Republicans

It’s About Time already

Michigan lawmakers look to plug the big gaping hole in government liability.

1997 was actually a good year for Michigan.

It could have been better however.  It was the year that Governor Engler signed off on pension plan changes for state employees, but not including the school retirement system. For those it did affect, It adjusted the way in which pensions are funded from defined outcomes at high risk for taxpayers, to defined contribution with real ownership to the recipients.

It also saved the state billions in the last 2 decades. 

The change to the Michigan State Employees’ Retirement System saved the state an estimated $2.3 billion to $4.3 billion in unfunded state employee pension liability from 1997 to 2010, according to the report, authored by public pension expert Rick Dreyfuss.

Seven years later we are still benefiting (no pun intended) from this change.

This 20 year anniversary could well produce the finishing touch and allow Michigan to move toward a predictable liability scenario for good.  School employees somehow remained outside of the course correction in 1997.  House Bill 4647 and Senate Bill 0401 being nearly identical, provide the mechanism for the fix to that problem that has been long overdue.

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Setting the wrong priorities.

 

Some of the groups that I used to participate in when I had a little more free time, also involved some light maintenance and grounds keeping work. Those groups had an American Flag onsite and I would usually get chastised by other members (along with some neighbors) whenever I neglected to lower the flag to half-staff.

To Lansing’s credit, they eventually implemented a system in which they would notify anyone when the word came out to, which made this job a lot easier.

I’m no longer responsible for those duties, but still receive the messages and will pass the word along to those who are.

If anyone has been responsible for this, this has been, IMHO, overused over the past several years.

From my reading about it, it has gone from originally recognizing the passing former Presidents and major tragedies in our history (i.e. Pearl Harbor & 9/11) to literally anyone who catches the eye of the Governor while scanning the morning paper.

The last I’ve heard, there was talk of creating some specific criteria on when to order flags to half staff to honor significant events, but nothing has come of it yet.

Now here is where our story continues…

{More after the fold}

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Corruption or Incompetence?

Oakland Macomb Sewer Interceptor Costs Now At $ 335 Million And Climbing, Cue The Lawsuits

The City of Sterling Heights announced on their FakeBook page Monday that they have filed a lawsuit against Macomb County over their $ 22.2 million portion of the cost for reconstructing the collapsed Oakland Macomb sewer interceptor (OMI), as apportioned by the Macomb Interceptor Drain Drainage District (MIDDD). Sterling Heights believes that the Macomb County Wastewater Disposal District (MCWDD) “did nothing to abate the conditions that likely caused the December [24th] 2016 collapse”. Sterling Heights believes their contract with the MCWDD covers the operation and maintenance of the OMI interceptor.  This may be a little tricky to prove, since the OMI is actually run by the Oakland Macomb Interceptor Drain Drainage District (OMIDDD), an entity independent of and superior to the MCWDD.

Sterling Heights’ contention is that proper maintenance on the OMI by the MCWDD would have prevented its collapse. Maybe. The OMIDDD has already spent $ 170 million on rehabilitation of the OMI since they bought it in 2009. Supposedly the entire 21 mile length was examined and rehabilitated. That rehabilitation effort ended just months before its December 2016 collapse. That collapse suggests that the OMIDDD rehabilitation didn’t do much good. Anyone care to speculate why? Your choices are corruption or incompetence, or both.

This is now a Michigan wide story because our state government will be providing at least $ 5 million of the $ 75 million repair costs for the December OMI collapse. The much debated $ 3 million legislative grant and another $ 2 million from MDEQ.  That $ 75 million is just the current estimate, for the currently acknowledged deterioration of the OMI. Given the Granholm Administration’s role in suckering Oakland and Macomb counties into the OMI purchase, the State of Michigan probably has a lot more responsibility.

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Addicted.

Is it truly too late for American individualism?

What just happened should scare the hell out of us.

Healthcare has officially become an entitlement.   You have whole communities full of government junkies and melted away personal responsibility. Elected bureaucracy remains the pusher of socialized (welfare) medicine, and you cannot put enough locks on the safe to keep it out.

Preexisting conditions will remain a mandate on insurers. Even with added penalties for lapses in coverage going forward, accepting, and maintaining responsibility for oneself and one’s family has apparently been cemented as a function of government.

The most humble beginnings

It started simple enough decades ago, with the accepted forms of ‘insurance;’ Social security, Medicare, and for the emergency needs of poverty stricken folks, medicaid.  Soon, it was forcing insurance providers to include pregnancy protection for men, and autism support for parents who won’t stay at home with their own children.

Michigan in total, has added 655,635 to it’s medical welfare rolls as of last Monday.  This taxpayer funded boondoggle known as “Healthy Michigan” was enacted under a ‘Republican’ controlled legislature, and signed into law by a ‘Republican’ governor. And it is sufficiently generous.  The thought of taxpayers providing insurance welfare for those who are 33% above poverty thresholds is maddening.

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Score another win for crony capitalism.

When will you little people ever learn! I GET want I want to get. Thanks to the Michigan republicans…

 

And we cannot get broad-based tax relief…why?

Submitted without further comment.

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And THIS is what we get when the republican party controls the House, Senate & White House???

