Michigan, Michigan Democrats, Michigan Republicans, Taxes, Tea Party — April 27, 2015 at 11:57 am

Proposal 1: The issue that has turned too many Michigan progressives into tea partiers


Part 1 in a series. Part 2 is HERE and Part 3 is HERE.

There are few topics that unite tea partiers with progressive liberals but Michigan’s Prop 1 has not only united these two disparate groups, it has, for all intents and purposes, turned many progressives into tea partiers in their own right. What I mean by this is that they have allowed their hatred for our Republican governor and his colleagues in the legislature to cloud their judgment on Proposal 1, turning them against it when the truly progressive position is to support it.

When I am discussing this with my progressive friends, the ones who are against Proposal 1 say they will never support something Rick Snyder supports. “We need to send a message!” they tell me. “Things need to get so bad people vote them out of office!” they cry. “They need to go back to the drawing board!” I’m told.

Here’s the reality: the Republicans, a full 70% of whom voted FOR putting Prop 1 on the ballot, would like nothing more than for voters to kill it. Then, the “lesson” they will have learned, one they are counting on, is that Michigan voters don’t want their taxes raised. Once that has been established, they will feel free to start cutting our state budget. If you think that means rolling back the corporate tax cuts that we all fought so hard against, you couldn’t possibly be more wrong.

We already know where they will find the money to put into the roads because they have been showing us for the past four years. They will cut programs that impact those in the most need – the elderly, the young, and the poor – and they will continue to cut education. In fact, conservative Senator Patrick Colbeck has an 83-bill package of legislation waiting in the wings in the event Prop 1 goes down in flames to begin these cuts.

Failure of Prop 1 will also embolden them to continue to privatize crucial government services, a move that has lead to the debacle seen with prison food vendor Aramark, an unmitigated catastrophe that I have documented ad nauseum here on this site.

What we won’t get is constitutionally-protected funding for schools and local governments. We also won’t get a restoration of the Earned Income Tax Credit, an important tax credit for our working poor citizens.

If you are confused about what’s in Proposal 1, I commend your attention to the video below. The video was taken at a Prop 1 forum hosted by the Western Washtenaw Dems earlier this month. The first part of it is a presentation put on by Ann Arbor Representative Adam Zemke that explains how Prop 1 works. His discussion is overlayed by a powerful slide presentation he has been giving throughout his district. You’ll also see the superintendent of Ypsi/Willow Run schools talking about the impact on school funding and others, as well. Yes, Prop 1 is complicated. But it’s only complicated because our current system is so convoluted.

Please watch the video and share it with your friends:

It’s one thing to be a strange bedfellow with tea partiers. It happens from time to time on things like Common Core, for example. It’s entirely another thing to adopt the no-compromise, cut-off-your-nose-to-spite-your-face approach that progressives so frequently deride tea partiers for having.

Don’t let your hatred for Republicans keep you from making the right choice on Proposal 1. Once you get the facts, it will become quite clear that Democrats fought hard for and won significant concessions that protect the programs and investments in education and our citizens that we as liberals value while making sure that our roads get fixed.

And remember, if you want to send a message, be sure you’re sending the right one. A “no” vote on Proposal 1 is a message to Republicans that you don’t want to increase revenues to pay for decades of inadequate funding for road repair and that you want them to slash and burn our state budget, no matter who gets hurt in the process, in order to fix our roads.

This has been their plan all along. Don’t be duped. Vote “YES” on Proposal 1 next Tuesday, May 5th.

  • Christopher Ray Reader

    I know that’s the lesson they want to learn, but the one I’d like to teach them is don’t push an inadequate road funding bill on us and expect us to solve the problems you were elected to fix.

  • Kathi Geukes

    Concessions that wouldn’t have been needed if they hadn’t been cut to begin with….you don’t seem to understand that we won’t allow them to do what they have been doing all along….they all will get voted out in 2016 and we will be able to fix some of the damage they’ve done…if it takes making changes to the Michigan constitution…that’s what we’ll do!!!! Their jerry mandering days will come to an end and won’t ever happen again!!!! We’ll vote for a part time legislature because we don’t need a full time one…..that way they won’t have the impact they want!!!!!

