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November 02, 2010 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-11-02

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4A - Tuesday, November 2, 2010

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Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109


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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com




Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board. All other signed articles
and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
A cheat sheet for voters
The Daily's guide for voters heading to the polls
n 2008, then-Sen. Barack Obama mobilized the youth vote to
win the presidency. It was a glamorous election. This elec-
tion cycle, without such a charismatic figure up for election,
student enthusiasm is down. But these elections are no less impor-
tant. At the federal level, Democrats face pressure from Republi-
cans to maintain their control of Congress. And Michigan voters
will elect a new governor who they hope will pull the state out
of its economic slump. Today, you have the opportunity to decide
who will lead your government. So head to the polls. And keep
these things in mind when you're filling out your ballot.

A policy deal for Snyder


The race for the Michigan governor's
office has been long - and dominated by
Republican Rick Snyder. But despite his
popularity, Snyder's plan to reform taxes
won't help to balance the budget. Democrat
Virg Bernero has the executive experience
as mayor of Lansing to bring jobs to Michi-
gan and manage the state's troubled budget.
Vote VIRG BERNERO for governor.
You can't argue with 55 years of experi-
ence. As the U.S. representative from the
15th District, JOHN DINGELL brings a
wealth of knowledge about D.C. politics and
the ability to maneuver legislation through
Congress. Once again, he is right for the job.
In the race for the 18th District state Sen-
ate seat, Republican John Hochstetler's
lack of progressive enthusiasm and inter-
est in tax abatement isn't going to get him
the needed support to take the vacant
seat. His Democratic opponent and cur-
rent state House representative from the
53th District, REBEKAH WARREN, has
experience and a background focused on
pushing for progressive social change like
a woman's right to choose to have a child,
sEgom cgl,lreArgb,,nd marriage equality
for everyone.
Vying for Warren's recently-vacated seat
in the 53rd District in the state House, the
experience that Democratic candidate Jeff
Irwin boasts far surpasses his Republican
opponent, Chase Ingersoll. JEFF IRWIN
missed the 53rd District debate against his
opponent, but his stances on social issues
and experience as a member of the Washt-
enaw County Board of Commissions will
benefit area residents.
Though incumbent Republicans Andrea
Fischer Newman and Andrew Richner
are experienced members of the Univer-
sity Board of Regents, new opinions are.
needed. Democratic challengers PAUL
fight against tuition increases and bring

new voices to a board disconnected from
students' needs.
Independent challenger Steve Bean,
who is running for Ann Arbor mayor, has
ideas to educate about green policies. But
he doesn't have a wide understanding of
how to keep young professionals within
city borders. Mayor John Hieftje's last 10
years in office have proven him worthy of
re-election. His dedication to making Ann
Arbor environmentally friendly has gotten
the city government to run on 20 percent
renewable energy. Because of his desire to
create a vibrant city culture and expand
green initiatives, you should vote JOHN
HIEFTJE for mayor.
Ann Arbor residents should vote for
TONY DEREZINSKI for Ward 2 and
CARSTEN HOHNKE for Ward 5 of the
Ann Arbor City Council. Incumbent Der-
ezinski is one of the most knowledgeable
members on the council. He has unique
plans on how to manage the budget and
is dedicated to continuing to increase the
number of miles of bike lanes in the city.
Also an incumbent, Hohnke's personal
businesses,,afford him the experience to
adequately manage the budget. He has
also expanded recycling projects around
the city.
Vote YES on PROPOSAL 1 to update
the Michigan constitution. The passage
of this proposal would allow voters the
option to call for a constitutional conven-
tion. While holding a constitutional con-
vention is expensive, removal of particular
amendments could grant more civil liber-
ties for Michigan citizens, especially mem-
bers of the LGBT community.
Vote NO on PROPOSAL 2, a policy that
would prevent people who have been con-
victed of violating public trust from being
allowed to hold public office. Voters should
have the prerogative to decide whom they
deem suitable for elected positions.

