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Opinion: By R. Al Bain
With my research on the issues and on our elected representatives I have come to the following conclusion. Unless we citizens educate ourselves and play a more active role in how we our governed we will be doomed to bigger government and higher taxation! With the reading of conventional local newspapers I find that the media represents those that they would perceive as above the common citizenry such as politicians and business leaders with a slanted view.
Let’s take a couple of recent articles published in the Monroe Evening News that does a disservice to it’s readers as an example. The first is “Area Foreclosures Up” (partial story subscription required for full story) where the writer paints a view not as bad as it may seem with the help of the Vice President of the Monroe Bank and Trust, a Bank, that in and of itself, has been labeled problematic by bankrate.com see report here – troubled bank.
Article two, the Senator from Monroe Randy Richardville “Painful’ times ahead” speaks to business leaders during a lunchtime legislative update for Monroe County Chamber of Commerce where he states that local revenue sharing might be cut in the new budget saying “That’s probably going to be hit significantly” without mentioning that he has voted in the past to cut local revenue sharing already! What this most likely means is the county will be forced to raise the taxes of it’s citizens for basic services at current levels!
Mr. Richardville did the same thing last year while addressing the same Chamber whereas he blamed his fellow legislators for the problems we face here in Michigan. See a letter to the Editor by a former president of the Monroe Homebuilders Association and former member of the Monroe Chamber of Commerce. Click the link here – Letter. Why the local business leaders and the press continue to give our representatives a free pass is beyond belief! The citizens of Monroe County and the business community would be well advised as to start paying attention to how they are truly being represented.
So we had Welfare Reform? College Students, Bridge Cards, and More
For over 2 years State Representative Dave Agema R-Grandville has alerted lawmakers of this problem only to fall on deaf ears! Unqualified college students receiving welfare bridge cards at taxpayer expense. More than $2.1 billion in just the Food Assistance Program alone. Their are many other examples of fraud and abuse within the system costing taxpayers! The bridge cards is just the tip of the iceberg! Below is from the Director of Americans for Prosperity David Spady of California exposing yet more abuse see video here YouTube – AFP’s “Common Sense”: Around the World on $69 Million in Welfare Funds Representative Agema should be applauded for his persistence on this issue! Keep up the good work Dave on behalf of all Michigan’s hard working taxpayer’s!
De-Fund the Predators of Planned Parenthood
Thanks to the persistent investigative work of young pro-life journalists, Planned Parenthood’s ruthless, money-grubbing colors are on full, fresh YouTube display. Those who dismiss the scandal as an anomaly are in denial or abjectly ignorant. Planned Parenthood is a $1-plus billion business that rakes in one-third of its budget from government grants and contracts at both the state and federal levels. There are other problems with Liberals within the Republican Party that may be hard to overcome on this issue. An email was sent out from Glenda Kennon first Vice Chair of the Monroe County Republican Party in 2008 to Twenty-Six Members of the Republican Women’s’ Club promoting Planned Parenthood as doing a lot more than abortion; they also provide different methods of birth control, counseling, STD’s prevention and treatment and much more. Other options are also supplied to the expectant mother instead of just abortion. If you read more that just what this one person has to say about this issue, you might be surprised what PP actually does. Maybe, if enough true conservative Tea Partiers “infiltrate” the Republican Party, then the Neoconservatives would go back to the Democratic Party!
City Unions agree to make concessions in Macomb County
With Monroe County facing a severe budget deficit maybe the City and County Unions (Police and Fire) should follow this lead? The Sterling Heights’ City Unions have agreed to wage concessions equal to 10% of their total compensation package, including a 4% reduction in benefits. It looks like a lot of municipalities are following Governor Chris Christie’s lead with what he is doing in the state of New Jersey. We are broke and cannot continue to pay for what past and some current politicians have promised that are unsustainable! If we continue down this road there will be more home foreclosures because the home owning taxpayers who will fund these wages and benefits will not be able to afford the new taxes that will be implemented in order to meet these contract demands.
Fox 2 News Poll on new Bridge (DRIC) contradicts other poll
My FOX Detroit conducted a new bridge poll on their website where 63% believe that it should be funded by the private sector verus 36% from the public sector. This refutes a poll done by the Detroit Chamber of Commerce which hired their own Marketing Research Group to conduct this poll with language not providing all the facts. Left out of the favorable poll where 9 in 10 Michigan voters approved of this was questions and studies such as bridge traffic down 41% at the Ambassador Bridge in the last ten years. Also how the bridge tolls will not cover the cost that will be passed onto the taxpayers of Michigan in a private public partnership, citizens and businesses uprooted from current locations, the jobs created for the most part will be part-time in that once bridge is completed those jobs disappear. The Detroit Chamber of Commerce generated poll also uses in their language that 2 billion will be procured for our roads that is just plain not true! Remember that the definition of a public-private partnership is that when money is made it’s private, when money is lost it’s public!
Careful Cutting Film Subsidies, Industry Lobbyist Warns
Other states are eliminating Film Subsidies entirely but some lawmakers in Lansing don’t want to give up the status quo! Senator Randy Richardville, said that the state has started to make the transformation into permanent film jobs and infrastructures related to filmmaking, mentioning the $80-million Raleigh Michigan Studios in Pontiac. Studies have show this subsidy to be a complete and total failure of taxpayer dollars and so have other state studies as well. A recent report by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue found that $82 million of the $330 million program went to actors’ salaries in 2009, many of whom earned in excess of $1 million for their work. At least one true conservative in Lansing thinks otherwise. State Sen. Jack Brandenburg of Harrison Township, the Republican chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said he doesn’t support the film tax credits.
A Rule Changer: Taxing Pensions
We think debate will and should grow regarding two approaches. 1) Cuts in retiree health care coverage along with increases in co-pays and premium sharing; and, 2) Taxes on pensions Michigan is one of a handful of states that do not tax pensions, but given the unpaid liabilities, pressure will mount for retirees to kick in. A better idea would be to cut the size and scope of government and elected officials pay and benefits instead!
Local Bank Problematic – Memorandum on findings MONROE BANK & TRUST
Bankrate believes that, as of September 30, 2010, this bank exhibited a significantly below average condition, characterized by substantially lower than normal overall, sustainable profitability, very questionable asset quality, well below standard capitalization and near normal liquidity. Click link below for full Analysis showing severe problems!
Home Foreclosures to be Worse in 2011
From staff and wire reports 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 industry experts say more people will miss payments because of job losses and also loans that exceed the value of the homes they are living in. ”Is 2011 going to be the peak or will this trend continue for years to come?”
Civil Liberties Concerns Caused Michigan Congressman Justin Amash to Vote Against “PATRIOT ACT”
Like the true conservative representative of his constituents that he is, Congressman Justin Amash voted against the Patriot Act! Unlike some of the other RINOS from Michigan who voted for it, House Vote On Passage: H.R. 514: PATRIOT ACT can you say Thaddeus McCotter, Frederick Upton, David Camp, and others click the link to see how they all voted.
What are the facts on the PATRIOT Act?
Many of the headlines you will read today will say things like “Patriot Act Extension Fails in House,” but the reality is that much of the PATRIOT Act was already permanently enacted. Of the three amendments to FISA at issue in last night’s vote, two were part of the original PATRIOT Act, one was part of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, and all are set to expire at the end of this month.
A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government. Thomas Jefferson