    • That is what everyone said in 2012 and they were wrong then, too.

      • DownriverDem

        I will still vote no.

      • Cnoss

        Voted yes on my absentee ballot and plugged my nose while doing it.

    • Michiganmitch

      “We’ll vote for a part time legislature”. That is about as bad an idea as a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. A part-time legislature would prevent acting swiftly in a crisis and re-enforce the “small government is best” mantra while guaranteeing that future legislatures will be devoid of “everyday people” in that when serving is no longer a full-time job, only wealthy guys like DaveTrott, for example, will be able to afford taking time off work now and then to pursue personal agendas in government. BTW, TEXAS has a PTL, reason enough to avoid it like the plague.

      • BillW

        Moreover, a part time legislature combined with term limits would mean special interests would write all the legislation.

    • BillW

      And the Gerrymandering cannot be changed until 2020 – a long dark 6 years from now. Until then, I rate our chances as somewhat less than 10% of taking over the government.

  • Kathi Geukes

    And another thing…what’s to stop them from cutting services anyway, regardless of how we vote?? Seems to me you’ve fallen under the “we just want to do the right thing” spell….:0

    • It IS the right thing. To vote no is to guarantee more harm to the people who are most vulnerable. That isn’t a defensible position for anyone who calls themselves a progressive, in my opinion.

      • DownriverDem

        Not to me. The RWNJs won’t do their jobs. I will still vote no. My voting no has nothing to do with Synder. It has a lot to do with the repubs in Lansing who won’t do their jobs.

        • And your no vote will do NOTHING to make them do their jobs. Frankly, they believe cutting government and privatizing services IS their job.

          • Nax

            And so how will voting for this stop Republicans from cutting government and privatizing services?

          • It won’t but they will be working hard on that anyway. What this does is protect education funding and support of local governments in our state constitution which is better than the alternative. Period.

  • Mike48162

    This isn’t about ‘hatred’ of Snyder. This is about a vote to shift taxes from rich CEOs and their corporations (Snyder’s 2012 corporate tax cuts) onto the working people of Michigan with a sales tax increase. Voting “yes” on this Frankenstein bill may have some cherry picked short term gains, but my stomach can’t vote for more Republican class warfare. If Prop 1 goes down, yes, there may be more devastating austerity Republican “governance” (Fear mongering, Eclectablog, Et tu?). Maybe in 2016 Michiganders who are left in the state will get out and VOTE this time! In the mean time, see you at the Lansing Capitol!

    • It’s not “fear mongering” to point out the obvious truths. The corporate tax breaks are a done deal and Republicans aren’t going to reverse them to pay for road repair. You don’t honestly believe they are, do you?

      If voters weren’t motivated to get out and vote in 2014 after all Republicans had done to our state, I have little confidence they will do so in big enough numbers to take back the House and Senate in 2016, either. And we’d still have a GOP governor. Voters, by and large, aren’t pissed off. They are defeated and disinterested.

      • Mike48162

        So your answer is vote ‘yes’ and go along with the Republican status quo? How can progressives/Democrats motivate voters if they don’t stand for something. Truth: The state needs more revenue from those that can afford it. Minnesota made it happen! Michiganders want leaders who represent their interests, not politicians who play games like Prop 1. Sometimes you have to lose the battle to win the war. (Thanks for the excellent journalism!)

        • Quite the opposite. The GOP status qui is to NOT raise revenue and to cut cut cut. If Prop 1 goes down, the status who will be maintained and the cuts to education and other things progressives value will continue apace.

      • DownriverDem

        From the latest poll, it is going down.

        • Mike48162

          Not so fast DD. Past recent ballot measures one/two weeks out seemed to be going against the powers that be, but on vote day they win. For them it’s all about getting out their “Yes” vote. And again they are counting on a complacent voter who thinks it’s a done “No” deal. (And don’t we all have a Cinco De Mayo celebration to go to rather than vote.)

