The Ugly Truth About Snyder’s Prop 1 in Michigan

Governor Snyder’s Road to Washington

In the event Michigan voters are not already sufficiently bumfuzzled as to how they should vote on Proposal 1 — aka, the ballot question on roads and sales tax, or was it fuel tax? or vehicle registration fees? infrastructure improvement? school funding? revenue sharing? Or perhaps, simply put, the measure has become the great legislative platypus of Michigan. Step aside wolverine, we now have a new candidate for state animal, or perhaps mascot for Snyder’s potential bid for a 2016 presidential run.


It’s enough to make one wish to stick their finger in their eye. Yep, Prop 1’s come to be one hot mess, uniting odd political bedfellows — both for and against, with newspaper editorial boards engaging in acts of head-splitting cognitive dissonance, often too painful to read in their entirety. The pro/con lists on the subject consist of both practical realities and ideologies that seem to defy typical partisan patterns.

So, it pains Democracy Tree to point out yet one more divisive blip on the Prop 1 political radar for the already put upon voter’s consideration.

Item: Gov. Snyder has been sniffing-around political circles and media pundits about a possible 2016 presidential bid, and, at least in his own mind, success or failure of the roads package vote may be the pivotal point in his decision-making process.

Prop 1 is the governor’s baby. He brokered the labyrinthine bipartisan deal after the legislature demonstrated their continued inability to, well frankly, produce basic and necessary legislation of any kind. The package is what is called a “Christmas Tree Bill”, with a little something in it for everyone. In this case, it’s a series of tie-barred proposals that function more like a Rube Goldberg machine than actual sound and responsible public policy.

With the vote looming, the Associated Press reports that Snyder is on the brink of a decision, apparently neatly timed with the May 5th vote:

An aide close to the governor said Snyder is considering a presidential run and that a decision could be made in a few weeks. The aide was not authorized to speak publicly about Snyder’s plans and requested anonymity.

In terms of pure politics, Snyder very much needs Prop 1 in his win column, both for his legacy and to bolster his street cred as a ready for prime time player in the beltway.

In the meantime, Snyder’s team is busy dipping a flirtatious toe in the crowded GOP presidential pool. In addition to forming a 501(c)(4) group to raise money for a potential bid (’16 and/or ’20), the governor has slated a national speaking tour to promote the economic recovery of the state. It is doubtful he will mention the role the federal stimulus and auto bailout played in the comparatively less than impressive results of the Great Lakes State, but the state Nerd-in-Chief will certainly take credit for the albeit anemic clawing out of the hole.

Another possibility is that Michigan’s governor is hedging his bets here by positioning himself as a possible running mate for one of the rare, not-so-looney, yet better known presidential potentials — a group as scarce as hens teeth in Iowa. One way or the other, Snyder would never concede to play second-fiddle to a rabid social conservative, Tea Party advocate, or full-on Libertarian, even though his actual legacy has often swerved severely past them to the farthest reaches of the right. Jeb Bush may find the ideal dance partner in the Michigan governor. Snyder, not known for his dynamic communication skills, has nonetheless not engaged in the level of abusive hubris-laden rhetoric found in other contenders such as GOP governors’ Scott Walker of Wisconsin and New Jersey’s Chris Christie, both who seem to take a sick delight in taunting and insulting public sector employees, particularly teachers.

It’s all down the road though…literally.

How will I vote on the May 5th roads proposal? As of now, the plan is to go to my precinct at the crack of dawn, grudgingly show my photo I.D., enter the voting booth, and promptly stick my finger in my eye — after that, all bets are off.

finger in eyeAmy Kerr Hardin

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23 Responses to The Ugly Truth About Snyder’s Prop 1 in Michigan

  1. Z54 says:

    It’s a definite “NO”! These crack pots were boasting a $1Billion surplus before the 2014 elections and now they need to raise the taxes of working people to fix our roads. Two years ago they played games with the state lottery so that they payed out less and took in more! But I’ve got faith in the people of Michigan, they’re a gullible bunch and will bite the shitlog one more time to make the rich richer and themselves and their loved ones that much poorer!

  2. Jeff Salisbury says:

    No finger in my eye… but I might have to plug my nose… assuming I can bring myself to vote yes. Or maybe I will just stay home and work in my yard.

  3. david zaiss says:

    Yes, but platapi are good at clawing out of holes and much better than trickster at running for president…

  4. Jon Awbrey says:

    Michigan doesn’t really have a world-class soccer stadium yet.
    My bet is that’ll be where the money ends up.
    Parking lots are kinda like roads, aren’t they?

  5. Taxed Enough says:

    “The state is collecting nearly $900 million a year more from individuals, many of them poor people who have lost tax credits or deductions.

    ■ $270 million from a decrease in the homestead property tax credit.
    ■ $240 million from cuts to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
    ■ $200 million from the pension tax changes.
    ■ $50 million from the elimination of deductions for children.
    ■ $50 million from the elimination of the special exemption for age and unemployment compensation.
    ■ $90 million from elimination of other nonrefundable credits, such as city income tax, homeless/food bank contributions and contributions to public universities and public broadcasting.
    ■ $50 million from the new internet purchase tax Oct. 2015.

    Michigan had the fifth largest percentage increase in tax revenue collected from individuals, according to a survey of government tax collections by the U.S. Census Bureau during fiscal year 2013.

