The Bain Report: “Articles that Affect You and your Family” for July, 5, 2010

Voter registration: Deadline for Michigan residents who want to vote in primary
Michigan residents who want to vote in the August primary have through July 6 to register. Voter registration can be done by mail, at county, city or township clerk’s offices, or by visiting any Secretary of State branch office. 
 
States without helmet laws benefit from tourism
According to a study done by Michigan Consultants in Lansing, Michigan is losing millions of tourism dollars and approximately $1.2 billion in overall economic benefit because of this law.
 
Michigan Residents Down On State Government
Michigan residents are far more pessimistic about state government and their elected incumbent leaders than they have been in several years, figures from the latest survey from the State of the State Survey show. The survey results, particularly the finding of how low public trust was in state government proves that the sentiment of the electorate is to vote out all incumbents and elect fresh leaders with creative thinking and a more common sense approach to government and not what we have had in the past. Real citizen representation is what the battle cry is from the voters!
 
Jobless Claims in U.S. Increased Last Week to 472,000
More Americans unexpectedly applied for jobless benefits last week, a sign the labor market recovery may be slowing. “The labor market is not generating employment for anyone, even for people who have been out a long time,” said Steven Ricchiuto, chief economist at Mizuho Securities USA Inc. in New York, who forecast claims at 470,000. “What we’re seeing in the backup of claims is not a particularly healthy story, showing we can’t generate upside momentum in the labor market.”
 
Up Only 13,000, Private Sector Hiring Was Anemic in June
The economy suffered another setback on the employment front in June, as the private sector added only 13,000 jobs in the month, ADP (ADP) said.
 
Cox takes a Pass on Unsealing Deposition
Despite repeated statements touting openness and transparency, Attorney General Mike Cox is refusing to unseal his more than seven hours of testimony in the case brought by Tamara Greene’s family. In response to this motion Judge Gerald Rosen said that he was reluctant to unseal the Cox deposition, but stated that if Cox wanted it unsealed, he could file a motion to do so. In his written order, Judge Rosen directed Cox at least SEVEN times that the request to unseal his testimony needs to come from Cox himself:
 
Was Mike Cox’s investigation of Hangar42 Studios’ film tax credit delayed?
This sound a lot like the rumored party at the Manoogian Mansion investigation! “Mike Cox did nothing with this information,” said Muskegon businessman Bill Cooper, who said he began corresponding with a Cox campaign aide in March. State Rep. Dave Agema said he contacted the office in late February with information calling the project into question. Cox spokeswoman Joy Yearout would not discuss when the investigation began, or whether the reports by Agema and Cooper were part of the investigation.
 
Texting while driving could cost $100 now and are Cell phones next?
Chipping away at our freedoms and liberties a little at a time. While I agree that cell phone users create some issues while on the road there are already laws on the books pertaining to this such as careless and reckless driving! What’s next you can’t look at a road map, eat while driving, no applying make up for the women? You already can’t drive barefoot according to law! Where does it all stop? We have to many laws that are not being enforced now and we don’t need any more infringements on our freedoms and liberties!
 
National debt soars to highest level since WWII
The federal debt will represent 62% of the nation’s economy by the end of this year, the highest percentage since just after World War II, according to a long-term budget outlook released today by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.
 
‘Glenn Beck’: A Peek at The Overton Window
There are two ways to go through life. You can be the kind of person who loves to eat sausage and you just don’t want to know where it came from, or you’re the type of person who has to know how the sausage is made.
 
Senate GOP Puts Off 312 Reform
Senate Republicans will decide when they get back next month what to do about the now-controversial P.A. 312 reform legislation that passed the House last week. Sen. Randy RICHARDVILLE (R-Monroe), who sponsored  SB 1072, told MIRS the caucus would have “another serious conversation” and decide whether to put the immediate effect vote on the floor calendar. “The Senate caucus hasn’t made a decision about this,” he said. The legislation aimed at ending binding arbitration for police and firefighters as part of the Senate GOP’s “Year of Reform,” has been whacked by local government groups who claim it allows 911 operators and other public safety officials to be covered by binding arbitration when two local government entities consolidate (See “P.A. 312 Expansion Goes Unchanged,” 6/24/10). Because the House-passed version is identical to the Senate’s, changes can’t be made in the upper chamber. The next move is an I.E. vote. It’s not clear that the votes would be there now that the Michigan Municipal League (MML), Michigan Township Association (MTA) and Michigan Association of Counties (MAC) don’t want the bill to go to the Governor’s desk. Richardville said their real issue is that  SB 1072 doesn’t strengthen language about a municipality’s ability to pay in contract negotiations. He said that the local groups could address that in separate legislation. “They’re obviously trying to blow up this effort because they didn’t get their issue,” he said. Richardville said he will be “investigating whether [their concerns] have merit.” He added that the organizations were involved in many workgroups over several months and didn’t raise objections. He said no one called his office about red flags and called their negotiating style “disingenuous.” Richardville said he gladly would have convened another work group but the local organizations wanted to “bomb this thing.”  He doesn’t return constituents phone calls anyway so why would they? “There’s no question that the Michigan Municipal League, Michigan Township Association and Michigan Association of Counties had plenty of time to work on the bill,” he said. “All of a sudden when it’s in the House, there are unintended consequences.” MIRS asked Richardville about the significance of one of the Senate GOP’s reform priorities being on hold, especially since none of the other bills have gone anywhere in the House. He told MIRS that  SB 1072 was the caucus’ chance to accomplish part of its agenda. “There was overwhelming [Senate] support for a good reform,” he noted. “It wasn’t an earth-shattering reform. But it saved money, saved time and brought two sides together closer than they were before.”
 Senate GOP Puts Off 312 Reform   “subscription required”
 
New Home Sales Plunge 33% as Tax Credits Expire
What recovery? Sales of new homes collapsed in May, sinking 33 percent to the lowest level on record as potential buyers stopped shopping for homes once they could no longer receive government tax credits.
 