ick Snyder, we need to talk.
First, congratulations on
winning the Michigan gov-
ernorship. Yes,
I know the polls
don't close until
8 p.m., but face it:
You're going to
win - by a lot. of
course, it helps that
between the prima-
ries and the general
election that you'veL
only had opponents PATRICK
who are crazy, OMAHEN
incompetent or
both. Still though,
it's not every day
you become governor.
But seriously, Mr. Snyder, we need
to talk policy. In 2011, you need to
introduce a new business tax - specif-
ically a tax on carbon emissions. Com-
prehensive federal legislation to fight
global warming is bogged down, thus
we need to start at the state level to
reducegreenhouse gas emissions now.
Yes, I get it - you are a Republican.
Yes, I know you think taxes are stran-
gling businesses. Yes, I know you prob-
ably think reviving the economy comes
before protecting the environment. But
hear me out - I havea deal for you.
You're a University graduate and
hopefully you're smart enough and
have enough intellectual honesty
to understand that global warming
is real and will have horrific conse-
quences for the planet. But, you want
to cut business taxes.
I'm a Ph.D. student - I know
enough economics to understand
that taxes and unnecessary regula-
tions drag down economic growth
and entrepreneurs. But I want a car-
bon tax. Here's my proposal: Let's do
both. Institute a carbon tax and use
its revenues to reduce taxes on busi-
nesses and individuals.
This isn't a crazy idea, Infact, it,
makes alot of sense.
Taxes provide a disincentive to do

something by raising an activity's
costs. Levies on businesses reduce
the profits of entrepreneurship and
decrease economic activity. In gen-
eral, moderate (or sometimes even
high) levels of taxes on businesses,
consumption and individuals are rea-
sonable because they help the gov-
ernment provide public goods. Public
goods are positive things like infra-
structure, public security and educa-
tion that simple market interactions
do a poor job providing. They also
often help economic development
more than the taxes depress it.
Ideally, however, we wouldn't tax
"good" things like economic activ-
ity. We need to start directly taxing
destructive things, like smoking,
water pollution or carbon emissions.
This strategy accomplishes three
things. First, it provides the govern-
ment with the necessary revenue
to provide public goods. Second, it
keeps the burden off of entrepreneurs
who drive economic growth. Finally,
taxing harmful activities reduces
their occurrence and therefore, their
harm to society.
Take cigarettes, for example. In
1970, according to the Centers for
Disease Control, the average national
excise tax on cigarettes was $1.08
(adjusted to reflect the dollar's current
value). By 2009, the average tax had
more than doubled to $2.19. During
that time the adult smoking rate in the
United States decreased from 37.4 per-
cent to 20.6 percent, according to the
CDC. Though there were other factors
as well, cigarette taxes have brought
in billions in revenue while reducing
the economically harmful activity of
smoking, which causes vast increases
in health care costs and a loss of eco-
nomic productivity.
A tax on carbon consumption
would do the same thing. It would
nudge businesses and individuals to
reduce their use of carbon-intensive
fossil fuels by making those fuels
more costly and it would promote

cleaner policies. It would also provide
the state the necessaryrevenue topro-
mote economic development. Finally,
we could use the revenue from a car-
bon tax to cut taxes on businesses.
Michigan's next
gov. should rethink
carbon policy.
And this isn't pie-in-the-sky eco-
nomic theory - we have a case study
thatshowsthis canwork. In2008, the
Canadian province of British Colum-
bia began to phase in a $30-per-ton
tax on carbon emissions targeted at
carbon-intensive fossil fuels. As the
tax has been ramped up over the past
two years, the province has taken in
$860 million from the carbon tax. All
of that revenue has been refunded
to taxpayers in rate cuts, including
a 20-percent cut in the tax rate for
small corporate businesses in addi-
tion to cuts in personal income tax
rates. The carbon tax encourages
organizations to re-evaluate alter-
native energies and invest in energy
efficiency projects - like the Uni-
versity of British Columbia, which
is investing $43 million in projects
that will drastically curtail its energy
use. Additionally, all this has hap-
pened without noticeable effects to
the province's unemployment rate in
comparison to the rest of Canada.
So how about it, Mr. Snyder? Take
the burden off of innovative busi-
nesses and taxpayers, safeguard state
revenues and strike a blow against
global warming. That sounds like a
legacy any governor would want to
leave his state.
- Patrick O'Mahen can be
reached at pomahen@umich.edu.