          • BillW

            Polls are meaningless in an off year, off election – there is no viable statistical sampling to be done. In the last month I have seen everything from 50-50 to 20-80. How is that possible? Also, the voting population will be very small, which increases the uncertainty of the outcome – it all depends who comes out to vote. Finally, it does not split along party lines. Some Dems will be voting for it, some against. Same with Repubs.

      • Fred Horein

        Of course nobody expects them to reverse the corporate tax breaks. But nobody expects the tax revenue from Prop 1 to actually go to road repair either. What’s much more likely is that after Prop 1 passes the Republican led legislature will find a way to use those funds to pass yet another corporate tax break, and our roads will still be a mess. I understand that you think this is the only way to get something constructive accomplished, but the problem is that you’re assuming that there actually is a way to get anything accomplished. There isn’t, and I won’t support a regressive tax increase until I am convinced that it will actually do some real good.

        • BillW

          That’s why there are constitutional protections to prevent them from handing road funds to corporations. Moreover, they are truly feeling heat on the poor roads. But the teapartiers (and apparently so-called Progressive Dems, along with the Koch Brothers and Our Friend Bill Schuette) want it to go down so they can take more money away from schools to pay for roads.

          • Fred Horein

            I wish I could believe that, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last few years it’s that constitutions can say whatever the best paid lawyers want them to say. “Constitutional protections” just don’t mean as much as they used to, assuming that they ever did mean much before. And while I appreciate Eclectablog’s pessimism concerning progressive voters in 2016 the fact remains that Michigan needs a progressive legislature if we want to accomplish anything. And while I also appreciate the philosophy of making the best out of a bad situation I honestly don’t see anything of value coming from this. I fear that if Proposal 1 passes we’ll be stuck with its regressive tax long after its benefits have been stolen.

    • Christopher Ray Reader

      I’m not experiencing any anti-Snyder-ism, but more agony about the specifics of the proposition, and a lot of (well earned) distrust of the legislature. People are looking for where the bait-and-switch will occur, or are upset that the business tax cuts aren’t being clawed back to pay for this; it feels fundamentally unfair.

      • Martin Pollard

        It’s also anger directed against a legislature that refuses to do its f**king job and instead punts the issue over to the voters, thereby keeping their precious hands clean. We’re expected to raise our own taxes in exchange for promises that they very likely have no intention of keeping (going by long, painful experience watching Republicans in action). Eclectablog can get on his high horse all he likes, comparing us to teabaggers and saying we aren’t “real” progressives, but if I’m destined to get my throat cut, I’m damn well not going to be the one to hold the knife.

        • Trust me, I’m just getting started on this issue.

  • memiller

    I agree with you, Chris. It’s the same analysis I’ve heard (at several venues) from Rep. Jon Hoadley, and from several others. Local government is on board, because we understand how vulnerable we are to even further cuts if this goes down. However, I’m not optimistic this can be turned around in the time remaining. The politics of this would be fascinating, if it were not so scary. There are very many progressive folks who are both smart and experienced who fervently oppose prop 1, people I have complete respect for. As I talk with them, they simply seem impervious to the pragmatic concerns you and I share. Perplexing.

    • Christopher Ray Reader

      I sat on the Sustainable Streets Task Force for the City of Grand Rapids.

      Here’s our report: http://grcity.us/engineering-department/Documents/Sustainable%20Streets%20Task%20Force%20Report%2008.13.13.pdf

      As a result of the report, we , as a city, extended our income tax to pay for our streets. With sufficient state funding, which we don’t yet have, it will take us 15 years to get to 75% of our streets to good/fair (so, 25% will still be poor).

      I understand how desperately we need the funding, both at a local and state level. However, as I posted above, how can I support this when it doesn’t provide the funding we need, and there is no prospect that it will?

    • DownriverDem

      It will be voted down.

    • Yes, indeed. It’s beyond my ability to understand and the lack of rationality about it is the primary reason it reminds me of our tea party friends.

      How ironic that the one thing that might motivate people to get out and vote in a spring election might be a topic on which so many progressives are voting with their emotions and not their pragmatic brains.

