Macomb Daily: Time to Stand Up Against Job-Killing Ballot Proposal
By Paul Mitchell
On May 5th the voters of Michigan resoundingly rejected Proposal 1, which was presented to the people as a way to fix our roads. The proposal would have been the largest tax increase in 50 years and was filled with special interest deals and new government spending which had nothing to do with fixing our roads. I was proud to lead the coalition opposing that deal and our grassroots campaign helped to spread the message about this bad deal across our state. On election day, over 80% of the voters agreed and voted no.
Now a group is proposing another ballot initiative that they say is designed to find new road funding and this one is just as bad as Proposal 1. This proposal would increase our state’s corporate income tax by 83% and would make it the 2nd highest rate in America. This would make Michigan un-competitive with neighboring states and drive jobs out of our state. Worse yet, this proposal doesn’t even guarantee that the funds from this massive tax increase would go to fix roads long-term.
Over the past 5 years, Michigan has added 300,000 new jobs and there has been a revival of our manufacturing economy. We have seen evidence of this revival right here in Macomb County at Chrysler’s Sterling Heights Assembly Plant, which in 2009 was slated to be shut down with those jobs sent to Mexico. But today Chrysler has made new investments, put in great new products, added shifts and most importantly, new jobs. That same story has been told across our state, but our recovery would be put at risk if a reckless tax increase, which threatens to stifle new job growth and depress wages is passed into law.
This new massive tax increase isn’t the only one that Democrats have put forward. Earlier this year, a Democrat legislator proposed legislation that would replace our state’s flat income tax with a new “progressive” income tax that would punish success for small business job creators, family farms, and reduce workers’ take-home pay. Such a proposal would place further complexity in our state tax code, create a Michigan version of the IRS and put into law government social-engineering that is doomed to failure.
It seems the Democrats’ knee-jerk answer to everything is to raise taxes regardless of the impact on our economy, jobs and the compensation workers receive for their hard work. They haven’t changed their tune since President Reagan observed, “If it moves they want to tax it. If it keeps moving they want to regulate it. If it stops moving they want to subsidize it.” Careless proposals that are just special interest money grabs through higher taxes will wreak havoc on Michigan’s economy making the American Dream harder and harder for people in our state to achieve. The goal of both the state and federal level should be to reprioritize our budget and slash unnecessary over-regulation that strangles small and mid-size businesses so we can increase jobs and workers’ pay.
It isn’t enough for anyone who presumes to lead to just say or vote no. It is time to lead by bringing better ideas, conservative ideas, ideas that we know will work like limited government, lower taxes, less job-killing regulations, and support for individual liberty. That is how we are going to ensure that our children and grandchildren can achieve the American Dream.
Paul Mitchell is the former Chairman of the Coalition Against Higher Taxes and Special Interest Deals and a candidate for the 10th Congressional District, which includes a portion of Macomb County.