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Opinion By R. Al Bain
High levels of inequality among citizens and the political elite may it be at the local, county, state, or federal levels have created a fire storm of discontent. I think it reinforces the disconnect and mistrust that exists between Michigan citizens and the representatives they elect to “serve” them and rightly so. Do you have a community of insiders that has a hammerlock on their share of the public resources? I think the answer is yes.
Sure politicians will pander to those they would represent by holding town hall meetings, taking phone calls, accepting emails, and publicly claiming that they hear your concerns, but in the end, it’s what’s in the best interest of themselves, their campaign contributors, their party, and their political friends who can further their political careers. Being a civil servant and performing ones’s civic duty for those citizens who they are supposed to represent take a back seat to the above examples.
So for those citizens who believe this scenario to be true what’s the answer, what’s the solution, how do we as a citizenry make the necessary change’s? I would suggest for starter’s that we have a part-time legislature, shorter term limits, and salary-benefit package’s on par with the common citizens these elected officials represent. As for those politicians who say term limits are the problem because they don’t have enough time to get the job done, I say, get a job in the private sector and see how that excuse works out for you!
To those politicians who say we wouldn’t be able to attract the best and brightest minds I say it’s not rocket science. We citizens have to run our household budget’s and we only spend what we can afford as to make ends meet. We cannot go to our employer and say I need a raise because I overspent my budget. But all to often these politicians who “we elect” have no concept because it’s not their money! The answer to them is to raise taxes in one form or another either a direct or indirect increase from the taxpaying citizens.
“Recent Bridge NO Vote in Lansing a WIN for Michigan Taxpayers”
Myself and I’m sure many Conservative Republicans here in Michigan would like to give a special “THANK YOU” to those true Republicans who voted against this boondoggle! These Republicans represented not only the wishes of the citizens but have adhered to the principles, traditions, and values that the Republican Party was founded upon in favor of those they represent!
Those who claim this wouldn’t have cost the taxpayers it already has in more way’s than one! There have been studies done and that have been outsourced to former Democrat Governor Jim Blanchard among other’s and spending at taxpayer expense for this proposed boondoggle.
In regard to Senate Majority leader Randy Richardville R?-Monroe this should show all the Republicans he is not only “No Conservative” but show his fellow Republicans in the House and Senate he is truly a “RINO”! What he did by getting his Democrat buddy Tupac Hunter to introduce a substitute bill at the last minute to the committee speaks volumes! It’s good to see true Republicans prevailed on this issue.
Ficano Apologizes Over Severance Scandal
Can you say try to cover one’s own ass at the cost of others? Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano suspended his second in command and top lawyer Friday and fired another aide as part of the fallout from the scandal over $224,500 in severance benefits paid to another aide, Turkia Awada Mullin. Last week Bob Ficano defended the severance package to new Metro Airport czar Turkia Mullin. Now with the heat on, Ficano apologizes, disciplines aides over severance scandal only after he got caught with his hand in the taxpayer cookie jar! The only thing this apology tells me is that he’s sorry he got caught! I’m sure his fellow corrupted Wayne County and Michigan elected officials including those in Lansing advised him to do was get the heat off. These other cronies also have their hand in the taxpayer cookie jar and don’t want their hand cut off.
More Answers Sought in $200,000 Payout to Metro Airport’s CEO
This rabbit hole of corruption goes way beyond Kwame Kilpatrick and Wayne County! It’s continues all the way to Lansing with some of our current and former elected officials there as well. Kickbacks, Campaign Contributions, and Special Favors for legislation introduced and or passed seem to be the norm.
FBI to Investigate $200,000 Wayne County Severance Deal
The FBI has begun an investigation into the $200,000 severance payment that new Detroit Metro Airport CEO Turkia Awada Mullin received when she left her post as Wayne County’s economic development czar. Certain politicians and business entities and a tangled weave involving many aspects will require United States Attorney Barbara McQuade the biggest shovel as to unearth this corruption all the way to Lansing!
Michigan State Government Brings in More Money from Taxes and Fees
High unemployment, job losses, and with census data released for 2011 showing Michigan was the only state to lose population what does this really say? But consider this: fully 24% of all private sector job losses nation-wide occurred in Michigan during this time period. So with Michigan’s job loss tsunami and less people paying taxes how could this be that more revenue has come in? In my mind this means that those of us citizens that our still living here in Michigan and working must be paying more in taxes and fees!
“Occupy Wall Street” Protest not a Left or Right, Democrat or Republican Issue
While reading all the post of opinions on the “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrators and while trying to decipher what this is all about I ran across a video, although from MSNBC, it gives a different perspective of what their complaints are. It would seem that not all of these demonstrators are whiners and expecting something for nothing but may very well have legitimate concerns? This protest is not a left or right, Democrat or Republican issue. As with any grassroots organization not all are on the same page! The interview with William K. Black an Associate Professor of Economics and Law proves to be insightful to the real issue! Black’s most recent published work, “The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One,” released in 2005, was hailed by Nobel-winning economist George A. Akerlof as “extraordinary.”
Amtrak made statewide news recently with its announcement that it has set ridership records in Michigan. But one frequent critic of rail transit says that isn’t necessarily a good thing. If someone were to purchase an Amtrak ticket for a Nov. 7 trip from Detroit to Chicago and then return the same day, the cost would be $32 each way, or $64 round trip. But Cox cites a 2008 study by the Pew Charitable Trusts that reports Amtrak lost $55 per rider on each leg of the Detroit-Chicago route. Cox says that’s $110 per roundtrip that taxpayers subsidized in 2008.
Civil Forfeiture, Corruption, Government , Law Enforcement, & Theft
Imagine you own a million-dollar piece of property free and clear, but then the federal government and local law enforcement agents announce that they are going to take it from you, not compensate you one dime, and then use the money they get from selling your land to pad their budgets—all this even though you have never so much as been accused of a crime, let alone convicted of one.
Lowe’s Closes Stores, Lays off 1,950 Workers
How could this be the government told us the recession was officially over in 2009! Lowe’s Cos Inc is closing 20 of its U.S. locations and eliminating nearly 2,000 jobs, and the home improvement retailer is slashing its store-opening plans to improve profitability. Lowe’s, which operates about 1,700 stores in the United States, said on Monday that it had closed 10 on Sunday and would close another 10 within a month.
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.