Archive for January, 2011
The “Bain Report” is a weekly publication for those citizens of Michigan who are concerned with the representation they are receiving from their elected officials. The purpose of this report is to educate and inform the citizens with pertinent articles and legislation that affect the families of Michigan. If you or anyone you know wishes to receive the “Bain Report” reply to email@example.com with add me to the weekly “Bain Report” in the subject line with your name and e-mail address in the body. Your email will be added to the list of those Patriots, Activist, and Concerned Citizens here in Michigan who receive the “Bain Report” published every Monday. For those currently receiving the “Bain Report” and wish to be removed from these mailings please reply to above e-mail address with remove me from your list in the subject line.
Opinion: By R. Al Bain
All to often we support, elect, and trust those representatives that tell us one thing then once in office do another! The drum beat for a part-time legislature keeps pounding and rightfully so. We don’t need to rewrite our whole constitution for this to be accomplished. The Michigan constitution has rules and procedures that would allow for an amendment for a part-time legislature and not a total rewrite of the state constitution.
The problem is that those we elect to office are not willing to pay the price that would be bestowed upon them in lost wages and benefits that would come with a part-time legislature. The new Michigan Legislature was sworn into office Jan. 12. The next day, they were at work on a proposal that could greatly extend the years that most of them are able to spend in Lansing. It just proves that these legislators have their own interest at heart and not those who have elected them with their eyes on things like pensions and healthcare for themselves and family. A part-time legislature is not only appropriate but also absolutely critical.
In 2010 the legislature worked less than half of the 365-day’s excluding weekends! Now, if they were to cut out all the useless time wasted with resolutions honoring fellow legislators, pro sports figures, and a plethora of other meaningless Legislation we could have a sufficient part-time legislature! It doesn’t take a rocket scientist.
Legislative goals can be set for appropriations and other governmental necessities aimed at providing the resources and guidelines necessary to accomplish the goals for state government with a part-time legislature. If the citizens can manage their household budgets and those we elect to represent us that have the same experience, should be able to handle our state government in the same fashion.
Ambassador Bridge reports 41% decline in traffic versus ten years ago
Critics say the traffic study used to justify the new $3.5 billion span is flawed and presents unrealistically inflated estimates such as bridge traffic increasing nearly 80 percent by January 2016, when the DRIC bridge would open. Flawed numbers means toll revenue wouldn’t be enough to cover construction and operational costs, which DRIC backers say is how the bridge would be financed. Supporters say traffic is just one reason to build a new bridge, the other justifications being the creation of construction and other jobs and bolstering trade and border infrastructure security between the two nations. Legislation that would allow the Michigan Department of Transportation to participate in the Detroit River International Crossing project died in a Michigan Senate committee last month, effectively mothballing the span for now. It’s expected to be revisited at some point by the new legislature.
State Employee Pay Up 46% Between ’01 and ‘08
A 2009 study co-written by Michigan State University economist Charles Ballard reports that the state saved $3.7 billion in wage, pension and health care expenditures and that Michigan state employee wage growth was close to zero between 2001 and 2008. But James Hohman, fiscal policy analyst for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, said the data does not back Ballard’s figures. Hohman calls the Ballard study incomplete and inaccurate. The average cost of a state employee was $63,474 per year in 2001. By 2008, this had gone to $93,039. That’s an increase of 46.5 percent over the seven years and more than $15,000 per employee above the rate of inflation. This past spring, a 3 percent pay hike was approved for state employees. The total additional cost to taxpayers for this fiscal year is estimated to be $77 million.
Report of select Bills introduced by the new Michigan Legislature
The House and Senate met this week to elect officers and adopt rules, but took no votes on legislation. Because there were no votes, this report instead contains several newly introduced bills of interest. Of these nine new Bills one peeked my interest! House Bill 4009 (Repeal concealed pistol “gun-free zone” provision) introduced by Democrat Richard LeBlanc to repeal the “gun-free zone” provision of the concealed pistol permit law which would allow carrying a pistol in schools, day care facilities, sports stadiums or arenas, bars, bar/restaurants, places of worship, college dorms and classrooms, hospitals, casinos, entertainment facilities. The reason this caught my attention was that our new Senate Majority leader Randy Richardville introduced this same legislation last year that was met with criticism and was controversial with the academia community and law enforcement! I wonder if Democratic State Representative Richard LeBlanc will reintroduce a new version of the amendment to Public Act 312 that Senator Richardville introduced in (2010 Senate Bill 1072) to the detriment of local municipalities and a benefit to the Unions? To see a list of several newly introduced bills of interest click the link below.
