Republicans

The Bill Came Due

Grand Traverse County pension advisory board provides insight into fiscal mismanagement.

Honey, go get your credit card please. Ignore the scissors, just hand it over.

Its like that.  The Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners has a little issue that has been looming, called an obligation.  Debt by a different name, and because the Michigan constitution says it must be honored, it is little more than chains that bind our children to their parents bad decisions. From the local fish wrap:

TRAVERSE CITY — A one-page road map past Grand Traverse County’s pension debt hurdle will makes its way to county commissioners, who soon could decide whether to ask taxpayers for a millage.

Pension advisory board Chair Michael Gillman on Monday requested a broad-stroke recommendation that “the people who have to pay the bills” could understand. He and his fellow board members agreed on a set of steps to deal with the county’s defined benefit pension debt.

Past county officials offered that pension to employees but failed to fund the obligations. The bill for 276 retirees and 88 eventually-will-retire current employees is growing year-by-year and threatens to dominate the county’s budget.

“The bottom line is that the public has to somehow understand that we have received services that we haven’t paid between $50 (million) and $70 million toward those services,” Gillman said. “We got those services. We got the bill. The bill has to be paid constitutionally. And we’ve got to pay it in a way that minimizes impact, to the extent possible, on taxpayers and on current employees who aren’t under that plan.”

The solution is to drastically cut services, or get more money somehow.

So in all likelihood, a millage request will be first.  1 Mil that will raise about $5million annually, and that will add about $80 per homeowner.  A millage that will likely find spectacular defeat, as it is not something that will offer ‘instant gratification’ as would fresh roads, happy senior citizens, better school services or properly paid for libraries.

indeed, a millage of this caliber needs proper ownership.  And though there are plenty of other players responsible for over 2 decades of mismanagement on the county board, there are certain names that need to be remembered because they are still with us in elected office, performing big government feats with big government idealism.

We’ll call it the “Sonny Wheelock, Larry Inman, Wayne Schmidt, Memorial Millage.”

If the above appeared on the tax bills of Grand Traverse County property owners next to the assessed amount, I wonder how that would affect their future endeavors?

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So, now what?

And what does this mean when it comes to other campaign “promises” made to The American People like tax reform, the wall, bringing back American business and removing illegal aliens?

It really shouldn’t have been difficult.

Not at all.

All you had to do was to fulfill the promise that you made when running for Congress and REPEAL Obamacare.

It was not as if this day wasn’t coming?

After sneaking Obamacare through in literally the dead of night, the democrats learned a valuable lesson on stupidity and the resulting payback from it when they lost the House.

Give us the Senate, chimed in republicans and we’ll repeal it.

After numerous attempts to do so we are told that they cannot do it.

Give us the White House and we’ll repeal it.

So, after gaining majorities the House, Senate and the White House, everything was in place for a quick (and ridiculously easy) repeal.

Or so we thought.

{Oh, I‘ve got more below}

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Larry Inman For Governor!

"The governor that would listen" makes his case on the 'Big Show.'

According to an interview on the Big Show, and other confirming sources, it appears State Representative Larry Inman has his eyes on the executive office of Michigan.

Don’t find it so hard to believe folks.  After redistricting In 2012, Inman briefly considered taking on incumbent Dan Beneshek. It is entirely possible that Inman might believe he could do well in a multiple candidate race, as it was the 9 way contest in 2014 that put him in office. As we all know, there will be multiple contenders for the GOP spot because of the weakness in the Dem bench, and each candidate will draw nominally from each other.

While he has not officially declared, he has plenty of time before the upcoming Mackinac Republican Leadership event which will tell the real story.

If you listen to the interview, start at the 9:15 spot.

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It took you this long to figure it out, eh?

So, will this be the swan song for Snydercaid?

Like we didn’t see this coming?

And by “we” I mean real conservatives, not the bland neo-con, conservative wanna-bees around election season who revert back to their true selves the day after the general.

Thanks to the number-crunchers over at the SFA along with President Trump, Gov. Snyder’s signature achievement (Snydercaid), is in jeopardy of closing up shop due to its costs, and someone who had the foresight to include a weakness in the legislation which can be exploited when it grew into an ever-growing percentage of the budget.

What’s even worse (also on page 6 in the SFA link above):

“The new Federal law would increase GF/GP (General Fund/General Purpose) costs sufficiently to trigger this provision by the end of FY 2019-20. Thus, assuming no changes to the statute, the Healthy Michigan Plan would terminate.

