Getting rid of euphamisms in government

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Whatever else Governor Snyder said in his State of the State message on Wednesday night, the speech is already being remembered mostly as a pitch for more money for better roads.

But the Governor went to every length to avoid saying "new tax."

In tonight's Tom's corner, Tom Van Howe says he's grown weary of euphamisms, and hopes we have too.


I can handle what happened in the late stages of the lame duck legislative session last yearfrom right-to-work to the thinly veiled effort to close down abortion clinics in Michigan.

Simply put, that's what you can do when you have a Republican House, a Republican Senate, a Republican Attorney General, a Republican Secretary of State, a Republican Lt. Governor and a Republican Governor.

It's the ultimate political hand and it was played for all it was worth. In your face politics. I said I could handle it.

Not that I liked it.

I thought it was all too gleefully heavy-handed. And the constantly grinning face of House Speaker Jase Bolger, who I think ought to be raising a defense fund for his effort to defraud the system, was difficult for me. But that's politics.

But what I found particularly irksome last night was the Governor's request for a user feenot a tax, but a user feeso Michigan can build some new roads to the tune of a billion dollars a year.

I'm not irked that he wants to build new roads. To the contrary, I support him.

We need new roads all over the place. How incongruous can it be for the automotive state to have among the worst roads in the country? Our roads can damage cars. You travel at your own risk. Last summer the horribly defective northbound Ford Freeway between Saugatuck and Holland was completely redone. It was inconvenient. I didn't care. It is now one of the little joys of my life to make that trip. It's wonderful. And it ought to be that way all over the state.

But in a day when even the thought of a new taxes has become a Norquistian sin, the governor's so called user fee, which we'd likely pay at the pump and when re-registering our cars, is likely to go down in flames.

Because the "Republican everything" doesn't want to be associated with a new tax.

Ironically, Democrats in Lansing may well see the value in it all. They may even want to say yes. But they probably won't because you can only have things shoved down your throat for so long before you lose your sense of cooperation.

But however that goes, it would be nice if "his nerdiness" would treat everyone like grownups and discontinue his use of the term user fee.

We are in desperate need of new roads. We need a new tax to get the job done. And a tax by any other name is still a tax.

Let's deal with it.

In this corner, I'm Tom Van Howe.