Governor Rick Snyder and his fellow Republicans in the state legislature had eight years to devise a plan to fix our roads. You know how that turned out. Governor Whitmer proposed an increase in the gas tax to pay for road construction and maintenance. The Republicans were dead set against a fuel tax and instead came up with a half-baked plan that wouldn’t have begun to meet the needs of this state.
I think you need to view the Governor’s tax proposal through a wide-angle lens. Our energy costs are the lowest in the world. I saw gas in Almont for $2.59 a gallon. Our daughter and son-in-law visited Iceland last summer where they paid more than $6 a gallon for gas. They found the roads to be incredible—no pot-holes, no crumbling bridges, no patching. Some people think the gas tax is the fairest method, if the money is used only for the roads. The more someone uses the roads, the more they pay. Those of us who drive to Kroger on Friday and church on Sunday will pay less to maintain our roads than the people who haul campers, dirt bikes, snowmobiles and boats en route to their second homes up north.
Gov. Whitmer’s “Plan B” to fix the roads is the sale of bonds totaling three billion dollars. Either way it’s our money that will redeem the bonds plus additional millions in interest to the bond holders; or we pay at the pump and keep the interest in our pockets while fixing the roads.
Speaking of interest, we will pay more than 470 billion dollars in interest on the national debt this year. If our leaders had controlled spending over the last 20 years, Washington could be giving each state billions of dollars every year to rebuild their infrastructure. Unfortunately, we will be sending dollars to lenders all over the world for years to come. In years past we had tax and spend administrations. They were unpopular but sustainable. More recently, we’ve had cut taxes-borrow and spend administrations. This model is popular but not sustainable.
Have you heard any politician mention the deficit or any proposal to curb spending and borrowing?