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Opinion by R Al Bain
For the past three weeks I have conversed with several individual citizens and business owners of all political affiliation throughout Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The overall consensus of the direction of our state, country, and the political leadership we as citizens are receiving is not good at all. While the conversations were on a broad range of the political spectrum and recent enacted policies here in Michigan, the citizenry are not happy campers
The new Pension Tax, the Smoking Ban, and the proposed New Bridge to Canada along with higher taxes in general dominated the conversations. Not one person I talked with liked any of the above or agreed with the enacted or proposed legislation. How is it that those we elect to represent us do not adhere to our wishes? This tell’s me that the rhetoric we hear from these representative’s prior to being elected is just that. Once in office, special interest, lobbyist, and party take a front seat to our wishes and concerns on how we want to be represented.
We as voters must to our due diligence with research before casting a vote. The Republican leadership in Lansing is not governing in accordance with the principles, traditions, and values that the Republican Party was founded upon! In fact, I would argue that today’s Republican’s are “New Deal Republican’s” and not Conservative Republican’s. We need a smaller government along with, less taxes and a part-time legislature here in Michigan!
15% Poverty Rate? No Evidence where Lobbyists and Legislators Meet
The Recession is Over for Lobbyists! It appears that the recession has ended, at least for Lansing lobbyists. They reported spending $19,664,879 in the first seven months of 2011. That figure is up by 11.6 percent compared to the first seven months of 2010, and it exceeds the spending pace of 2008, the record year for lobbying in Lansing, when reported spending totaled $19,599,000 in the January through July reporting period. Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville was the top beneficiary of the food and beverage hospitality, enjoying $2,985 worth of food and libations. That is more than $47 per day when the Senate was in session. So much for representing your constituents over the lobbyist and special interest! http://mcfn.org/press.php?prId=133
Lobbyists Welcome Michigan Legislators with Perks
Private parties. Free meals. Even gifts. It sounds like a dream come true, and for some lawmakers, it really is. Michigan legislators just got back from a five-day conference where they were wined and dined. It’s reported that a handful of Michigan lawmakers made the trip and not at taxpayer expense but I disagree totally in that assumption. Indirectly taxpayers pay dearly in the legislative influence wielded by these lobbyist and special interest groups over what’s in the best interest of the citizens (taxpayers) here in Michigan. Lobbyist and Special Interest groups have a policy agenda, and they’re trying to drive that agenda. http://www.wxyz.com/dpp/news/local_news/investigations/lawmakers-lavished-with-free-meals,-parties,-gifts-at-san-antonio-conference
Michigan Senators who voted for SB 693 Obamacare Wall of Shame http://www.campaignforliberty.org/profile/7653/blog/2011/11/13/obamacare-exchange-wall-shame
Senators Admit Obamacare Is Unconstitutional
On the morning of Nov. 10, the following 13 Republican state senators all voted to implement a key component of the federal “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” by authorizing creation of a Michigan agency to distribute the law’s insurance subsidies: Darwin Booher, Bruce Caswell, Judy Emmons, Mike Green, Geoff Hansen, David Hildenbrand, Mark Jansen, Rick Jones, Roger Kahn, Jim Marleau, Arlan Meekhof, John Pappageorge and Randy Richardville.
A few minutes later, these same Republicans (plus several others who voted against creation of the agency – the “exchange”) voted for a resolution that included the following assertion about the PPACA: “The act violates the U.S. Constitution, including the Ninth and Tenth Amendments and the constitutional principles of federalism and dual sovereignty on which this nation was founded.”
Some are saying that by their own admission these lawmakers declared that they had just violated the U.S. Constitution, which 10 months ago they all swore an oath to support. These politicians will claim that this characterization is unfair and simplistic, because Obamacare forces lawmakers to choose between two unpalatable options: Implement what they consider an unconstitutional law themselves, or let the federal government do so, possibly in ways that are even more harmful to Michigan.
In fact, the law does force that choice, although for most Michigan residents it will make little difference whether Obamacare’s mandates, cost increases, budget-busting subsidies and eventual rationing are administered by the state or the federal government. http://www.mackinac.org/error404.aspx?ID=16036#thread1
Governor Snyder may go it alone on New Bridge to Canada
Gov. Rick Snyder lost the battle his first significant defeat since taking office in January to convince the Legislature to sign off on one of his top priorities: building a public bridge between Detroit and Windsor. But expectations are growing that he will push the New International Trade Crossing outside of the Legislature, a strategy that raises serious legal questions over the extent of the governor’s executive authority. http://www.freep.com/article/20111121/NEWS06/111210438/Gov-Snyder-may-go-alone-new-public-bridge-Canada
Michigan DNR Buys Upper Peninsula Land
Our State is “broke” and in “debt” so can anyone tell me how and why we are buying land? The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is buying about 2,000 acres of Upper Peninsula land to create the Menominee River State Recreation Area. The DNR announced Tuesday it will buy the acreage in Menominee and Dickinson counties for $2.5 million from Wisconsin Electric Power Co. Northern Michigan Land Brokers purchased the expanse of riverfront from We Energies, a Wisconsin utility at roughly $2,000 an acre or twice as much per acre as the company paid, according to Robert Sullivan, the firm’s principal owner. http://www.fox11online.com/dpp/sports/outdoors/michigan-dnr-buys-land-in-upper-peninsula
Property Values in Michigan Down but not Taxes
The median change in property tax revenues among communities statewide is a 5.7% increase between 2008 and 2010, according to the Free Press analysis. http://www.freep.com/article/20111118/NEWS05/111180394/Property-values-metro-Detroit-down-not-taxes-analysis-shows
GOP Plan Targets Deductions, Would Raise Taxes by $290 Billion
A Republican plan to raise taxes by $290 billion over the next decade would limit deductions for mortgage interest, charitable donations and state and local taxes as part of a deficit-reduction deal. Some workers could also see their employer-provided health benefits taxed for the first time, though aides cautioned that the plan is still fluid. http://news.yahoo.com/gop-tax-plan-targets-itemized-deductions-080710390.html
Statistics Proves U.S. Economy Much Worse Than Most Americans Think
Yes, most Americans realize that the economy is not doing well right now, but most of them also believe that this is just a “temporary” downturn. The mainstream media tells us over and over that a “recovery” has either already begun or that one is right around the corner. Sadly, the truth is that the U.S.economy is in much worse shape than most Americans think. http://www.conservativeactionalerts.com/2011/11/15-statistics-which-prove-that-the-u-s-economy-is-in-much-worse-shape-than-most-americans-think/
New Social Security Formula would Cut Benefits, Raise Taxes
Why is it that our elected officials (politicians) whether in Lansing or Washington, make decisions, it seems to effect the citizens they are supposed to represent the hardest and have little if any effect on them? The recent legislation passed in Lansing to cut lawmaker benefits sounds great on the surface but out of 38 Senators they rigged it so 36 are exempt! Just as 55 million Social Security recipients are about to get their first benefit increase in three years, Congress is looking at reducing future raises by adopting a new measure of inflation that also would increase taxes for most families. Those with low incomes would be hit hardest. http://www.freep.com/article/20111108/NEWS07/111080330/New-Social-Security-formula-would-cut-benefits-raise-taxes
“Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Thomas Jefferson