      • Nax

        I have thoughtfully determined that this deserves a “No.” Just because I don’t agree with your conclusions does not mean that I’ve lost my ability to reason.

      • Trajan8

        I think there is a *very* rational case that leads one to voting ‘no’ on Proposal 1.
        We as a state (and nation) face several significant and unsustainable problems that we must address. Those problems are climate change, growing economic inequality, and our infrastructure. Absolutely, we need to raise revenue to fix our infrastructure, but it’s completely rational to refuse to do so in a way that exacerbates either of the other two problems.
        Chris, do you agree that the consequences of the tax shift built into Proposal 1 would be to worsen economic inequality in our state? To hit the middle-class hardest, further shrinking their numbers while those at the top barely notice and those at the bottom are protected with offsets like the restoration of the EITC. I think every informed individual has to reach that conclusion. Now for some, that’s an acceptable trade-off. But for others, viewing that as an unacceptable trade-off is 100% rational.

        • I think the alternative will have a far more devastating impact in terms of economic inequality than the passage of Proposal 1 will.

  • Travis LaFalce

    The reason I voted no is because this is Republican economics for you. They funneled literally billions of dollars to their rich friends/donors, and now when the money runs out, they want the little guy to pay more in taxes to make up the difference. Hell no. Besides, this is our chance to take back the state House/governorship is by using this as political bait.

    • Whether you vote yes or no and whether or not Prop 1 passes or fails, the outcome will have absolutely no impact whatsoever on the next election. Your belief that it will doesn’t change that fact. If slashing education didn’t convince people to not vote for Republicans, Prop 1 surely will not.

      Vote based o. Whether or not things will be better, not to punish the GOP. Frankly, as I said in the piece, they WANT you to shoot it down so they can use your no vote as justification for more cuts and austerity. The question is whether you will aid and abet them or not.

  • Dianne Stucki

    They are trying to push the restoration of the EITC–but in reality, I will pay more in increased gas prices and sales tax than I ever got from the EITC.

  • Michael M

    Where you are wrong is that you are advocating a regressive tax that will be disproportionately felt by the working class residents of Michigan. I can not and will not support a regressive tax increase.

    • But you’ll support not fixing the roads which has a much larger and more disparate impact on low income Michiganders in terms of damage to their cars? That makes no sense. Low income folks are far more likely to be driving older, used cars which are much more susceptible to damage from bad roads. The average cost to car owners for the damage to their cars from bad roads is almost $700/year. For an older car, it’s likely to be even higher than that.
      That’s a hidden tax that you are supporting if you vote against Prop 1 and it hits poor people harder than everyone else.

      • Michael M

        The cost due to poor infrastructure does indeed have a large effect on us all, but this is neither a sensible nor a long term solution. This is a money grab intended to cover for the tax breaks on the wealthy that landed us in this situation to begin with. The evidence is clear that this is not enough to actually fix and maintain our infrastructure over the long haul. If this were indeed an actual solution to our road problems than I would be in support of it.

        Not to mention your point that the Republicans in the State Government are going to slash benefits if this fails to pass does not work because they are going to slash benefits anyway. There is no evidence to suggest that voting yes on this means they will suddenly stop attempting to cut state spending to the bone. Republicans are going to continue to hit us where it hurts until we vote them out of office, so supporting a poorly thought out excuse of a solution that would implement a regressive tax increase on us is not going to change that. I have no doubts that even if this passes they will still slash spending on vital expenditures such as education anyway. I’m not going to support a bad idea simply because we think the Republicans might force something even worse on us if we don’t give in.

        We need to push to take back the State Legislature in 2016 and take back the Governorship in 2018 when we can then give this state a real infrastructure overhaul by removing the Snyder tax cuts for the wealthy.

        • Maybe they will but, in the meantime, we will have put increased funding for schools and local governments in the state Constitution where it’s much harder to roll back.

  • Don Handy

    We don’t agree with you, so you resort to calling us names. I was gonna vote for it anyway but, feeling insulted, I might just change my mind.

  • Nax

    I’m voting no. It’s too regressive of a tax. (The earned income tax credit doesn’t make up for that.)