Michigan’s economic future remains uncertain say’s MSU economist
Charles Ballard, an author and a professor of economics at Michigan State University, spoke with Crain’s Detroit Business on the state’s current economic condition, the loss of manufacturing jobs and what sectors could see growth, declining property-tax revenue, dealing with a nearly $2 billion budget shortfall and Michigan’s unemployment.
Why the Government Wants to Hijack our IRA’s and 401K’s
“Nationalization and Confiscate is proposed”
It’s bad enough that we’ve been forced to bail out Wall Street. But now the Obama administration is hatching plans to raid our retirement savings, too. The U.S. Treasury Department and the Department of Labor plan are planning to stage a public-comment period before implementing regulations that would require U.S. savers to invest portions of their 401(k) savings plans and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) into annuities or other “steady” payment streams backed by U.S. government bonds. Crongresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota blogs about this here Hands Off Our Retirement Savings also see Free Republic U.S. Government plots to confiscate your retirement funds This is part of the socialist agenda! The Federal Government will Control an estimated $3.613 Trillion Dollars in IRA’s and $2.350 Trillion Dollars in 401ks. Your Equity will be placed in U.S. Treasury Bonds, that will Pay out an estimated 3% annually. One major clause is that upon retirement, the value of the Your Retirement Account will be placed into Annuities. Once an individual Dies, the Value of the Account will Automatically become property of the Government. The Program will be Structured much like Social Security Accounts (the biggest Ponzi Scheme ever created).
Some States Running Out Of Homebuyers, Foreclosures Continue
The single biggest problem in the U.S. real estate market is simple: There are very few homebuyers. Michigan is listed amoung these states! That seems obvious, but the “buyers’ strike” has caused house prices to drop, along with an epidemic of foreclosures. What’s worse, the long depression in real estate is not over with home values expected to fall further. RealtyTrac recently reported that more than one million homes were foreclosed upon in 2010. Michigan has a home vacancy rate of 15.98%, the ninth-worst in the the US. Michigan’s loss in population is approximately 200,000 people. A previous article originally stated it as 12,000.
Banks repossess 1 million homes in 2010, expect more in 2011
The bleakest year in the foreclosure crisis has only just begun. Lenders are poised to take back more homes this year than any other since the U.S. housing meltdown began in 2006. About 5 million borrowers are at least two months behind on their mortgages and more will miss payments as they struggle with job losses and loans worth more than their home’s value, industry analysts forecast. “2011 is going to be worse,” said Rick Sharga, a senior vice president at foreclosure tracker RealtyTrac Inc. The firm predicts 1.2 million homes will be repossessed this year by lenders.
The Great Transmission Heist: The latest scheme to subsidize solar and wind power to the detriment of rate payers
How would you like to pay higher utility bills to finance expensive electricity from solar and wind power, which you would never use? That’s the issue now before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and it deserves more public and political scrutiny before it becomes a reality. FERC has a draft rule that could effectively socialize the costs of paying for multi-billion dollar transmission lines to connect remote wind and solar projects to the nation’s electric power grid. If FERC rules in favor of Big Wind and Big Solar, the new policy would add billions of dollars onto the utility bills of residents of at least a dozen states—including California, Michigan, Oregon and New York—that will receive little or no benefit from the new power lines.
The Midwest Wind Surtax
You’d think poor Michigan has enough economic troubles without the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission placing a $300 million to $500 million annual surtax on the state’s electric utility bills. But on December 16 FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff announced new rules that would essentially socialize the cost of transmission lines across 13 states in the Midwest.
Social Security Is in Far Worse Shape Than You Think
For years, politicians and policymakers have reassured the American public that the Social Security system, which sends monthly checks out to 53 million beneficiaries, is safely solvent — and will be for decades to come. But federal spending and income data from the Treasury Department reveal that the Social Security program is already deep in the red, with outlays exceeding payroll tax revenues by $76 billion in 2010 alone.
We in America do not have government by the majority, we have government by the majority who participate.
