Opinion By R. Al Bain
With the recent election of the new Michigan Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, Union Institutions favorite legislator, as an example the Police-Firefighter Monopoly Bargaining Bill http://michiganvotes.org/2010-SB-1072 plus in an interview with Frank Beckman in which Frank ask if tax increases were a consideration with Richardville responding that nothing is off the table coupled with recent statements made by Governor elect Rick Snyder, I can see four or heaven forbid maybe eight more years of the failed Granholm administration policies here in Michigan. The reason I come to this conclusion is that the Senate Majority leader decides which legislation goes into committee and which comes out for consideration in becoming law. One of a few troubling statements made by Mr. Snyder to the press was that we must look at Internet purchases for we our loosing tax revenue there! Think about that statement for a moment? How about making the necessary cuts in Government to reduce it’s size and scope here in Michigan as a way to cut cost, balance the budget and not way’s to gain more tax revenue! It doesn’t matter which party Republicans or Democrats they all want to keep the status quo and continue to grow bigger Government not cut it! A great start would be a PART-TIME legislature they are already part time but with full time pay and benefits!
Red Flag in Senate District 17
The future majority leader of the Michigan Senate wants his critics to know that he is no liberal. He may want us to know that, and he may not be a liberal. What he is not is a conservative. He’s a “Republican” who favors unionization forced by government. As a recent example, he co-sponsored Senate Bill 731, legislation that would transfer $6.6 million in taxpayer money to the SEIU government employee union. It did it by creating a government “employer” for about 42,000 individuals who are hired by elderly or disabled Medicaid recipients. The Mackinac Center has filed a lawsuit over a similar set-up involving home day care providers. He wants us to focus on the “big picture” and not on his “voting record from 6 years ago.” His SEIU subsidy was introduced in 2009 that’s one year ago and this is from someone with a financial background? Click the link below to see more favorable legislation benefiting Union institutional interest to the detriment of Michigan Taxpayers.
November Speaks, But Is Lansing Listening?
Richardville: Questionable Quotes
A recent Associated Press article pointed out that “there are nearly 20 lobbyists for every lawmaker” in Michigan; a total of 2,783. In 2009, Michigan fulltime lobbyists (many paid for with your tax dollars) spent almost $12 million more than in 2001, a 60% increase. That’s why taxpayer lobbyists like AFP-MI and our 50,000 members must not rest. We too must increase our activity because, though many Democrats have been replaced by Republicans, whether or not they were replaced by fiscal conservatives remains to be seen. Consider the case of new State Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville (R-Monroe). Referring to Right to Work, Richardville recently said, “The idea of going in and changing one of the fundamental privileges for years seems to me to be more disruptive with little positive results.” Even more potentially ominous, Richardville’s stated position on hiking taxes to balance the state budget is “I don’t think anything is off the table completely.” Richardville has had eight days to correct or clarify this quote in the MIRS newsletter, but has been in no rush to do so. The article, continued “Asked if he might have to look at ‘some new revenue piece’ he said, “I think that’s fair. Yeah. We have to look at everything.’” So much for moving to the right because that’s what the people want was a quote from Mr. Richardville in regard to his self proclaimed conservatism!
Reading Between the Billboard Lines
According to MIRS Capitol Capsule (subscription required), the Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association (MLTA) is “hoping to send a clear message to lame duck legislative leaders — don’t you leave town without funding Pure Michigan.” The private trade group wants public funds (TAX DOLLARS) to advance their industry, and to this end they’ve launched a billboard campaign. While traveling through Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for two weeks carrying the message of Freedom & Liberty talking with local business owners including Bars, Taverns, and Restaurants on the effects of the smoking ban on their business, I couldn’t help but notice new digital billboards with the message of “Don’t Text and Drive” flashing on them, wonder how much that cost Michigan Taxpayers? That’s as much of a waste of taxpayer dollars as the “American Reinvestment and Recovery Act” signs! Then I noticed another billboard telling motorist to check www.michigan.gov/drive for the latest road closures and conditions. OK, don’t text and drive but it’s OK to logon to a website while driving? We really do have some morons as elected officials!