    • Actually, the restoration of the EITC MORE than makes up for that. The average increase in taxes due to the increase from 6% to 7% is $195. The average savings due to the EITC restoration is $333.

      • Nax

        What if you don’t qualify for the EITC?

        • Trajan8

          A regressive tax with protections/offsets for those at the bottom then becomes a tax that falls hardest on the middle class. The last tax change we need right now is one that the middle class feels the most.

  • Jeanne Cole Markowski

    This tax is a regressive tax that puts the burden on the poor and middle class; this should be an income tax that taxes the wealthy equally. The Republicans don’t want to upset the wealthy by doing what they actually should and making this an income tax.

    • BillW

      Tell me how to make this happen in less than 6 years and I’m onboard. Meanwhile we’re condemning a generation of students to be undereducated when we can least afford it.

    • ckp2ator

      Our income tax is not progressive, raising it hurts the poor and middle class as much as sales tax increase. The wealthier can claim a bigger deduction on their Federal income tax with higher state income tax (lower income people usually don’t itemize). EITC restoration will help minimum wage workers.

  • BillW

    For those who are interested in the details on Prop 1, The League of Women Voters (a highly respected, non-partisan group) has the following pdf online: http://www.lwvmi.org/documents/May5BallPropSlides.pdf

    The groups arrayed against it make interesting reading as they are almost all Teapartier groups. It is ironic that Progressives are joining with Teapartiers on this.

  • waynek

    If Michigan Republicans promise to reduce corporate tax rates to the tune of another billion or two I may give Proposal 1 serious consideration.

  • waynek

    What would Grover Nordquist do?

  • waynek

    Detroit rises like a Phoenix from the ashes of bankruptcy, why not Michigan?

  • How exactly does opposing a bad tax proposal make a person a tea partier?

  • Nick Krieger

    A lot of Democrats are against it for valid reasons as well. For example, if adopted, Proposal 1 will constitutionally deprioritize the funding of primary and secondary schools in Michigan. Not only would it force primary and secondary schools to compete
    for funding with the three brand new School Aid Fund uses. But even
    less understood is the fact that, contrary to what you might have heard
    from the MEA, AFT, or television ads, the proposed
    constitutional amendment would not guarantee any additional sales-tax
    revenue for the School Aid Fund at all. In fact, the amendment would
    allow the Legislature to deposit LESS sales-tax revenue into the School
    Aid Fund than it does today. Whereas the Michigan Constitution
    currently requires the Legislature to dedicate 60 percent of all sales
    taxes imposed “at a rate of 4%” to the School Aid Fund, the new
    constitutional text, if adopted, would require the Legislature to
    dedicate 60 percent of sales taxes imposed “at a rate of not more than
    5%” to the School Aid Fund. Naturally, the phrase “at a rate of not
    more than 5%” would encompass a rate of 4%, 3%, 2%, 1%, or even 0%.
    Thus, rather than requiring the Legislature to raise the sales tax by
    one percent and dedicate a portion of the resulting additional revenue
    to the School Aid Fund, the new constitutional text would actually
    remove the 4% sales-tax guarantee that is presently set forth in the
    second sentence of Article 9, section 11, and allow the Legislature to
    eliminate all School Aid Fund revenue derived from sales taxes other
    than that generated by the additional 2% approved by the voters as part
    of Proposal A in 1994.

    • I’m doing some confirmatory checking on this, Nick, but I think you’re wrong on this. First, there aren’t “three new uses” of the Student Aid Fund. The three things mentioned in the new language used to be covered under the blanket statement “higher education” which has been replaced with “public community colleges, public career and technical education programs, scholarships for students attending either public community colleges or public career and technical education programs”.

      Second, with regard to the section that now says “Sixty percent of all taxes imposed at a rate of not more than 5% on retailers on taxable sales at retail of tangible personal property”, sales taxes are set by the Constitution, not by the legislature. I believe all this does is cap that tax by specifying how much of it can be used for the SAF in the event the sales tax is increased again in the future. It doesn’t give the the legislature the ability to lower it.