The Ultimate Battle between Republicans and Conservatives
The ultimate battle between those who are Republicans first and those who are conservatives first. I am going to go where I shouldn’t go and say what I shouldn’t say. Some of you are really, really not going to like it. The establishment career minded incumbents who got fat and happy with years of Republican dominance wants to return to the status quo ante. They did not want to reform. They did not want to cut back.
 
Faith In Government Plummeting
Faith in government leadership is declining, according to the most recent State of the State survey conducted by Michigan State University economics professor Charles Ballard. The loss of trust in government, according to Ballard, “has fallen to an all-time low in the 16 years of this survey.” Thirty seven percent of those polled believe you “can seldom, or never trust the government,” which may be a “huge concern for the next governor and whoever is elected to the next legislature,” Ballard said.
Faith In Government Plummeting    “subscription required”
 
State likely won’t hit new budget target by July 1
The Legislature is expected to grapple with an estimated $1.7 billion overall budget shortfall for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. State Rep. Bill Rogers, R-Genoa Township, said there’s “no way” the budget will be completed by Thursday. The estimate for school aid revenue was $292 million above January estimates. Since then, lawmakers have debated whether to apply the expected additional funding to lessen the per-pupil funding blow to schools, or use it to help offset funding shortfalls elsewhere. How about cutting failed government departments and programs? Quit playing the shell games! It should be all about our children’s education not failed policy!
 
Are we heading into a ‘third depression’?
In its history, the U.S. has endured only two depressions. Misguided fears over deficit spending are pushing us into a third, argues Paul Krugman. The G-20 nations agreed last weekend to halve their deficits by 2013, saying fiscal austerity measures are the best path to economic growth.
 
Local bar owners: Smoking ban is hurting business
On May 1, the Pigeon Inn posted a “No Smoking” sign on the establishments front door as part of its effort to comply with the states new smoke-free law. Less than two months after the ban went into effect, a new sign was posted. “The Pigeon Inn Bar will be closed on Sundays until Sept. 12 due to the lack of business,” reads the new sign, which was posted on the bar’s front door last week after the business had been operating at a loss on Sundays since the smoking ban was established, said owner Gary Housey. “This is my livelihood, this is my retirement — and now I’m losing everything,” Housey told the Tribune. Here in Monroe, Senator Randy Richardville was for the smoking ban before he was against it. In a Monroe News article in 2009 on the prior vote that failed he stated that it was a shame that we didn’t pass the smoking ban Bill. After seeing that it had the votes to pass with or without his vote he opted for the no vote as to appeal to the smokers come re-election time. Can you say flip flopper?
 
Motorcycle helmet tickets to be dropped
Motorcyclists fighting unapproved helmet tickets they received this spring from Adrian police were notified last week the cases are being dropped. Legal issues brought up in Lenawee County District Court by an attorney for a motorcycle rights group are the same ones involved in a lawsuit in federal court in Grand Rapids, said Adrian City Attorney Sarah Osburn. Rather than leave the half-dozen tickets pending in Lenawee County District Court for months or years while the federal case is decided, she said, the tickets were dismissed.
 
You know the honeymoon is over when the comedians start
The comedians are having a field day with whats going on in our country today. There is a lot of truth to their jokes, click the link below I’m sure you will agree!
 
Customers, salons prepare for 10-percent tax on indoor tanning
The indoor tanning TAX that will hit Thursday is just the beginning of several new taxes to hit the citizens. The bronzed constituents who walk into area tanning salons Thursday, may walk out a little hotter — but not because of their time spent in a tanning bed.
 
Consumers Energy bills will see increase for residential customers
This is the second time the Jackson-based utility has used the 2008 state energy law that lets it raise rates on customers without prior approval from Lansing. The $4.11-a-month rate aims to reflect major investments the utility is making to maintain upgrades to its distribution system, pay for equipment installed on power plants to reduce pollution and investments in technology, according to the utility. The Republican lead Senate including Senator Randy Richardville, Monroe, voted in favor of this increase along with other past increases!
 
City Service Privatization Plan Rolls Forward
When City Manager John Szerlag said he would consider privatizing all of Troy’s City services, he said if the municipal departments could match the private company bids, he’d keep them. The city’s building department, however, never bothered to even put in an official bid, Szerlag said. Now, Szerlag estimates that the city will save as much as $500,000 a year by privatizing the department. Earlier this month, the Troy City Council approved privatization of the building department. It starts July 1.
 
Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s Fuzzy Math quoting CBO on Unemployment
Senator Debbie Stabenow’s (D-Michigan) standalone unemployment extension bill has already been introduced. Failure to pass the bill will not only harm those who face the loss of their unemployment benefits — 1.2 million Americans will do so on Thursday — but may increase the numbers of the unemployed as well. As The Hill notes, unemployment benefits provide nearly $7 billion a month in spending. This is the fuzzy math part, Every dollar given in unemployment compensation is worth $1.90 in economic stimulus, according to the CBO.
 
W-2’s in 2011 will include Obamacare Health care costs as income
Take the tax form you just finished for 2009 and see what $15,000.00 or
$20,000.00 additional gross income does to your tax debt. That is what
you will pay next year.
 
Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder
George Washington
 
 
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  1. Week in review « Craig W. Wright

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