The Bain Report: “Articles that Affect You and Your Family” for May, 24, 2010

Tea Party Hijackers
Here’s a real slap in the face to the conservative Tea Party folks! State Republican Party Chair Ron Weiser late last month said about the Tea Party stuff, suggesting it was an “organized movement that e-mails each other back and forth.” Mr. Weiser concluded that the movement here “is not going to affect our elections in Michigan.”  Do I hear a challenge here?
 
Palin Urges Michigan Conservatives To Elect New Leaders
Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin urged Michigan conservatives Saturday to look at upcoming state elections as opportunity to put their candidates in place and begin changing big government, cutting federal spending and repealing the new federal health care law.
 
Utah Senator Ousted At GOP Convention
Falls Victim To Growing Conservative Movement
This is what needs to happen in every state in order to receive the proper representation we as an electorate deserve and expect! Once-popular Republican Sen. Bob Bennett fell victim to a growing national conservative movement with his stunning defeat at Utah’s GOP convention. Here in Michigan we can do the same thing in our primary to ensure we have the most principled candidate representing our interest and not that of the lobbyist, special interest, and Union institutional interest! Don’t be fooled by the incumbent “Spin Masters” who claim to be “Constitutional Conservatives” when their voting record and campaign contributions show a different picture!
 
Richardville votes in favor to reduce high school graduation standards
This only continues the dumbing down of our children in public education. We as a society and parents should regret seeing this bill move forward. We should be encouraging the most from our children, not the minimum. This is part of the old School To Work, of Bill Clinton and Marc Tuckers of the 90s. By compressing four years into two (freshman and sophomore years), Tucker’s idea is to fast-track and minimize the high-school curriculum so that students do not receive in-depth instruction in World History, U. S. History, economics, government, higher math, the great classics of the world, and advanced science. Students would be bereft of the knowledge-base needed to cope with the adult problems of the world and certainly would neither make well-informed voters nor citizens. These students also would not have the flexibility and the knowledge-base to change vocations readily nor to get into college and be successful students. Students (encouraged by their naïve parents) who unknowingly succumb to Tucker’s devious plan would end up having a very shallow educational background and would be doomed to the career pathway they chose when young and immature.
 
Michigan voters look to unseat incumbent Republicans and Democrats
With Michigan’s 10 year and counting problems such as the economy, job loses, budget deficits, education cuts, and a host of “Bad Legislation” the citizens (voters) are more than ready for new representation in Lansing! Michigan voters may have finally reached the end of their rope and realized that you cannot expect the ones who helped create the problems fix them! It’s time for real change not the talk of it in the past. Democrats may be more forgiving of their career politicians than the Republicans of theirs.
 
Senate GOP Fumbles, May Approve $25.9 Billion Taxpayer Liability to Satisfy MEA
Negotiations are continuing between the Republican majority in the Michigan Senate and House Democrats on a modest school pension reform proposal recommended by Gov. Jennifer Granholm to help balance next year’s budget. Late reports suggest that GOP Senators may be ready to surrender on one particular demand from the Michigan Education Association that could load a new $25.9 billion liability onto taxpayers.
 
Legislative pay evidence of a larger problem
Michigan policymakers would like to raise taxes some $557 million in order to avoid structural reforms and spending cuts. Perhaps lawmakers should look at cutting their own paychecks first. Cutting legislative pay and benefits could save Michigan $11.1 million. Currently, legislators in Michigan receive a base pay of $79,650, plus another $12,000 annually for expenses. Leadership positions receive added compensation of between $5,500 and $27,000. Only California lawmakers get more.
 
Three Michigan Companies Get $121,000 from Michigan Microloan Fund
Our roads are the worst, our children’s education funding is being cut, the state budget is in serious trouble, but, we can still subsidies private industry? We absolutely need better representation out of our elected representatives in Lansing!
 
Spending Tobacco Revenue Like There’s No Tomorrow
Have our prudent and farsighted politicians recognized the temporary nature of this windfall and placed most of it in a reserve fund? No. In fact, every penny so far has been spent and they’ve actually borrowed against future settlement revenue to spend hundreds of millions on wrongheaded “economic development” programs, tourism industry subsidies and to avoid spending cuts. But the sharks began nibbling around the edges. In 2005, the Legislature created the “21st Century Jobs Fund” business subsidy program, a hodge-podge of spending with little oversight. To pay for it they borrowed $400 million against future tobacco settlement proceeds. To avoid spending cuts in the 2007 budget, the Legislature approved another $415 million in borrowing against future tobacco money. In 2008 they pulled out this same credit card, using it to buy $60 million in tourism ads (the “Pure Michigan” and related campaigns). How did your Representative vote? Mine, Sen. Richardville (R) Monroe hasn’t missed a yes vote on this one!
 
