Representative Tom Pearce was recently quoted in the Press saying we shouldn’t expect much from the legislature in an election year – a statement that was remarkable for both its candor and its fecklessness. Since Representative Pearce is term-limited, he can actually tell the truth – something Michigan politicians seem to have trouble with when they think their positions are on the line.
At the same time, Pearce’s statement revealed just how broken our political systems is. If there is any time we should expect results from our representatives, it is in an election year. Even more so, it is at a time when the state’s budgetary and tax systems are in desperate need of a complete overhaul. Instead, it’s business as usual in Lansing.
It should be obvious that term-limits have been a colossal failure in Michigan. Instead of experience and wisdom we have legislators who are either learning their jobs or looking for the next one. However, if there is one saving grace it should be the ability of representatives to use their final term as a chance to get the right things done for Michigan without the fear of partisan reprisals.
With the Governor, one third of the House and entire Senate being evicted in 2010, now is the time for bold action on the tax system. Failure to act will only pass the problem to next year’s trainees, and Michigan will continue its pathetic race to the bottom. Business as usual is no longer a viable option.