George W. Bush
Opinion: By R. Al Bain
Recently “trumped” up charges were “falsely” leveled against one of the Directors of the Conservative Caucus of Monroe County for their outspoken criticism of State Senator Randy Richardville. The complaint was filed on August, 16, 2010 by Glenda Carol Kennon vice chair of the Monroe County Republican Party and Senator Richardville’s mother. The complaint alleges that Mrs. Kennon was afraid for her and her son’s life from second and third hand hearsay that supposedly was said on April, 30, 2010 at a rally for Dr. Steele in Flat Rock. If I was afraid for my life I don’t think I would wait three and a half months to file a report! This is all about silencing the critics of Senator Richardville and nothing more period. How much taxpayer money and resources were wasted here in Monroe County through this personal effort to silence the critics of Senator Richardville? Resources (taxpayer money) were used through the Michigan State Police Department, the Monroe County Prosecutors Office, Monroe County Courts, and the Monroe County Clerks Office. When the court date arrived only the accused showed up therefore the charges were dropped! So much for being afraid for their lives! Because of hearsay the Monroe County Prosecutor William Nichols did not feel there was enough to proceed with these “trumped” up charges, so Michigan State Police Detective Sergeant David Meyer of the Monroe post coordinated with the Prosecutor’s office to have the accused called before the Monroe County Concealed Weapon Licensing Board so they could pull his Concealed Pistol License (CPL). The accused showed up with his Attorney a former Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) agent who specializes in weapon cases. The board which was stacked against the accused because records indicated they were all Senator Richardville campaign contributors and were ready to pull his CPL. Mr. Nichols was at the first meeting not the second. Sheriff Crutchfield had a representative at both meetings. Lt. Mary Kapp was at second not first meeting. Sharon Lemasters sent a representative but she was not present at either meeting. An interesting note is that all are Democrats! The Monroe County Concealed Weapon Licensing Board consist of William Paul Nichols (D), Monroe County Prosecuting Attorney (Chair), Tilman Crutchfield (D), Monroe County Sheriff (Member), F/Lt. Mary Kapp, Michigan State Police Post Commander (Member), and Sharon Lemasters (D) (Clerk). Also of note is that the Michigan State Police (PAC) also made political campaign contributions to Senator Richardville’s campaign coffers! This is your tax dollars at work by your elected officials! If anyone would like to view this police report email me and I will provide it for your viewing pleasure.
State Representative Kathy Angerer’s time in Lansing comes to a close?
Not so fast! Angerer the term limited outgoing House Majority Leader has accepted a position with AT&T as a Lobbyist and she’s heading back to Lansing! Lobbyists can be found on the staffs of corporations, industry trade-organizations, unions, or public interest groups. Lobbyists are employed to help “influence legislators” in favor of the industries they represent. Median Income for the telecommunications industry is $88,700. Salary Range $66,192 to $117,836. The salary ranges are from payscale.com. I would assume that a three term State Representative who achieved the House Leadership position would be at the high end of the scale given the “contacts and clout” obtained in Lansing! What happened to the reason that she didn’t run for public office was because she wanted to champion the children with autism issue? State Rep. Kathy Angerer, D-Dundee, said she wouldn’t seek another political office this past fall, but doesn’t rule out the possibility in the future. Representative Angerer is so devoted on the issue of autism she decided it was more important than to run for office. She said she had considered running for a Senate seat, but wanted to focus on getting legislation passed that would provide insurance coverage for autism treatment. There had been talk about other elections. At one point, many assumed Rep. Angerer was going to challenge state Sen. Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, and run for the state Senate in the election that just passed. She didn’t. “I did consider it, but I feel this legislation is more important than my being a “lifetime career politician,” she said. If she had sought the Democratic nomination for the Senate, it could have pitted her against incumbent Randy Richardville, R-Monroe. Research of election results and campaign finance disclosures show her party already supports Senator Richardville! It will be interesting to see if she runs for Senate in 2014 when Richardville will be term limited? Speaking of her time in Lansing she said, “This is a relationship business, “It’s like an adult fraternity here.” That reminds me of a quote from the late George Carlin who said, “It’s a big club and you ain’t in it”
Politician Staffs: Your Money, Their Secret
Where’s the transparency and accountability to the taxpayers who pay their salaries? There are reasons to believe that Michigan’s new Governor and Legislature will soon repeal this secrecy perk. I am especially interested as to see how Senator Richardville handles this one! If you recall his District Director John Manor was omitted from the report that the Senate Fiscal Agency released to the Mackinac Center earlier this year. My research shows John Manor working for the Senate Majority Communications Office at a salary of $53,000.00 per year of taxpayer money. This is just another end around as to hide the facts and truth to the taxpayers of Michigan and I do not see any meaningful change going forward. On May, 3, 2010 Richardville was Honored by the Michigan Credit Union League at a Jackson Chapter Breakfast. The article http://www.mcul.org/Monitor_578.html?id=2010-05-10#5 acknowledges John Manor as working for Senator Richardville in the capacity of District Director so why was this omitted from the report that Senator Richardville submitted? So does Mr. Manor work as Richardville’s District Director for free or is this payment made for services rendered for the Senate Majority Communications job? Whether right, wrong, or indifferent this just doesn’t pass the smell test to me! Mr. Manor shows up at all public events and Government functions as Senator Richardville’s representative in his absents.
