Libertarian challenges Republicans in opening policy speech
November 15, 2017, Allegan, Michigan – With the race for Governor a full year away, Bill Gelineau, candidate for the Libertarian Party nomination, ignited a crowd of supporters and others in an open forum Tuesday night with a detailed outline for reshaping Michigan’s budget.
Early in his speech, Mr. Gelineau outlined his plan to unite forces from all corners of the liberty movement. “If you liked Gary Johnson’s solutions oriented approach – then I think you’ll like what I have to say.” He went on to cite that as a small businessman and family man, he decried outrageous and radical changes that make the burdens imposed by government unpredictable. “Massive changes in tax rates and huge changes in service structures are not what Michigan needs.” Rather, he suggested a “persistent and active effort” to reduce spending.
The heart of the Gelineau Plan is his “10 by 10” a reduction in the current Headlee Amendment State Spending Cap. After first explaining his personal connection to tax-limitation hero Dick Headlee, he challenged leading Republican candidates to step to the plate and endorse a plan to reduce the Constitutional cap on State spending.
Current State spending is now hovering just above 8% of personal income – limited by law to 9.49%. Not since 1999 has the State exceeded the cap, which automatically triggers a rebate to all taxpayers.
“This is a responsible first step”, added Libertarian State Chairman Bill Hall. “A more realistic cap will force the legislature to focus on core priorities instead of pet projects and the ‘bringing home the bacon’ mentality which prevails in Lansing.”
By contrast, Governor Snyder’s $56.5 billion budget represents an increase of 19.7% in just 6 years.
One of the key areas of the Gelineau Plan involves elimination of the Michigan Strategic Fund. While allowing for reassignment of some activities, he outlined a basic criticism which echoes a prime theme in his campaign. “Government should not be subsidizing businesses. Period.” He explained that current difficulties in maintaining critical infrastructure are made worse when huge inducements are given to well-connected big businesses – while simultaneously, small businesses and homeowners must carry an ever-increasing share of the tax burden.
In addition to discussing tax and budget policy, Gelineau endorsed both marijuana legalization efforts. This is a huge opportunity to shift law enforcement priorities away from a prohibition culture to the protection of the public from malicious intent and fraud. From law enforcement to courts to prisons, the prohibition of marijuana is “a budget wrecker”.