By Bill Hall, State Chair
As we count down to the August 7 primary, it’s becoming increasingly clear where Libertarians differ from Republican and Democratic candidates on the important issues facing Michigan voters. And those areas of difference are where we need to focus our efforts to pick up voters disgusted with the status quo. Here are a few takeaways:
Corporate Welfare – The Mackinac Center recently published an amazing study, detailing how R and D legislators have voted for $16 billion of corporate welfare over the past 17 years. This is a bipartisan problem; those legislators who resisted the temptation to do so are few and far between. Click here to see how much the R or D you oppose in the general election voted to shell out to special interests. And share that information with the voters who were robbed to fund those handouts.
No-Fault Insurance – Michigan suffers under some of the highest auto insurance rates in the nation, to the point where thousands forgo insurance entirely, because they can’t afford Michigan’s mandated “Cadillac” coverage. Last fall we supported a bill for limited reform as a step in the right direction, but the Rs and Ds torpedoed reform when the hospitals, lawyers and other special interests making excessive profits under the mandate yanked them into line. Now many of those same Rs and Ds are campaigning for reform – something they’ve lied about every 2 years for the past 20 years. We need to expose their hypocrisy.
Marijuana Legalization — While we are no longer the only supporters of marijuana legalization in Michigan politics, most Republicans and many Democrats are way too shy to openly support marijuana legalization. And many of those who have now publicly embraced legalization are drug warriors from way back, who changed their mind solely for political expediency. We need to make that point to the voters.
Taxes – Many Republicans are saying they want to lower the Michigan income tax rate. LIARS! It was a Democratic Governor and House and Republican Senate that imposed the “temporary” income tax increase a decade ago. And it was a Republican legislature and Governor who amended the “temporary” income tax increase to freeze the increase in place. And they have repeatedly rejected efforts since to lower the tax rate. We need to call them out on this.
Spending – Virtually none of the R’s and D’s are campaigning for cutting spending. Democrats may claim Republicans have cut spending for some programs, but the opposite is true. Both are big spenders, and Libertarians are not. A substantial number of voters support spending cuts. Those voters should belong to us.
Now is the time to refine our message, and promises, to Michigan voters. The current Michigan political dialog highlights several issues where we differ from the Republicans and Democrats, and substantial numbers of voters support our views. By focusing on those differences, and the hunger among voters for candidates who can be trusted to promote real solutions to the problems facing our society, Libertarian candidates will have many openings they can exploit in this election season.