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Tom Watkins

Tom Watkins

Vote No On Proposal 5

November 2, 2012

On November 6th, voters will be able to make big decisions on how our government will work.

The obvious “big” choice is who to elect to be the next President of the United States. Yet, down the ballot after voting for U.S. Senator, your congressman, state senator, state representative, etc. are a series of ballot questions.

One ballot proposal, Proposal 5 may seem extremely tempting at first glance, but it is a Trojan Horse that the voters should soundly reject.

Remember, when your mom told you “when something is to good to be true –it usually is.” Well, once again, especially when it comes to Proposal 5, momma is right.

Proposal 5 amends the state constitution to limit the enactment of new taxes by state government.

“Yahoo,” you exclaim! Yet, this proposal strips the basic right of majority rule right out from under the people of the state of Michigan. It means a minority can trump the will of a majority –how sensible is that?

The proposal would:

“Require a 2/3 majority vote of the State House and the State Senate, or a statewide vote of the people at a November election, in order for the State of Michigan to impose new or additional taxes on taxpayers or expand the base of taxation or increasing the rate of taxation. This section shall in no way be construed to limit or modify tax limitations otherwise created in this Constitution.”

If you want government to function and to allow majority rule you must vote NO on this ballot proposal.

Opponents of the proposal, those advocating a NO vote, include a wide cross section of the Michigan political landscape including: Gov. Rick Snyder, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, the Michigan Municipal League, the Michigan Education Association and the UAW.

Look, when the UAW and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, who seldom agree on anything come together to oppose an idea –you know the idea has major flaws.

Proposal 5 is bad government and should be defeated –VOTE NO!

If passed, this proposal would thwart majority rule, allowing a handful of malcontents to govern our state.

As much as all of us hate to pay higher taxes, there are times when we must step up and tax ourselves to produce the kind of state that we want to call home. Improving our roads, bridges, parks, enhancing public safety or improving educational opportunities for our children or returning veterans should not be blocked by a minority of legislators.

This proposal is one of several in which a single special interest is attempting to buy a portion of our State Constitution. In this specific case, it is Matty Moroun, the billionaire owner of the Ambassador Bridge who has funded nearly the entire effort.

Do the citizens of Michigan want to allow a billionaire owner of a monopoly bridge to buy an amendment to our Constitution that allows minority rule?

Should Matty Moroun. who has spread money around the State Capitol collecting votes to thwart the public, be allowed to have an amendment to our Constitution that would allow him to convince (or buy) as few as 13 of 38 state senator to prevent a tax increase, regardless of what the majority of other legislators or this or a future governor wanted to do in the best interest of the state?

We should not allow one man, regardless of how wealthy, to buy our Constitution and allow a minority to triumph over the majority.

VOTE NO ON PROPOSAL 5 … And while at the polls –VOTE NO ON PROPOSAL 6 as well.

Tom Watkins is the former state superintendent of schools for the state of Michigan who has been a participant/observer of the Michigan political and public policy process for over 30 years. He can be reached at: tdwatkins88@gmail.com

November 1, 2012 · Filed under Tom Watkins

11 responses so far ↓

  • 1 roger march // Nov 3, 2012 at 12:05 am

    Once again Watkins is spot on in calling out the truth on this proposal. For once Snyder is right — yes on one.. no on the rest!

  • 2 jen overton // Nov 3, 2012 at 12:07 am

    I am overwhelemd by all of the proposals. Even when I watch the ads, it isnt clear what they are saying , who is paying for them..

    I’m just saying no to the whole lot!

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