Readers are encouraged to submit letters to the editor. Letters should be fewer
than 300 words and must include the writer's full name and University affiliation. Letters are edited for
clarity, length and factual accuracy. All submissions become property of the Daily.
We do not print anonymous letters. Send letters to tothedaily@umich.edu.
Each and every vote counts

Join the ONE movement

Halloween is an exciting time at the Univer-
sity. With crazy parties and students dressed
in costumes, campus is electrified for about
five days each October. But while everyone was
heading out to Salvation Army to put the last
touches on their costumes, we couldn't help
but think about what's really scary this Hal-
loween season: the reality that more than 1.4
billion people are living in poverty worldwide.
Today, living in poverty means living on less
than $1.25 per day, which is the cost of a small
coffee at Espresso Royale. Not scared yet?
Then maybe this will scare you: Every day,
more than 1,000 babies are born with HIV and
more than half will die before their second
birthday. What's even worse is that there is a
way to stop transmission of HIV from mother
to child, and we simply aren't doing enough.
Antiretroviral treatment for HIV/AIDS is
inexpensive (about $0.40 per day, actually)
and if administered correctly before birth and
during breastfeeding, the risk of transmission
from mother to child is as low as 2 percent. And
this is a decrease from 35 percent from just a
few years ago. With the science and technology
in place, all we need to build is the political will
to provide access to these life-saving medica-
tions to those who need it most.
Have you ever purchased a shirt from GAP
that says INSPI(RED)? or bought a coffee at
Starbucks with your (RED) giftcard? These pur-
chases support Product (RED) - anorganization
that raises awareness and funds for the Global
Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
The Global Fund is one of our most powerful
tools. In less than a decade, it has saved 5.7 mil-
lion lives by providing AIDS treatment for 2.8
million people, tuberculosis treatment for 7 mil-
lion people and 122 million bednets to protect
families from malaria. The successes are abun-
dant. We know the solution. It is working. And
this is where college students come in.
As leaders of ONE - a poverty-fighting
grassroots advocacy organization on cam-
pus - we work to educate University students
about the hardships of extreme poverty. More
importantly, though, we provide students with
the opportunity to help. Our job as members of
the organization is to pressure local, national
and international institutions to join this fight.

This fall, instead of hitting up numerous resi-
dence hall pregames and fraternity houses, we
will be hitting up the residents of Ann Arbor to
talk about our role in ensuring that no child is
born with HIV by 2015. You will have seen us
as the only students dressed up as "education"
or "HIV/AIDS" on Halloween.
Instead of asking for candy at residents'
doorsteps, we will have a different request:
Help Ann Arbor become the first city in Mich-
igan to become a "City of ONE." As a City of
ONE, Ann Arbor, along with the support of our
city council and mayor, will lobby members
of the U.S. Congress and the state and federal
administration to create the change we need.
We will become a leading district of ONE's
membership (currently over 2.7 million Ameri-
cans), giving us more legitimacy and backing in
Congress. As we educate Ann Arbor residents
and University students about our cause and
their ability to affect real change, we will gath-
er signatures on a letter to Ann Arbor Mayor
John Hieftje. ONE members will present this
information to the Ann Arbor City Council on
Thursday evening to begin the process of offi-
cially proclaiming us a City of ONE.
The University has been a leader in ONE's
movement since its introduction to campus in
2008. Last year, we gathered thousands of let-
ters and petitions and made phone calls to our
senators. In response, U.S. Senator Carl Levin
signed on to the International Affairs Budget
Request, citing the pressure from University
students as his motive. Our chapter beat over
2,000 schools across the country to be named
the number one poverty-fighting school in
America based on our advocacy and education
efforts. We must continue our tradition as the
leaders in the fight against global poverty by
doing our part this season.
Please take a few minutes in between cos-
tume changes to think about what is really
scary about the world today. Don't let the
daunting and horrific numbers get you down,
though. We have the ability to end extreme
poverty and disease. All we need is your voice.
Go to www.one.org for more information.
Stephanie Parrish is the founder of ONE
Campaign at the University of Michigan.