    Proposal 1 will cost the average Michigan family an extra $525+ a year.

    Adding a series of Regressive Taxes packaged with eleven bills to raise revenue is not the right way to counteract problems created by Governor Rick Snyder’s signing of 2011 massive giveaway to large businesses. The corporations use Michigan’s resources along with average Michigan Citizen, and as a result should pay their fair share.”

    Vote NO!

  6. Kathi Geukes says:

    If Snydley is hoping that the people of Michigan are going to go to bat for him, so that he can test the waters of a Federal position….he can think again…I can no more think of something so devastating as Snydley thinking he can be Prez!!!!!! Never gonna happen…..he just won a 2nd term by the skin of his teeth…..he’s very lucky to be where he’s at now…..when his term is over….he needs to pack up and move out of state!!!!!!

  7. Kathi Geukes says:

    And I will be voting NO on May 5th!!!!!

  8. Thomas W. Haynes says:

    I sincerely believe that if people are naïve enough to pass proposal 1 then any sixth grader could do the governor’s job because the money would be there and all they would have to do is spend it. Also too many things in this bill that we don’t understand and wont unless God forbid it passes.

  9. John Tsakos says:

    A solid ‘NO’ will be my vote. The Republicans have played politics with state funds since they took over the state. This bill will increase the state sales tax to the highest in the midwest, and one of the highest in the nation, and that will never go down you know. The money goes into the general fund, good for schools, but no guarantee that any of it will go to roads. We allow 2 times the weight limit for roads so that GM, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler and any other manufacturer can load up their trucks. That ruins the roads. They should have to pay a bulk sum of the repairs, or lower the weight limit, one or the other. The rest should come from monies that are available, as someone said I thought we had a big surplus. Possibly a raise in the gas tax. But not the sales tax with no guarantees. Vote ‘No’ and buy good tires.

  10. Daisy Tharnaby says:

    Not a chance in hell that this will pass. Michiganders just experienced, once again, what Snyder’s ideas have done to our income taxes. Republicans are counting on us to be illiterate and learning challenged. I am voting NO!

  11. Autumn Leaf says:

    Sorry, it’s a no for me. A simple 1% increase in the sales tax might have won me over, but they made it too complicated and too easy to play the shell game. Tell me where the money is going and then do it.

  12. For more than a year, I have maintained a blog on Michigan roads and the state legislatures lack of willingness to fix what has become a huge problem and a disgrace. After lots of research and discussion, I can not vote for a bill like this platypus proposal, yet I am not assuming it will not pass. The bill is not a “Road Funding Proposal”, there is to much else attached to it, so I for one will keep speaking against it until the bugger has no chance of becoming our mascot :~0 or Drive Careful.

  13. carl says:

    I will be voting yes because if it is up to the do nothing but give tax cuts to rich, wealthy and corporations legislators worse than nothing will be. It time we Michigander take real control. We need to change the state constitution so that laws the people pass stay passed rather than changed by our leaders then tied to a funding bill so that can’t be recalled. Ie right to so called work bill, the minimum wage bill. Also remember there a 9 billion dollar tax credit give away coming do soon and where are they going to get the money? The poor, elderly, education, znd those on fixed incomes!

  14. Michael Flora says:

    I will be saying NO to our governor and his schemes.

  15. Marianne Majewski says:

    I am voting no! Synder just raised my taxes and I will not vote for another tax increase on myself. If he needs more money for roads then go after the corporations whom he just lowered taxes on!

  16. Patricia Linna says:

    Anyone voting YES for Prop 1 is too lazy to do their homework. It is clear this proposal is a Trojan Horse, and nothing short of a blackmail scheme that smells of extortion.

  17. Mike Baker says:

    No. No. No. The right will not pay more taxes and the left, we will buy trucks. We still have jobs.

  18. Jay S. Johnson says:

    With Proposition 1, we are going to: (A) tax ourselves about $2 billion more in order to pay off $814 million in Governor Engler’s road bond debt before we begin to fix the roads; (B) restore $292 million to the school fund from which the 2014 lame duck legislature just stole $150 million to “balance” the budget; (C) pay $261 million to restore the earned income tax credit that Governor Snyder stole to help provide funding for his two massive business tax cuts that were going to provide “jobs”; (D) pay $100 million to our local governments to replace the “constitutionally guaranteed” revenue sharing funds that Lansing has defaulted on from almost the get go. And then, after all these puts and takes, the general fund will receive about $15 million. That “surplus” — along with the permanent “budget surpluses” that would result from the legislature’s never, ever again having to dip into the general fund to pay for roads or schools or revenue sharing — means that after the election on May 5, the legislature will easily be able to lower the income tax rate and still “balance the budget” in 2016. Beneath it all, Proposition 1 is just another Snyder ploy to shift in the tax burden from those who are well off to those who are not. I’ve seen this movie before. I am voting NO!

  19. Betty Bushey says:

    I have already voted NO by absentee ballot. A horrible proposal and I’m so Happy to see these comments which reflect intelligent thinking.

  20. Mary D. says:

    I find it an insult to be considered dumb enough to fall for proposal 1. Mr. Snyder, do you really think the people of Michigan do not understand what is going on? Why should we vote to carry an additional cost when you are always bragging about how great we are doing. Where is all the money for road repair hiding? I no longer trust in you. Therefore, my vote is NO.

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