Whitmer TV ad backing $3.5B spending plan features roads she can’t fix
Because the governor unilaterally pushed for the new debt package, the money can only be used on 8% of Michigan roadways. Those aren’t the roads in her ad.
With a massive 45-cent gas hike rejected, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer unilaterally moved to add to Michigan’s debt by borrowing $3.5 billion to work on the roads. Her supporters are now funding a TV ad that supports her road plan.
But there’s a problem: The ad shows roads she cannot fix thanks to the way she borrowed the money.
The ad shows deteriorating local roads, which are not covered under this new funding. Whitmer is borrowing the money through an unelected state commission, so the funds can only be used on freeways and main state roads.
The limits are imposed because she did not seek permission from legislators or constituents, thus the borrowing is restricted because it requires little oversight. The bonding OK was pushed through hours after being announced.
Local roads make up 92% of Michigan’s roadways. The 8% of roads on which she can spend the money are not the roads shown in Whitmer’s ad.
The plan leaves local roads “in the dust,” according to officials from the County Roads Association of Michigan. “While we all have had bumpy drives on the freeway, and those certainly need repair, every Michigan resident’s daily travels begin and end in their driveway,” said association Deputy Director Ed Noyola.
Each taxpayer in Michigan already shoulders $17,000 in state debt that they’ll ultimately need to pay off through higher taxes, according to fiscal watchdog Truth in Accounting. That’s the second-highest burden in the Midwest, behind only Illinois.
Whitmer’s ad portrays her as a maverick who cut through politics and delivered on her campaign promise.
After she drives an SUV across rough local roads, the ad announcer ends with: “When she said, ‘It’s about time we fix the damn roads,’ she meant it.”
But thanks to Whitmer cutting corners, Michiganders have a big new debt and somewhere south of an 8% chance of driving down one of the “damn roads” her spending will fix.