Mother Jones has a report that a lot of people are linking to about the two-thirds for a tax hike ballot proposal headed to the November ballot. It's about the shadowy cabal behind it that's as shadowy as is the cabal of groups supporting everything these days, what with the Supreme Court's wise and enlightened support for unlimited cash from undisclosed sources in elections.
Well, first off, I don't think there's any doubt who is behind it. I don't mean what iteration of what rightwing group, but the fact that Scott and Amy Hagerstrom surfaced and have connections I think tells you all that you need to know. When those two show up, rightwing astroturfing is not far behind.
What is important, critically important in fact, is the destructive nature of the proposal. It would mean that the state would never again be able to raise taxes, unless some future generation of Michiganders got smart and repealed the damned thing from the constitution. It's terrible policy, forcing future generations into a box based on today's fashionable ideology. It's a perfect example of using the constitution for reasons not originally intended, and anyone who bitches and moans about this year's large number of ballot proposals without mentioning how terrible and short-sighted this is as policy is not doing anyone a favor.
Put it this way, most of us recognize that the state's roads are in terrible shape. Most of us recognize that the gas tax, as it exists today, isn't producing the same revenue punch it has in the past. The Chamber of Commerce supports hiking it, at least in the short term, although finding a long-term solution based on not gasoline sales would be smart. This ballot proposal literally makes it impossible to raise the gasoline tax to generate revenue to fix roads. It would also make it impossible to come up with a replacement scheme. So, we'd be stuck forever with road maintenance and building based on an economy that is already outdated.
By the way, I mentioned in the headline that this is term limits mentality, doubled down. That's really what it is. It's not just fundamentally changing democracy in Michigan, it's tying the hands of future generations based on a political fad. I said that a few paragraphs above, I realize, but it's worth repeating.