The Bain Report: Articles that Affect You & Your Family for August, 30, 2010

Michigan Economic Development Corp creates new program
The Michigan Economic Development Corp. has created a new initiative to pursue business development opportunities with the 12 Native American tribes across Michigan. How does this help the taxpayers of Michigan? The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) is a quasi-public agency of the state. For budgeting purposes, the MEDC is not officially recognized as a state agency. The article “Reservation Shopping” exposes why. http://www.newswithviews.com/Williams/carole9.htm Some of the tribes also gift politicians with “vote for me” money, and, yes, despite their proclaimed and recognized sovereignty, Native Americans can vote in the White Man’s elections. The MEDC is arguably the least necessary entity in state government. Its existence is based on several flawed premises and political considerations, such as:
 
Welfare Recipients Gambling at Casinos With Their Payments
In California and Michigan, welfare recipients have been using their Electronic Benefit Transfer cards to withdraw state-funded payments from ATM machines in casinos.
http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/welfare-casinos-gambling-government-money/19608735/
 
Jobs don’t star in Michigan’s film industry tax credits 
Sticking taxpayers with up to 42% of the expenses incurred by film productions here, the program also underscores Michigan government’s schizophrenic tax policy that keeps overall taxes too high to attract job providers, but cuts taxes or writes subsidy checks for a handful of politically favored firms or industries.
 
Local governments face declining fiscal health
Local governments are in declining fiscal health that many top administrators believe will get worse in the coming year, according to a University of Michigan report. The report states that “declining state aid, federal aid, and revenue from fees and licenses are also problems across the state.”
 
10 Big Retailers Closing Stores 
With the prospects for economic recovery iffy at best and consumer spending still moving at a snail’s pace, it’s little wonder that retailers are sussing out their weakest stores and closing them in order to protect profits. Retailers say they are positioning themselves to play where they can be strongest and avoid burning resources in places that won’t produce the results they want. Here are some of the biggest store closings of late.
http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/company-news/10-big-retailers-closing-stores/19597754/
 
“Those Voices Don’t Speak for the Rest of Us”
Congressman Tom Price (R-GA) and the Republican Study Committee present to you a new video featuring President Ronald Reagan reminding us that the out-touch voices of the government or either Party don’t speak for all Americans.
 
OPSOMMER WARNS AGAINST STATE-CREATED MONOPOLIES
State Rep. Paul Opsommer, R-DeWitt, today questioned a new plan to increase state coffers by reducing the number of legally authorized liquor distributors in the state down to one, a move that would in effect create a state-sanctioned monopoly.
 
Smoking ban dries up business
Some eateries see sales drop, but the effects reach farther. On some weekend nights, there used to be seven waitresses working the crowd at Perfect Pitcher Sports Pub in Taylor. But since Michigan’s smoking ban went into effect May 1, Natalie Samu, the soon-to-be ex-owner of the bar, has just one or two waitresses serving the dwindling crowd. “Our business is down over 50%,” said Samu.
http://www.freep.com/article/20100819/NEWS06/8190447/

 
Michigan’s jobless rate declines only because of workforce leaving the state
Last month, the Detroit Free Press buried the fact that the unemployment rate decreased because people left the workforce, not because they got jobs. It’s not the fact that the unemployment rate declined, but why it declined that is most important here. See chart.
 
TARP Billions Shipped Overseas
Economists and conservatives reacted sharply Thursday to reports that tens of billions in TARP bailout money flowed out of the United States and into the coffers of big banks in France, Germany, and other nations during the government rescue of the U.S. financial system. That news came as the U.S. economic picture continued to worsen, with rising unemployment claims and a surge in U.S. homes lost to foreclosure.
 
US Economy Near Point of No Return
The Federal Reserves decision to expand its quantitative easing by purchasing more Treasuries is a dangerous one, says Keith McCullough, CEO of research firm Hedgeye. “That could lead the country to the brink of collapse,” he wrote in a Fortune magazine column. McCullough agrees with economists Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff, who recently wrote that government debt in excess of 90 percent of GDP pulls down economic growth.
 
Boehner Dubs New Stimulus Bill ‘Cash for Flunkers’
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi summoned lawmakers back from summer break and they voted 61 to 39 on Tuesday to approve the emergency $26 billion stimulus-type bill. President Obama immediately signed it into law. House Minority Leader John Boehner referred to it as the “union-boss bailout” bill and is an election-year gift to teachers and public workers unions.
 
Dumping Bush Tax Cuts May Bring Depression
Many economists are worried about the possibility of a double-dip recession, but former Bank of England official David Blanchflower thinks it could be much worse than that if the Bush tax cuts aren’t extended. “If we don’t act fast, a plunge into Depression is a growing risk in the U.S.,” he writes in a column on Bloomberg.
 
35 States file lawsuit against the Federal Government
Governors of 35 states have already filed suit against the Federal Government for imposing unlawful burdens upon them. It only takes 38 (of the 50) States to convene a Constitutional Convention.
 
Federal teachers union bailout a huge waste of time and money
We suppose we should grudgingly congratulate the Michigan Education Association, and its parent organization, the National Education Association, for pulling off the heist of the year in Washington, D.C. It’s like congratulating Bonnie and Clyde for another successful bank robbery.
 
Defense priorities dangerously off-track
With an exploding budget crisis, President Obama is proposing spending cuts, but not where you’d think. Has he decided to stop campaigning on behalf of Democratic Congressional members up for reelection at the taxpayers’ expense to the tune of two million dollars? No. Has he decided not to spend $100,000 per teaching job to bail out teachers’ unions? No. Instead, he has decided to cut defense funding and reclassify what constitutes defense spending. The National Security Strategy now declaring a focus on climate change, green energy, and women’s rights.
 
10 Signs The U.S. is Becoming a Third World Country
The United States by every measure is hanging on by a thread to its First World status. Saddled by debt, engaged in wars on multiple fronts with a rising police state at home, declining economic productivity, and wild currency fluctuations all threaten America’s future.
 
Patronage, Principles, and Political Parties
When they teach American government and the history of the early American republic, political scientists and historians have a puzzle to explain. There is, within the American constitution, no mention of political parties. And yet it is impossible to make sense of American politics in and after the early republic without reference to parties. Moreover, the parties that did emerge in the United States bear only a faint resemblance to the parties that existed in England and on the European continent prior to the American civil war and even less to the parties that exist on the other side of the Atlantic today.
 
Obama’s tax on oil, gas will hurt the economy 
Raising taxes on energy companies, the vast majority of which are small businesses, will make it more expensive to produce everything in this country. If the government charges energy companies a higher cost-of-doing-business, those companies will have to recoup the loss by raising the price of their natural resources. The refineries and distributors will in turn raise their prices to the end consumers. President Obama’s budget includes a proposal to repeal Section 199, but only for oil and gas companies. In other words, the federal government will specifically target our domestic energy companies for what amounts to a tax increase — even in the middle of a recession at a time when we are trying to decrease our reliance on foreign energy.
 
Obama’s agenda: Overwhelm the system
Obama is no fool. He is not incompetent. To the contrary, he is brilliant. He knows exactly what he’s doing. He is purposely overwhelming the U.S. economy to create systemic failure, economic crisis and social chaos — thereby destroying capitalism and our country from within.
  
“When the government fears the people there is liberty; when the people fear the government there is tyranny.”  Thomas Jefferson
 
 
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  1. Week in review « Craig W. Wright

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