Michigan the second-most governed state in the nation
Big government, the salaries and benefits of state and local governments should be more of an issue for Michigan taxpayers. There are 52,600 federal workers in Michigan compared to 177,100 state employees and 400,100 local government employees, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. State Sen. Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, called Michigan the second-most governed state in the nation. He said there are 40 chiefs of police in Wayne County. “I don’t think people think of ‘big government’ when they think of local government,” Richardville said. “Where do you think your tax dollars go?” Richardville has been in Lansing for over 10 years either as a state representative or state senator and has done nothing to change this! In fact, his legislative record tells a different story of creating bigger government not cutting the size and scope of it!
Coming Soon: Higher Business Payroll Taxes
The state of Michigan owes the federal government $3.8 billion in unemployment insurance loans and will have to start making $150 million a year on interest payments if Congress doesn’t extend a waiver by Friday. In Michigan, businesses pay for the first 26 weeks of unemployment benefits. After that, it’s a mix of businesses and the federal government that fund the various extensions. “Barring any changes, employers are going to see significant increases in unemployment insurance payroll taxes,” said Charles Owens, the Michigan director of the National Federal of Independent Businesses. Some business could pay hundreds of dollars a year per employee in taxes to pay off that debt.
Michigan Unemployment Payments May Fuel More Unemployment
As of February 2010, Michigan owed the federal government $3.5 billion it has borrowed to help pay unemployment benefits, according to the state. Michigan paid $7.1 billion in benefits to the 680,000 unemployed Michigan residents in 2009 and had to borrow $2.4 billion to cover that year’s expense. That state’s unemployment rate was 14.6 percent in December 2009, the highest in the nation. Businesses will be taxed more to pay back the billions they owe the federal government.
Impacts of Illegal Immigration: Diseases
Is Illegal Immigration Bad for America’s Health? The simple answer is YES according to Dr. Manny Alvarez who is a board-certified OB/GYN in Hackensack, NJ. He is also a managing editor for foxnewshealth.com. Dr. Manny Alvarez completed his medical residency and fellowship training at St. Joseph Hospital & Medical Center and Mount Sinai Medical Center. http://spotlight.vitals.com/2010/08/dr-manny-alvarez-explains-why-illegal-immigration-is-bad-for-america%E2%80%99s-health/# Legal immigrants are required to have medical screening to ensure that they do not bring any contagious diseases into the United States. Illegal aliens are not screened and many are carrying horrific third world diseases that do not belong in the USA. Many of these diseases are highly contagious and will infect citizens that come in contact with an infected illegal alien. This has already happened in restaurants, schools, and police forces. See the facts on illegal immigration and it’s effects below. http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100515134248AAts0Vt As unfortunate as it may be, the US cannot bear the financial burden for treating the world’s sick, ill, and infected populace, but the Government should be protecting American citizens from the diseases being brought in by illegal aliens. Why is this issue never mentioned in the political arena and discussions on illegal immigration reform?
Muslim Student’s True Opinion
Neoconservative thinker David Horowitz was put on the spot by a Muslim student during a speech at the University of California San Diego. His comeback revealed her true goal. A Muslim Jew-hater and supporter of genocide is flushed out by David Horowitz at a speech during “Israel Apartheid Week at the University of California San Diego. Horowitz was hosted by Young Americans for Freedom.
Medicare in Fiscal Crisis as Boomer Retirement Wave Hits
Consider an average-wage, two-earner couple together earning $89,000 a year. Upon retiring in 2011, they would have paid $114,000 in Medicare payroll taxes during their careers. But they can expect to receive medical services from prescriptions to hospital care worth $355,000, or about three times what they put in. This scenario is Totally Unsustainable!
Estate Tax Compromise Impacts 65,000 Small Businesses and Farms
Congress has a habit of passing legislation without getting the facts straight. The recently-passed tax relief compromise, which temporarily reinstates the estate tax at a 35% rate and $5 million exemption, is a great example. Some people claim that the $5 million exemption will protect small business from being hit by the tax. They are wrong.
A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words
The chart shows the comparison of two different economic recoveries from the 1981 recession (Reagan) and the 2009 recession (Obama).
The “Bain Report” is a weekly publication for those citizens of Michigan who are concerned with the representation they are receiving from their elected officials. The purpose of this report is to educate and inform the citizens with pertinent articles and legislation that affect the family’s of Michigan. If you or anyone you know wishes to receive the “Bain Report” reply to firstname.lastname@example.org with add me to the weekly “Bain Report” in the subject line with your name and e-mail address in the body. Your email will be added to the list of those Patriots, Activist, and Concerned Citizens here in Michigan who receive the “Bain Report” published every Monday. For those currently receiving the “Bain Report” and wish to be removed from these mailings please reply to above e-mail address with remove me from your list in the subject line.
“If once the people become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions.”