      • Nick Krieger

        1. There certainly would be three new School Aid Fund uses if Proposal 1 is adopted. One of the three currently enumerated uses, “higher education,” encompasses only baccalaureate-degree-granting state universities. In Michigan law, the term “higher education” has a unique meaning and does not include community colleges, career and technical education programs, or scholarships for non-university students. Article XIII of the Michigan Constitution expressly differentiates between institutions of “higher education,” identified as four-year state universities with the authority to grant bachelor’s degrees, and “community and junior colleges.” These two types of institutions possess dissimilar constitutional powers, have different organizational structures, and are treated separately and distinctly for purposes of funding. Likewise, the Michigan Legislature has routinely recognized that community colleges are not institutions of higher education. See, e.g., MCL 15.243a; MCL 421.42(8)(a). This is precisely why last month’s negative supplemental appropriations act to fill the General Fund hole by funding community college operations with School Aid Fund dollars was unconstitutional. And please consider that one of the three new uses–career and technical education programs–would likely allow public School Aid Fund dollars to flow into private pockets. In other states, the term “public career and technical education programs” often denotes public-private partnerships between community colleges and private industries that train students as apprentices in the building trades, etc. Since the term would be completely new and has never before appeared in the Michigan Constitution, we have no way of knowing how it will be interpreted.

        2. Sales tax rates are AUTHORIZED by the state constitution, but SET by the Michigan Legislature. The constitution merely authorizes the Legislature to set a certain rate–it does not mandate it. Yes, the Legislature will be perfectly free to set the sales-tax rate lower than 5% (the additional 2% from Proposal A is constitutionally guaranteed) if Proposal 1 passes. Proposal A essentially locked in the first 4% by specifying that 60 percent of the tax imposed at 4% would be dedicated to the SAF. Proposal 1 would undo this constitutional protection for the SAF.

  • Tom Derrickson

    The author clearly doesn’t get it. Voting no on Proposal 1 is the progressive
    position. Sales tax is another regressive consumption tax intended to pile the
    financial burden of paying for roads and other government services on the
    middle class and poor while easing relative taxation on the already-wealthy. Lawmakers love to set us up for regressive tax strategies by tying them to immediate need so we feel that no other alternative exists. The public takes the bait and we add another consumption tax that discriminates against the poor and middle class so the wealthy do not pay their fair share. The wealth gap between those at the top and bottom will again widens if we adopt another bad tax law in
    Proposal 1. We need road and infrastructure construction and repair, badly, but we should hold out for a progressive income tax that spreads the cost fairly among socioeconomic classes.

  • Bella Zaar

    How Dare you! It is not the fault of Michiganders that Dick Snyders proposal failed! That would be Dick Snyders flaw (and I hope Michiganders that do support the teaparty, understand Dick Snyders team uses their party to demean and shame others. Thats telling.
    I think it is closer to the truth that this is a situation of ” Once Bitten, Twice Shy” the Dick Snyder camp has lied and duped the michagan people enough (bankrupted Detroit/right to work/taxing pensions) This proposal, Like those proposals, Are sold as a solution but is in truth are just another money grab from a known con man.

  • coleford2012

    Proponents of this complicated monstrosity say that if you want better roads, you must vote “yes” b/c there is no plan B. Yet, even if passed, we won’t see any of this money going toward improving our roads until October 2017! Until then, all the money for road improvements will be spent servicing existing debt. So we can either vote “yes” and see not beneift (if any) for 2+ years while our taxes increase today, or we can vote “no” and have 2+ years to find a better, cheaper solution.

    You can’t tell me there isn’t a better solution out there. You also can’t convince me that there isn’t money in the budget that can be cut to help pay for our roads. Years of mismanagement have led us to this problem, and I fear Proposal 1 will only breed opportunity for even greater mismanagement in the future. This government hasn’t proven that it can effectively manage the problem with the money we send them now! Why would anyone think its a good idea to send them even more money to “fix” the problem?