Right-to-Work: Resistance Is Feudal
Unions and Their ‘Fundamental Privilege’
During a radio interview last week, incoming Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville was asked about the prospects for a right-to-work bill. Richardville replied that right-to-work, which guarantees individual workers will have the choice to pay union dues or withhold support based on their own values and their own opinion of the union’s work, would not be a top priority: “Twenty percent of the workers in Michigan are unionized,” MIRS quotes Richardville as saying, “and the idea of going in and changing one of the fundamental privileges for years seems to me to be more disruptive with little positive results.” Disruptive to Mr. Richardville’s campaign coffers if Michigan was to become a right to work state! All one has to do is check the Michigan SOS campaign finance disclosure website to see why this would be disruptive in his mind!
Autism Insurance Coverage Mandate
The lobbyists and activists working to impose a state insurance mandate for autism coverage in Michigan are extremely active. Less than two hours after I blogged on this topic yesterday, I was contacted by two of them. One of the observations I made in that post was that proponents for a particular mandate always claim that their mandate will actually save money in the long run, which raises the question: “So if it’s cost effective why don’t insurance companies just add the desired coverage in all policies without a mandate?” This is a bad idea that will only raise the premiums of all insurance policy holders here in Michigan! While I feel for parents with autistic children, I do not think it’s right for the taxpayers to pay for them! It is not the responsibility of all to pay for the few. Choosing to have a child was a decision as a couple and no one else should have to live with the problems that may arise they do. The taxpaying citizens of Michigan should have no direct responsibility for that couples decision and the consequences that may come with it! I hope our elected legislators see clear on this issue and vote against this mandate.
Monroe County Board of Commissioners gets two seats on 911 panel
After months of wrangling and a public rebuke of its activities two weeks ago the Monroe County Board of Commissioners has created two positions for board members on the county’s 911 board. The 911 panel has been charged with the task of hiring and reviewing the performance of the county’s 911 system director, but the county board Tuesday also relieved the nine-member panel of that job.
Whistle-blower lawsuit accuses Ficano of bullying
A former high-ranking Wayne County official says in a whistle-blower lawsuit filed this week that he was bullied by County Executive Robert Ficano and his appointees and eventually was fired for talking with the FBI about allegations of corruption. Don’t think for one minute this doesn’t happen right here in Monroe County with it’s elected officials! Trumped up charges were recently leveled against two Directors of the Monroe County Conservative Caucus for their outspoken criticisms of State Senator Randy Richardville and the local Republican Party.
U-M President Mary Sue Coleman contract extended with raise
Michigan taxpayer money goes towards these higher education universities and colleges then you read stories about exuberant salaries like this! This is not isolated to just U of M. If these institutions can afford to pay these type of salaries then we as taxpayers should not be subsidizing them! Does anybody but me think this is just plain outrageous? The University of Michigan’s Board of Regents has given President Mary Sue Coleman a two-year contract extension, the university said Thursday, meaning she’ll remain U-M’s president through July 2014. Coleman’s contract had been set to expire in June 2012. Coleman’s base salary, $570,105, remains the same and reflects a 3% increase she received in October. Her total compensation is $800,455. However, on Thursday, the board increased Coleman’s deferred compensation payment — money she doesn’t receive until the end of her contract — by $100,000.
Is it Time for Taxpayers to Bail Out the DSO?The Senate surprised many when it moved fast on
SB 1578 and SB 1579, after previously declining to act on anything close to a tax increase, but the bills are being fast-tracked through the Legislature in general because of the shortened lame-duck session. The House skipped its usual referral of the bills to committee and just put them on second reading. When are the taxpaying citizens of Michigan getting their Bailout? Don’t hold your breath! Click this link http://www.michiganvotes.org/RollCall.aspx?ID=512819 to see how your elected representatives voted! This creates yet a more bigger government authority with the power to impose a property tax of up to .2 mils for up to 20 years! How they voted just shows you how you were lied to during the elections in order to retain power, control, and a cushy government job and not what is in your best interest! Wake up Michigan voters before it’s to late if it isn’t already! http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?llr=gze7tjcab&v=001fTAmhMmZbVL8L7SeA1AnLXshJsdpNemrucApGNihFUEiw4UWxiUg2gQuRuNf1VVoLxZ4bHXL8ooYiBIpR1kRpgCSvqsfF_g6UUfCX5dvelg%3D
Tea Party Shows Its Impact
In a historic move, the Republican National Committee has invited FreedomWorks and Tea Party activists to interview and vet candidates who hope to become the next RNC Chairman. This is the next step in what we have termed the Tea Party movement’s “takeover” of the GOP.
