Michigan has a spending cap? Most voters don’t know that — but, taxpayer advocate Richard Headlee’s landmark amendment to the Michigan Constitution (Article IX, Section 26) – sets a limit of 9.49% of personal income as the absolute spending limit on our State Government.
The problem is that recent acceleration in spending could make government expansion a key problem down the road.
My “Gelineau Plan” has three key parts:
“Drop the Cap” from the current 9.49% to 8.55% – a 10% reduction. —- Since state spending is now hovering around 8.1% – this is not a radical proposal. But, it is an important proposal to ensure state spending does not revert to the problems we had in the past.
Eliminate the Michigan Strategic Fund.
Legalize marijuana use.
Drop the Cap. Reducing the limit of spending to 8.55% is a necessary first step to tell investors, taxpayers, and the legislature that we don’t want to return to being a high-spending state. With focus on the proper priorities, we can repair our infrastructure, make needed repairs and make needed investments without blowing the budget wide open. This little-known aspect of our budget exists due to the efforts of the late Dick Headlee, who in 1978 spearheaded an effort to ensure that Michigan got off the gravy-boat tax & spend ride it had been on.
The problem is that the limit turns out to still give lots of room for political shenanigans. I hope to bring this issue to light for the legislature to put on the ballot. And, until that occurs, I’ll use the veto pen to help motivate the legislature to see the wisdom of Mr. Headlee’s vision.
Eliminating the Michigan Strategic Fund. This agency wields enormous power within Michigan government. Deciding on tax abatement, distribution of grant funds, loans to developing businesses. This “autonomous agency” operates under the framework of the DTED – but, enormous outlays continue to spend precious taxpayer money on businesses.
Businesses should not be subsidized by the taxpayer. Profitable businesses don’t need and should not get taxpayer subsidy. So-called future businesses should develop their own markets without taxpayer subsidy. Along these lines, we should work to eliminate the Michigan Economic Development Corporation – which manages our state image agency, known for PURE Michigan (a nice sounding name)….it’s mostly PURE B.S.. This is a nice subsidy for the business community – handing out advertising contracts that promote tourism and such. In my view, the business that want customers to buy their products or visit their region should organize together to pay this expense. Most of what this agency does is not the province of government and should be eliminated.
Legalize marijuana use. It’s time we dispense with the failed war on cannabis. Too many of our citizens, especially young people, have had their lives affected by a marijuana conviction. And yet, the marketplace continues to thrive. Let’s get rid of the mindless and expensive prohibition mentality that says we can control all forms of human behavior. I believe that responsible use of marijuana should be treated just like responsible use of alcohol. The logic of this the “King in his castle” theory of law. Adults should be left alone in their own homes, as invited friends homes, or businesses that allow this activity. The State has no interest in preventing the free exercise of this activity.
You can read more on marijuana on my Issue’s Page: Marijuana Policy