precinct 14. Was voter # 35, with slightly under 200 absentees. The Precinct Chair mentioned to me that the voters had been coming in one or two at a time, with about five minutes between each voter or pair of voters.
I noticed a placard prominently placed between the ballot table and the voting booths. It's about the size of a standard yard sign, with four columns of text (in "large print" font). The first column, and first quarter of the second column, is the actual language of 2014-HJR-UU. The middle of the second column, separated by a box, is a transcription of the ballot language. Beginning with the bottom quarter of the second column, and continuing for the rest of the placard, is an accurate executive summary of each of the ten bills that are tie-barred into this proposal.
How anyone could read that placard, and then vote to approve, is beyond me.
Ya, well, your next mission priority is to unseat your jackasses.
That shit ^ is why I refuse to reside in a city. They're full of unaccountable parasites who only understand taxing and communalism.
Work in progress, Scales. Reading the article (I note that this website seems to belong to one Scott Urbanowski, the 2012 Democrat nominee to challenge Ken Yonker for the 72nd State House seat), I'm a tad embarrassed to admit that I was the 2013 campaign strategist for both Commissioner Jerry DeMaagd, and Mayor Steve Kepley, but you can bet that they're aware of my displeasure. I was also the 2013 campaign strategist for Commissioner Erwin Haas. He and I have spoken about this proposal at length, and I know that he would have voted in opposition.
You can bet your sweet bippy that I'm going to somehow use this little nugget against Commissioner Steve Redmond. I filed my Statement of Organization back on March 12th, and my Nomination Affidavit back on April 9th, to challenge Redmond for his seat on the city commission. Website is forthcoming, and Jason has my contact information if you'd like to send a campaign contribution. (You and Mrs. Scales are each allowed ten benjamins.)
Wife and I hit the precinct a little before noon. The 80 space parking lot was empty and a couple folks came in as we were leaving.
Truthfully don't know if its good or not.
Voters #'s 167 & 168 in Clearwater at 10:30 this morning...steady 'trickle' of voters here, very conservative precinct & County...