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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Starbucks or Potholes

      Would you pay the equivalent of a Starbucks coffee and half a meal at McDonalds to help beef up the state's crumbling road infrastructure?
       The governor is about to find out.
       For the first time, Gov. Rick Snyder put his arms around a figure to fix those roads:  A hefty $1 to $1.4 billion a year.  That's billion with a big "B".
       And one of his suggestions is to bump up your annual license plate donation to the state.  In a vain attempt to soften the impact the governor's guys described it as "ten dollars a month."  But do the math:  That's an extra $120 a year  on top of what you are already paying.  That would raise a quick billion.
       The always upbeat governor notes, "Citizens will speak out loudly.  In the positive," he tells FOX2 news.
       Cizizens are likely to speak out but will it be positive?  And more importantly, how will lawmakers speak?
       If the anti-government and anti-tax crowd frames this as a tax increase, the governor begins this journey in a deep pot hole he may never get out of.
      Such is the harsh reality this newbie governor continues to confront.  He tried to build a bridge because it was the right thing to do and got push back from his own party.  Could he go 0 for two on this one?
       In his favor, motorists have generally said if the state is raising new dollars and the money is going for the roads, they can live with that. But times are tough and even though the governor says he is not squeezing motorists and only wants to talk about this plan, for many it will feel like a squeeze nonetheless.
      The road building lobby, which has not had an influx of fresh cash since 1997 was obviously overjoyed at the governor's $1.4 billion marker.
      And Mike Nystrom, who runs that lobby, had a nifty comeback for those motorists/lawmakers who don't like this.  Essentially it was:  Pay me now or pay me later."  He suggests drivers are paying more now for repairs to their battered autos that traverse the state, dodging potholes, everywhere.
      So maybe the next time you drive by a coffee joint and Mickey D's, you shouldn't go in.  The gov. needs those bucks.

3 Comments:

Blogger R A B said...

1. Michigan has some of the worst roads in the nation -- and it's not just the weather. Perhaps one culprit is the heavy weight loads allowed by commercial vehicles. Basically I view this proposal as another tax shift. Business gets a free ride and tears up the roads and individuals get to pay for it.

2. Michigan was supposed to be using the Canada funded second bridge as matching funds with the federal government for roadwork. Maybe the Governor needs to get back on that project.

October 27, 2011 at 7:26 PM 
Blogger marv rein said...

UNIONs is this state SUCK at building roads.,Stop all union made roads..PRESIDENT OBAMA,also
,believes,,FINLAND can build cars better then the UAW

October 27, 2011 at 10:17 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee Marv, why don't those highly-paid, pro-capitalist, non-union bosses properly supervise those coffee-drinking, leftist, Democratic-voting union workers then?

October 29, 2011 at 1:44 PM 

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