Last Thursday, my oldest daughter, Aláthea, celebrated her tenth birthday. It’s a milestone, in more ways than one. You see, before Aláthea had even blown out the candles on her cake, Michigan’s governor had committed her and all her peers to 25 years of debt.
Because Gretchen Whitmer failed to get her way, she impulsively borrowed $3.5 billion in bonds to “fix the damn roads.” And it’s going to have damaging consequences for my daughter’s future.
At ten years old, it will be another six years before she can drive on the handful of state roads that this borrowed money is supposedly going to fix. But it won’t fix the roads we drive on every day, and the interest payments will take money out of MDOT’s budget that could otherwise go towards fixing those roads and bridges across the state.
At ten years old, it will be another eight years before my daughter can vote. She didn’t choose Gretchen Whitmer to be her governor. And she had no input on this decision to borrow billions – in fact, none of us did. But she will grow up and have to deal with the consequences of Governor Whitmer’s reckless decision. From the moment she gets her first job, she will be paying taxes towards these bonds and the $1.6 billion in interest payments.
By unilaterally sacrificing Michigan’s long-term financial security for short-term goals, Gretchen Whitmer has condemned our state and future generations to debt that we cannot afford. It’s an egregious abuse of power, and it’s appalling that there’s nothing that our legislature or voters can do about it.
Governor Whitmer’s term is four years, but the consequences of her foolhardy leadership will continue into the next administration, and the administration after that. While Governor Snyder worked to pay down our long-term debt so that future governors would have more options, Governor Whitmer has done the opposite. She has handcuffed future administrations by her decision, limiting their ability to lead, and limiting every Michigan citizens ability to succeed.
In twenty-five years, Aláthea will be thirty-five. She’ll probably be married. She might even have a ten-year-old of her own. With any luck, she might still call Michigan home. And no thanks to Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan might finally be out of debt.
Cameron Pickford is a husband, father, and the Communications Director of the Michigan Freedom Fund.