The civil engineers and construction companies need work! They’ve been peddling the Michigan-inferior-road shakedown for some years. As far as I could tell, Michigan’s roads are acceptable and no worse than those in Indiana or Ohio. We travel around the east coast a lot; We can’t compete in the lousy-road race-to-the-bottom with Virginia, where the Interstates are made of gravel, proving that there is lots of room down below . Our citizens are involuntarily entered into the race to be the tallest dwarf in the circus.
The way to subvert the usual arguments made by those who want to impose this tax increase is to allocate the net to each individual; these taxes will raise 1.6-2.0 billion, which distributed over 10 million folks in Michigan means every man, woman and child will pay 160-200 dollars-each. That makes the tax understandable to Joe and avoids the fluffy, “Well, it depends on how much you spend.” or “it will cost the average family x dollars.” These standard accounts that mean to appeal to inattentive voters but don’t factor in the increased costs of taxes that businesses pass on to their customer. No business pays taxes, they only collect them. See my film:
Our householder in Kentwood will be on the hook for 320, 480, 640 or even a thousand dollars (There is an average Kentwood household size somewhere; I don’t believe it’s possible to have fractional people but maybe with the new math…..) This statistical approach of tax per individual is almost unassailable and really catches the attention of voters.
Supporters of the tax hike sputter that people of modest means don’t spend that much; but, I answer, who’s in the middle of the bell shaped spending curve? What man in the streets won’t identify with being average?
The legislators in Lansing ignored cost savings in the prevailing wage thing. They pandered to special interests by paying for schools, buying off small town politicians (like myself) and to the paranoid hermits who live and drive only in a few inner cities like Grand Rapids where the roads are neglected and the money diverted to public transportation (economically worthless), bike paths (great in February in Michigan), new urbanism, “downtown” development and other green scams. Few except special interests benefit from these, but they do provide for press releases that please politicians and our intellectual superiors in the media.
The tax proposal is poorly written and confusing; not likely to pass. I know that we small town pols love “free money”, the two Santa Clause theory of politics, that both the red faced alcoholic and the government shower us with goodies, but a more sober appraisal forces us to continue to mind our knitting, keep costs down and to pay off our debts.
I’m interested in Kentwood. The 50k Kentwood residents will pay 8 -10 million in additional state taxes and get back a nominal (the state guides us in how we will spend it) 4 million plus some angel dust for schools after a few years. The party line is, “When this passes, we’ll get over 2 million in 2015 that we can spend…and eventually over 4 million.”
You may ask; where are the missing 4 plus million? “Well, the state’s roads will be improved, and that helps all of us.” This argument rings hollow to taxpayers who have witnessed the state legislators routinely re-purposing cash flows.
I’d hate to run for re-election using of that kind of arithmetic.
The swindle might be obvious if the money were collected locally and spent by politicians elected by those same taxpayers. This state wide exaction purposely obfuscates; in this confused, oversized public tit, a lot gets lost in the ducts-and the state legislators counted on that muddle to avoid their duty to trim costs and apply already available resources to fixing the infrastructure. They should be rewarded at the polls.However one rewards the irresponsible.