This letter concerns Proposal 5 on the November ballot. The proposal would require virtually all tax policies of the State of Michigan to be decided either by a 2/3 legislative or by a majority of voters at a November election.
Since no one likes to pay taxes, Proposal 5 has a surface appeal. But this proposal would hamstring our government, making it virtually impossible to approve tax proposals that fund schools, colleges, highways and healthcare. The principle of majority rule has long been a guiding principle and Proposal 5 would change that to minority rule. Essentially, in Michigan that means that 13 state senators, elected from scattered districts, could block any action supported by the other 135 members of the legislature. We ask our legislators to work together to solve problems, but when a minority can block actions, cooperation is a fleeting goal.
Tax increases are unpopular with legislators, just as with anyone else. Substantial debate occurs on any tax issue. The merits of tax proposals would be lost in deal making by special interest groups that would undoubtedly occur.
The popular vote alternative ignores that we have a representative democracy. If you don’t like elected officials, you can throw them out. We expect that everyone has become sick and tired of the endless television and radio ads on the six proposals currently on the ballot. If Proposal 5 passes, future ad campaigns on tax issues will dwarf the relentless campaigns we are experiencing now.
The College does not take political positions, so these comments are individual and limited to Proposal 5 because it affects how our State operates. We encourage a NO vote on Proposal 5.
Douglas A. Jackson, Mid Michigan Community College Board Chair
Carol A. Churchill, Mid Michigan Community College President