  • Chris, I am voting YES, however, if somehow this thing actually passes, I fully expect the Republican legislature to pass new legislation reversing anything I/we like in this ballot initiative. School Funding increases, Earned Income Credit for the poor, money to municipalities will all be stripped. Only thing stopping it would be the Governor’s signature, which we can never trust which way he will go on it.

  • Buy_Used

    I don’t disagree with any assertions in this post, except for the long-term consequences. Yes, the Rs will slash the state budget in the short term. Yes, it will hurt the most vulnerable. But people won’t vote unless it personally impacts them. So I think it’s a fair argument that people need to experience the full brunt of bad Republican governance before there’s any chance of voting them out.

    Is this playing politics? Is it unseemly for Democrats to do? Perhaps, but on the other hand, is playing nice working? Passing Proposal 1 gives the Rs a victory for fixing the roads and spending on education… just so they can begin anew tearing down the state for the long-term. Do we want them out or not, and what is the best way to achieve that? I’m truly torn but given the polls, it won’t matter.

  • bryan

    A “YES” vote is also a message — a message that you agree with all of the tax-shifting and benefit-cutting and service-stripping and contract-privatizing that has gone on with this legislature and governor since they took control in 2011.

    A “YES” vote says that they are doing the right things and that you want to see more of it.

    A “YES” vote says that anytime they would like to give tax cuts to their friends, we will be happy to make it up on the backs of the low-income, the middle-income and the impoverished.

    No matter whether you vote “YES” or “NO”, you will send an important message.

    I will vote “NO”. Not because I hate Snyder, not because I distrust the Republicans, not because I don’t want my taxes raised. I will vote “NO” because I would be ashamed to endorse what has already been done to put the state into a $1.2 billion hole.

    • Your intentions are irrelevant. The Republicans are counting on voters to “send a message” that they don’t want their taxes raised and that is the one and only message they will receive if Prop 1 is shot down. They will then use that message to justify taking draconian austerity measures that hurt real people, vulnerable people, and you will be complicit in that with your no vote.

      • bryan

        I understand that and accept it. It’s all I can do on May 5.

        As I posted elsewhere: the choices are, “If you don’t commit suicide, we’ll kill you.”

        If only the ads supporting Prop 1 were as open as what you have written here — “Vote YES or you’ll be REALLY sorry!”

      • coleford2012

        Have you considered the idea that maybe voters actually DON’T want their taxes raised? The liberal solution to every problem is to throw more money at it, which usually results in higher taxes. This government hasn’t proven to be responsible with the money we already send them. Why should we vote to send them even more of our money?

        I have to say that the fear mongering and demagoguery coming from the left is getting old. Case in point, the idea that a “no” vote on Proposal 1 will lead to draconian austerity. Seems like a bit much to me. And if a Republican suggests cuts, that means they hate the poor, sick and elderly. Give me a break!

  • Michelle Zirbel

    Why should we increase the sales tax, so that our incompetent government can mismanage more of our money?

  • Progressive

    What petulant finger wagging; I oppose Proposal 1 because only a tax hike is guaranteed.

    While the proposed constitutional amendment “guarantees” allocation of the increased tax revenue to certain funding groups, there is no guarantee that those same funding groups won’t suffer decreased revenue from other revenue streams.

    On average, a family of four will see an increase of about $280 a year in taxes.

  • Greg Pratt

    Chris what you write above is fear mongering and offensive. But, hey, I get it. You are offended that a majority of people who organize in the community don’t agree with you. [Yawn] :-)

  • Patti

    The republicans want to raise taxes on the middle class, cut services, and privatize more services. This is what they want to do and it has nothing to do with voting for or against Prop 1. They want us to say it’s okay to raise our taxes and registration fees and the other taxes in this Prop that aren’t called taxes. And I’ll be damned if I say it’s okay with me. It’s not. We all know where the money needs to come from and they know it too. The fact that they won’t do what they should is not an argument to vote for something that will hurt families in Michigan.

  • RealProgressive

    Hitler was a vegetarian, so we should all eat lots of cow. Tea Partiers, they wear clothing, so we should also all go nude. Guilt by association? Is that the Safe Roads Yes campaign strategy? Really?

    How did the condescension work out for ya, dude?