If Pres. Trump fails to veto this, I easily see him a being a one and done president.

Perhaps yesterday’s coverage of the May Day “celebrations” touched something inside of Congressional republicans?

Perhaps the were “channeling their inner Obama™”?

Whatever the reason, sometime over the past few days, Congressional republicans clearly demonstrated some severe cognitive dissonance with the American Voter (to say nothing about the election results from last November).

More below…

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Congress Abandons Responsibility with Trumpcare 2.0

Rep. Tom MacArthur (AP)

Earlier this month, Rep. Tom MacArthur presented an amendment to the American Health Care Act to secure broad Republican support. And this week, Rep. Mark Meadows declared the Freedom Caucus’ support. But conservatives in the party should not be fooled: MacArthur’s replacement plan, “Trumpcare 2.0,” is a Trojan Horse. It comes as a gift, filled with options for states to opt out of some Obamacare rules. But it leaves the Affordable Care Act — better known as Obamacare — comfortably in place while Congress gets to grandstand.

While MacArthur’s plan may seem to have some constructive changes at first glance, the proposed measures would keep the worst parts of the ACA. One of the key provisions would shift the responsibility for decisions on healthcare standards to the state level. That means states could choose to opt out of the rules on “essential benefits” and “community ratings” by getting a federal waiver.

But there’s a catch. The default for states will be the same as it is now—keeping the ACA’s federal standards. Nobody wants to be the bad guy and take away popular rules. But Congress made this mess, so they need to clean it up. Representatives like Rep. Amash fought the last version of Trumpcare, and they can do it again.

The proposed provisions include a waiver program that lets states opt out of “essential benefits” — the ACA’s federally-mandated services healthcare providers must offer. That includes a laundry list of items individuals have to pay for, like maternity care and substance abuse care — even if they’ll never use either service.

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New Michigan Commemorative License Plates

Buy TWO and put one on the front to show that you like higher taxes!

The newest fundraising license plates being issued by the Secretary of State are out!

Celebrating the most recent progressive era of Republicanism in Lansing, the official Budget Year Commemorative Series is now waiting to adorn your vehicle.  From the more modest budget of $48 Billion to the latest greatest manifestation of politics unhinged, you too can let folks know how you love those high gas taxes, expansion of Obamacare in Michigan, and a full blown explosion of cronyism!

Each plate series carries the Snyder-Calley forward budget for each service year, along with the total taxpayer dollars spent to provide such things as school bailouts, constituent payola, medical welfare, and so-much-more!  The special plate fee is peanuts compared to the Michigan Catastrophic Claims premiums, the registration price hike, or the continued overcharging for income taxes!

Be sure to order extras for the kids!  (cause they’ll be paying for it long after you are gone)  For each plate sold, the Secretary of State will contribute $50 to the ‘Sanctuary State Fund,’  or a secret slush fund for the next couple of Senate leaders.

Exclusive License Plate series with budgetary increases shown below the fold.

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Michigan republicans should just concede the next election to the democrats right now.

Really! I’m a conservative just like the rest of you. Pinky swear!

Lil’ Guv Brian Calley, accompanied Gov. Snyder to Macomb County this week at the Macomb Chamber Alliance luncheon, and after a predictable speech on their successes in office, “teases” a potential run for Michigan Governor.

No, I’m not going to drive up web traffic to his soon-to-be campaign site by posting any links to it here.

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Honestly!

This is the best that the republican kakistocracy can do?

So far, Team “r” has a candidate who supported bailing out Detroit and giving local governments the opportunity to drive themselves even further in debt by floating bonds to pay for promises they made to their employees which they knew they couldn’t possibly keep.

Now we’re seeing a candidate whose conservative philosophical leanings are questionable, at best.

Does Snydercaid, Common Core or using the power of state government to pay for his own daughter’s autism coverage ring a bell to anyone here?

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Rip Off

Weaver/McCormick Flint-GLWA Deal Transforms Water From Obscene Tax To Outright Theft

Flint Mayor Karen I Love Rizzo Weaver and Great Lakes Water Authority CEO Sue McCormick have reached a 30 year deal for Flint to purchase water from the Great Lakes Water Authority. The City of Flint had signed up to purchase its water from the nascent Karegnondi Water Authority in March 2013 and the State of Michigan concurred in April. Everyone in Flint City government, save one councilman, has agreed to source Flint’s water from the KWA. Even Mayor Weaver. Until this week.

The Weaver/McCormick deal has GLWA paying Flint at least $ 7 million a year to cover Flint’s share of the bonds issued to finance the KWA. A total of $ 210 million over the 30 year contact period.

Where will that $ 210 million come from?  GLWA is not the Federal Reserve, they cannot just create money out of thin air. GLWA will extract the money from the victims ratepayers in the other communities it ‘serves’.

Mayor Weaver and CEO McCormick will transform GLWA water rates into yet another exaction imposed upon most of Southeastern Michigan to subsidize Flint. Without any input from those victims ratepayers. A blatant fee as tax evasion of Headlee. Governor Snyder, of course, approves wholeheartedly.

This is government theft, Headlee evasion, and a rich fount of future corruption.

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