I can still feel the energy that penetrated every corner
of our country during the 2008 presidential election. It
was a story filled with drama, celebrities, political ads,
millions of doors knocked on and thousands of volunteers.
Unlike "The Sopranos," we all know how the story ended
- then-Sen. Barack Obama, winning 365 votes from the
Electoral College, almost 67 million votes and 53 percent
of the popular vote to become our nation's 44th president.
There were record numbers of college students
involved in that election: both volunteering or simply vot-
ing. Many would argue that we were a large part of the
reason that Senator Obama became President Obama.
I wasn't in Ann Arbor in 2008. I was still in Washing-
ton, D.C., a senior in high school during that historic time.
I cannot claim to be part of the college campus movement,
but I was still a student. Along with dozens of friends
from my school, I spent weekend after weekend leading
up to election day going to Virginia to talk to voters. And
so, in some way, I can connect to the many stories I have
heard from upperclassmen about those months.
Election day is today. In these midterm elections, we
have a chance to have our voices heard once again.
But this year, there's as little hype on campus for the
election as there was for the fourth "Shrek" movies. This
all leads me to ask a question to students: Where is the
This election day is important. Today voters across the
country will re-elect or replace their House representa-
tive. Voters in 36 states will do the same for one of their
senators and 37 states, including Michigan, will choose
new governors.
But we can't forget that Michigan also has other state-
wide races going on: secretary of state, attorney general,
Supreme Court justices, every state House and many state
Senate positions, ballot proposals, mayors, county com-
missioners, school district positions and state education
positions that will all be decided by your vote.
Your vote today is important. Do not let anyone tell
you that "One vote doesn't matter." That is completely,
patently false. In the 2000 presidential election, Florida's
voters chose George W. Bush by 500 votes, giving him the
state and propelling him over the 270 Electoral College
votes needed. On a state level in 2008, Al Franken won
his U.S. Senate seat by only 318 votes. This past summer,

Yousef Rabhi won the Democratic primary election for
11th District Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners
by one vote - 998 to 997. Elections, especially local ones,
are decided by a tiny percentage of the electorate.
Additionally, the offices you are filling with your vote
are important for two reasons. The first is practical: The
decisions made by these men and women will directly
affect you, your friends and your families. Will we have a
congressman that supports the recent health care reform
bill or one that wants to repeal it? Will we have a secre-
tary of state who will improve access to voting or one that
will use their energy to fight against election deception
and fraud? Your vote can decide the answer to those ques-
tions and many more.
The second reason is more ideological. The vast major-
ity of people in the United States, myself included, believe
in democracy as a theory and an ideal. We cry out against
brutal dictatorships across the world, which prevent their
citizens from the same rights we have. And yet, over 50
percent of us nationwide forget the reason why we have
this democratic political system in the first place: democ-
racy inherently gives every citizen a way to be heard in
our society. If we hold these beliefs and make these claims
about the power of democracy and don't participate in our
own democratic government, then we are a nation of hyp-
ocrites, fighting for free elections all over the world and
then not participating in our own back home. We are a
nation of whiners, perpetually complaining about current
conditions and the state of our lives, but making no move
to change them.
ButI believe we are also a nation of doers, taking action
when it's deemed necessary. We are a nation of concerned
individuals, speaking out about things that will affect
both us and the generations to come. I believe in a nation
where people participate because they know it is their
right to be heard. I believe in the nation where we allvote.
Today, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., go vote. Go to mgovote.
umich.edu to find your polling location. Bring your Mcard
(or some other form of ID) and your friends. To paraphrase
Gandhi, vote for the change you wish to see in the world.
Yonah Lieberman is a member of Voice Your Vote, a
nonpartisan Michigan Student Assembly commission
dedicated to voter registration and education.

Aida Ali, Jordan Birnholtz, Adrianna Bojrab, Will Butler, Eaghan Davis, Michelle DeWitt,
Ashley Griesshammer, Will Grundler, Jeremy Levy, Erika Mayer, Harsha Nahata Emily Orley,
Harsha Panduranga, Tommaso Pavone, Leah Potkin, Asa Smith, Laura Veith


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