Sunday, September 30, 2012

YES on Proposal 6.

I am unconvinced that we need a new bridge and I am certain that the guarantee Michigan "will never pay anything" can easily be subverted in the future. This bridge agreement is nothing more than an executive decree. I would vote against building the bridge if I had the opportunity, but I have a hard time amending the Constitution for that narrow purpose.

Here are some of the arguments for and against.

A Canadian who doesn't like the agreement (would vote "YES" on Prop 6):
The PM/Governerd Non-Agreement DRIC Agreement
Governerd’s Bill 411: How Michigan Taxpayers Really Pay For DRIC

It is worth asking why Canada is willing to pay for the whole thing. Apparently, it will provide for better long range transport of goods landed at Halifax, Nova Scotia. Those goods would otherwise most likely pass through the Port of New York. Canada has an economic reason to fund, and control, this bridge: Competing with an American port.

The opposition to Proposal 6 seems to be composed mostly of ad hominem attacks and arguments that the agreement absolutely means Michigan will never pay anything.

Unfortunately, while Michigan may not be required to pay, neither is it prevented from finding creative ways to pay. As State Representative Paul Opsommer pointed out in the LSJ today, "[There is n]o ban or limit to the creation of a community benefits program for Detroit and Windsor. During House discussion, Detroit wanted $100 million with no strings attached."

I very much dislike amending the Constitution to require votes on bridges. However, in the course of writing this post, I have changed from a NO to a YES on Proposal 6.

The manner in which Governor Snyder has foisted this deal on Michigan should be challenged, and is the greater of two evils. I'm holding my nose and voting YES on Proposal 6.

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