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Opinion by R Al Bain
I’m so disgusted with the Republican controlled leadership or lack thereof here in Michigan and the corrupt shenanigans being played out by the status quo power broker elitist of the Michigan Republican Party that I am almost at a lost for words!
I thought the Republican Party stood for less government, less regulations, less taxation, and less intrusion into the lives of the citizens? Guess not with what we are seeing out of Lansing! With recent proposals for New Road Taxes, New Government Bridge, Bigger Film Subsidies for Film Producers, and a host of other tax increases on the common citizens of Michigan can anybody tell me the difference between Democrats and Republicans today? They are just the flip side of the same coin!
Snyder, Legislative leaders’ OK income tax cut?
Promises were made in 2007 after Michigan passed the largest tax increase in the states history. Sales taxes would begin to be offset in 2012 when the personal income tax rate begins ticking back down from 4.35 percent to 3.9 percent but our elected officials reneged on that promise. How about we cut to the chase and quit playing the shell games? By limiting the Legislature to “part-time” with only 95 days each year and $18,000 per year salaries this would save the state tens of millions of dollars per year, according to a new report by the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office.
Deal Allows “SEIU” Union Dues to be withheld
Home Health Care workers beware of shady politicians and their wheeling and dealing! It’s an election year so they can say we tried to stop it. State Assistant Attorney General Joshua Smith agreed Wednesday to temporarily continue withholding union dues from payments to 41,000 home health care workers who provide services to low-income elderly and disabled residents under Medicaid. Mackinac Center start the “Skim Dues” clock back up!
Michigan Republicans All About Higher Taxes & Bigger Government
We have all seen too clear how the Republican leadership or lack thereof in Lansing has reinvented Michigan in the last year. Big tax cuts for “Big Business Corporations” (not small businesses) balanced on the backs of the taxpayers, as an example can you say Pension Tax for just one! In the last year taxes have increased for the common working man by 23% here in Michigan and more increases are on the way.
Some recent proposals that just won’t go away are a New Road Tax and the New Government Bridge. Now we have a Michigan US Senate “status quo” candidate in “Pork Barrel” Pete Hoekstra that wants to create an even bigger government by having a Birther Office in Washington, D.C. staffed by the FBI & CIA. Will the citizens of Michigan be that stupid as to vote this guy into office? Only time will tell!
Michigan GOP Budget Spends More on Film Subsidies Picking Hollywood “Fat Cat’s” over Taxpayers
According to an article on MLive, a budget plan put forth by Gov. Rick Snyder, Senate Majority Leader “Randy Richardville”, R-Monroe the “Unions Best Friend” in Lansing, and House Majority Speaker Jase Bolger, R-Marshall, would double the amount of money being spent on Michigan’s film subsidy program. Spending taxpayer money on liberal millionaire Hollywood movie producers and stars is a bad idea.
State Film Subsidies Wasteful, Ineffective, and Unfair Instrument of Economic Development
Michigan’s dire economy and generous film incentives make it an extreme case. But the debate that’s happened there is being replayed in states across the country. Governors in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Oklahoma and elsewhere have recently proposed capping or eliminating their tax credits as a way to plug budget holes. Last year in Wisconsin, Gov. Jim Doyle essentially gutted his state’s 25-percent no-limit tax incentive, turning it into a $500,000 annual grant program after a state Commerce Department report showed the benefit provided almost no net income for the state.
No subsidies should be given for Film and Movie Studios, Sports Stadiums such as Comerica Park, Raceways such as Michigan International Speedway, and even the Pure Michigan Advertising Campaign which only benefit a certain private segment of the tourism industry an industry that did their own study for funding this to find it wasn’t in their best interest financially for return on investment, oh but it’s in the best interest of the taxpayers? I think not!
No money to bribe corporations to relocate. The owners of these ventures are already “beyond” wealthy. Government’s role ought to be, to take care of the needs of citizens within it’s boundaries; instead they hand ridiculous sums to those who already have too much and put themselves into dire financial circumstances to do so.
Numerous studies have shown that tax receipts due to film production do not come close to covering their cost. An example Connecticut figured to take in 8 cents in taxes in 2007 for each dollar in film credits, for a net loss of $14.5 million. Michael Kinsley criticized film production credits in a March 1, 2011 story in Politico. Kinsley made the case that the benefits touted by politicians.
Iowa suspended its film tax credits in September 2009 after a review uncovered inaccurate record keeping, dubious expenditures and other irregularities, according to the WCF Courier. Some credits were said to be used to purchase luxury vehicles, and production company personnel were accused of inflating expenses. The director of the state’s film office resigned.
State film subsidies are a wasteful, ineffective, and unfair instrument of economic development. While they appear to be a “quick fix” that provides jobs and business to state residents with only a short lag, in reality they benefit mostly non-residents, especially well-paid non-resident film and TV professionals. Some residents benefit from these subsidies, but most end up paying for them in the form of fewer services — such as education, healthcare, and police and fire protection — or higher taxes elsewhere. The benefits to the few are highly visible; the costs to the majority are hidden because they are spread so widely and detached from the subsidies.
43 states currently subsidize film and television production, to the tune of $1.5 billion in fiscal year 2010. Meanwhile, “the revenue generated by economic activity induced by film subsidies falls far short of the subsidies’ direct costs to the state.”
10 Things Hollywood Won’t Tell You, #1 The Taxpayers are being Scammed
Michigan State Film Subsides chasing a “failing” and troubled industry. The U.S. box office take dropped almost 4 percent in 2011, to $10.2 billion, marking the second straight year of decline. Add it up and you have a potential crisis, says Christopher Sharrett, a professor of communication and film studies at Seton Hall University: “We could well be seeing the end of motion pictures in theaters.”
Medical Marijuana Users Protected Under Law, Michigan Supreme Court Rules
In its first major ruling on Michigan’s controversial law, the court said the 2008 voter-approved measure provides legal protection from prosecution what’s called the right to an affirmative defense even for users without state-issued medical marijuana cards.
Kansas Legislature Passes Sharia Law Ban
A bill designed to prevent Kansas courts or government agencies from making decisions based on Islamic or other foreign legal codes has cleared the state Legislature. The Senate approved the bill Friday on a 33-3 vote. The House had approved it, 120-0, earlier in the week.
US Home Values Drop, Prices Down Again
Home prices hit new post-bubble lows in March, according to a report out Tuesday. Average home prices were down 2.6% from 12 months earlier, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index of 20 major markets. Home prices have not been this low since mid-2002. The report suggests the troubled housing market remains weak and won’t recover any time soon. Since the fall of 2008, one out of every four sales has been a foreclosure, an auction or a bank sale.
Judge Blocks Part of “Harsh” Florida Voting Law
U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle blocked enforcement of that provision, but left intact most of the election law passed last year by the state’s Republican-controlled legislature. Could this legislation be flawed thinking on the part of Republican Party leadership as to stop the abandoning sinking Republican Party ship? Here in Michigan we have seen first hand this type of shenanigans with dele-gate, notary-gate, and the recent gate at the state convention where they changed the rules after two of their prized status quo party loyalist was defeated.
“Politicians and diapers should be changed often, and for the same reason” ~ Mark Twain