Budget hijinks make mockery of public campaign financing
Michigan legislators have been playing shell games with the state budget for so long that it’s hard to muster real indignation at their latest bookkeeping maneuver: diverting $7.2 million that was specifically earmarked for a public campaign financing fund to plug chronic shortfalls in state revenues.
 
MEA-owned insurance carrier using rate hikes to replenish coffers?
WOW!!! What a deal for the Teachers Union. Let me see, WE paid into their retirement fund and WE paid for their insurance, and WE pay their salaries. Now because MESSA, the MEA Teachers Union lost money in the market, we get to cover their losses for them??? MESSA loses millions through bad investments, pension costs
Last year MESSA reported having a fund reserve of $365 million, and the statewide average of its rate increase for schools was somewhere around six percent. But this year MESSA’s fund reserve has dwindled to a measly $259.5 million, and the average increase is expected to be 13.3 percent. “Many American companies would like to make up for the recession losses, and MESSA is one that has – thanks to the Michigan taxpayers. It has a license to steal from taxpayers!”
 
Newspaper Death Act
There is no shortage of bad ideas coming out of Lansing. Senate Bill 1285 introduced by Sen. Bruce Patterson, R-Canton, would require customers to pay a deposit on each newspaper they purchase equal to one-half the retail price of the newspaper. What possible benefit to the public could there be in requiring a newspaper deposit? He must have received some bad press to waste taxpayer time as to introduce this piece of legislation! Our elected incumbent lawmakers both Democrats or Republicans should have bigger taxpayer concerns than this!
 
Obama, fellow Socialists to ram through new amnesty bill soon!
The democrats are counting on the sub-class of US citizens who are permanent wards of the government to save their collective behinds this coming November at the polls. They are the Americans who depend on the government for their very existence. They vote for democrats because democrats promise them their continued dole every month.  The millions of illegal aliens, once granted citizenship, will, for the most part, join the millions in this sub-class and add their votes to the democrat side of the ballot. THAT is the reason for the Comprehensive Immigration Bill… or the New Amnesty Bill.
 
Divisive New Driver’s Licenses
After becoming one of only 10 states to issue a new kind of driver’s license with beefed-up security features, Nevada became the first to stop issuing them — a move that has delighted privacy advocates and outraged the governor. The state called a halt to the “Real ID-compliant” licenses after temporary regulations put into place by Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons ran out and legislators under pressure from Real ID opponents failed to approve permanent ones.
 
Is Rising U.S. Debt Inviting Trouble? Ask Japan
As Europe’s debt woes play out in a disturbing fashion, investors on this side of the Atlantic are wondering if the same thing could happen in America. With a public debt to GDP ratio of 90% and climbing, the U.S. isn’t so far behind Greece’s 115% mark, after all.
 
House Passes $6 Billion Cash for Caulkers Bill
Here’s another dandy boondoggle with taxpayers money! The H.R. 5019 bill, which still needs approval in the Senate, is a two-track program. Consumers using the Silver Star program would receive up-front rebates up to $3,000 for covering installation costs of such behind-the-scenes products as water heaters, air duct sealing, windows and doors. Under the Gold Start program, homeowners would be required to arrange for an energy audit and put all the measure in place, in order to receive up to $8,000 should they hit the energy conservation milestones as it relates to dollars saved.
 
Foreclosure Rates Rise in Most Cities
The first-quarter foreclosure report had good news for the worst off, and bad news for almost everyone else. In 14 of the metropolitan areas hit hardest by mortgage defaults, foreclosures declined from 2009. But nationally, 77% of cities saw foreclosures rise.
 
Freddie Mac Sees Home Prices Sliding and Asks for More Cash 
Freddie Mac (FRE) doesn’t expect a housing recovery any time soon. In fact, the government-backed mortgage-finance giant thinks home prices will fall further before they start climbing back up. Worse, Freddie says it now needs an additional injection of $10.6 billion of government funding.
 
FDIC Shuts Seven More Banks at a Cost of Over $7 Billion
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation closed seven more banks on Apr. 30, bringing the total to 64 for the year. The day was particularly expensive, costing the agency (taxpayers) just over $7 billion. CF Bancorp in Port Huron, Mich. was one of them.
 
After the IMF Bails Out Europe, the U.S. May Have to Bail Out the IMF
The fund probably doesn’t have the resources to bail out Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Spain. Which begs the question: Who rescues the IMF if it needs more stabilization funds to put out another fire? You guessed it. The U.S. (Taxpayers) is at the top of that list.
 
Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends [life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness] it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government  Thomas Jefferson
 
 
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  1. Week in review « Craig W. Wright

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