Ron Paul to Be Appointed Committee Chair Overseeing Federal Reserve
In one of the best moves the Republicans have made in a long time, they are poised to give committee chairmanship to Congressmen Ron Paul in order to oversee the operations of the Federal Reserve.
Critics Challenge Choosing Upton as Energy Chair
This would be a tone-deaf disaster if the Republican leadership lets Fred Upton ascend to the chairmanship of the House energy committee,” said conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh on his radio show. “No Republican complicit in nannyism, statism, can be rewarded this way.” Fred Upton’s record is full of votes for more regulation, more spending, and more taxes click
here http://blogs.freedomworks.org/DownWithUpton/wp-content/themes/minimahl/votes.htm And you don’t have to take our word for it. The Club for Growth gives him an average ranking of 175th in Congress over the past 5 years on pro-growth economic policy. To put that in perspective, there were 179 Republicans in the House going into this year’s election. Red State has made similar comments here, the American Spectator here, and Politico has posted this extensive summary of Upton’s record here.
We can’t put the genie back in the bong
This was as predictable as the sunrise Michigan voters overwhelmingly passed a ballot measure to legalize medical marijuana, and two years later, no one can seem to decide who’s a patient and who’s a pothead. More than 60,000 residents have applied for medical marijuana certificates, the ticket to being able to use pot legally, and even grow small amounts at home; roughly half have received them. Wow, that’s a lot of suffering in our state. Perhaps when voters passed the proposal in 2008 they envisioned cancer and glaucoma patients toking in the restricted confines of hospitals and clinics, and getting sanitized pot in carefully measured doses from licensed pharmacies. That’s not exactly how it’s worked out. Therapeutic pot is being marketed about the same way as the everyday let’s-get-high-for-the-hell-of-it pot. It’s being grown in basements under hot lights and pushed to patients through head shops and person-to-person deals that have the law enforcement community struggling to figure out what’s legal and what isn’t. The answer seems to depend on where you live. Oakland County, for example, is busy putting the pot stores out of business and cracking down on the home growers; Ann Arbor has 23 medical marijuana stores that go unmolested by authorities.
Michigan Government Pay Outpaces Private Sector
Local government and state workers’ average weekly pay surpassed that of private sector workers in Michigan in 2009, according to an analysis done by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
Deficit Panel: No Social Security Benefits Till Age 68
The co-chairmen of President Barack Obama’s deficit commission are sticking with politically explosive proposals to raise the Social Security retirement age and curb benefit increases in a revised plan to wrestle the deficit under control. Baby Boomers waited all their working life and paid into Social Security only to have the rules changed as they approached retirement. That’s the price we pay for BIG GOVERNMENT!
Did the Auto Bailout Really Save One Million Jobs?
The very concept of a “taxpayer-forced bailout saving 1.14 million jobs” is ludicrous and does great violence to the genuine workings of a market-system. It appears to be political advocacy at its crudest level, rather than a legitimate economic analysis. The study is ridiculously biased and sentimental, rather than economically-rooted in basic principles or financially objective.
Foreclosure Sales and Prices Plunged This Summer
The worst summer for home sales in decades also put a chill on foreclosure sales, even as the average discounts on the distressed properties got bigger compared with other types of homes. Foreclosure sales plunged 25% in the July-September quarter versus the April-June period and tumbled 31% from the third quarter last year, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac said Thursday.
House clears Indian, black farmer settlements
American Indian landowners and black farmers who for years have waited for Washington to address their claims of government mistreatment won a hard-fought victory Tuesday as Congress cleared legislation to pay the groups $4.6 billion to settle a pair of historic class-action lawsuits. Does this mean reparations for African Americans for the enslavement of their ancestors are not far behind? Congressman John Conyers (D-Detroit) has introduced such legislation with regularity since 1989!
7 Towns Where Land is Free
As small towns suffer from a continuing flight from rural toward-more urban living, some economic development groups and governments in these troubled areas have chosen to stay and fight. The Homestead Act of 1862 is no longer in effect, but free land is still available out there in the great wide open (often literally in the great wide open). In fact, the town of Beatrice, Nebraska has even enacted a Homestead Act of 2010.
There’s an annual contest at the University of Arkansas calling for the most appropriate definition of a contemporary term. This year’s term was: “Political Correctness.” The winning student wrote:
“Political correctness is a doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rapidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a piece of shit by the clean end.”
Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it.