If the State opted to continue the program (which would require Legislative action and a gubernatorial signature to change the statute), the GF/GP costs would increase significantly in subsequent years as noted above. Obviously, if the Federal legislation is enacted, the decision on whether to change the statute to continue the HMP would be impacted by the fiscal considerations outlined above.”

Gov. Snyder knew that this day was coming. He even went to Washington to personally lobby on its behalf.

But when you act like a wishy-washy, mealy mouth wimp who will not take a stand, people remember things like that.

Speaking of “never forgetting”

 

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Lets Throw More Money Away!

Commission to taxpayers - "Gird your loins."

About that blue ribbon report on education?

Governor RINO-Burger’s newly formed ’21st Century Education Commission’ has performed as expected. One theme seems to stand out.  In the end, all will be well if we follow some not-so-surprising advice from the best socialist minds around. – Free college. Preschool for every child. No more grade levels.

A report released last week from Gov. Rick Snyder’s office offered lofty goals designed to overhaul Michigan’s public education system. The state needs to offer free community college, expand preschool access, and restructure K-12 public schools, the report suggested. District leaders in northwest Michigan agreed, but they’ll need more clarity on the details.

Sure.  why not?

Government employees shilling for expansion of government?  But wait!  More clarity?

“My first question would be if it’s free, who’s paying for it?” asked Sander Scott, superintendent at Glen Lake Community Schools. “That’s what any taxpayer would say. There’ll be a cost to be able to offer these things. … The state is really struggling to fund its public schools so adding more is interesting.”

Yes, “interesting.”
The state is struggling to accurately provide (yes, “accurately.” ‘Adequately’ is a word I would use if it was called for) funding that provides for the best education for our declining youth.  As opined previously, dumping nearly an additional $billion bones into the Detroit school system last year was a seriously flawed legislative act.
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The Price of Political Failure

The Detroit News launched a hit piece on Michael G. Ford, the CEO of the Regional Transportation Authority of Southeastern Michigan this morning. Reporters Robert Snell and Christine MacDonald breathlessly review Mr. Ford’s expense accounting and employment contract details over the 33 months since he was appointed CEO of the RTA.

The closest they get to finding any real improprieties is Mr. Ford’s car allowance and mileage reimbursement, but that does not stop them from reporting salacious details of hotel room charges and his very generous employment contract. No illegality or budget overruns are found, but the tone of the article is supremely negative. Mr. Ford’s contract happens to be up for renewal and the RTA Board tabled a $ 16,300 raise for him two weeks ago.

A special meeting of the RTA Board of Directors was held this morning, including a closed session. Public bodies operating under the Open Meetings Act are only allowed to close meetings when deliberating personnel matters and contracts. It is not much of a leap to speculate that Mr. Ford is today’s main course at the RTA Board meeting.

The Detroit News duo filed an FOIA request for Mr. Ford’s contract details and expense reimbursements shortly after Paul Hillegonds, Governor Rick Snyder’s appointee to the RTA Board, began reviewing Mr. Ford’s expenses. Coincidence? Hardly.

What is going on here?

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Absolvendi Officium

"Public-Private Partnerships" Are bad business for government.

SB 97 passed 32-4 last Friday.

Seriously flawed in it’s very concept, the bill grants private operators the ability to operate as-if they are the chartering government itself, sans the payback at the voting booth.  Contracts could extend far beyond term limitations, and the ‘authorities’ created would be of a new design.

It will place those who fail to pay the private concern as immediately liable for fees as-if it were a government entity. It also brings back the spectre of eminent domain, and abuse of authority.

It also grants special rights to those who profit from such projects as described in the bill from paying property, sales or use taxes taxes.

Read it here.

Tell me I am wrong.

Please.

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Michigan’s Tax Charade

No Michigan Tax Deal Is Ever Worth The Paper It Is Written On

Since our devious Governor and his RINO caucus pulled out all the stops to quash the HB 4001 decrements in the state income tax last Thursday, it has dawned on Michigan politicians that the optics of the SB 111 – 115 Dan Gilbertville tax breaks just got real ugly. You can’t hand $ 1.8 billion of state revenue over to politically connected developers after stiffing the public at large without gruesome consequences. This is going to decrement some Senators’ campaign finance committee balances.

No one should fault Speaker Leonard for putting HB 4001 up for a losing vote. Bottling up and fiddling legislation behind closed doors until a winning margin is assured is not an exemplar of government transparency. Brits and Europeans may regard such shifty back room shenanigans as the hallmark of sophisticated political process, but here in America constituents want to know exactly how they are being represented. Thursday’s vote told us more about the RINOs in the Michigan House than years of deceitful political media articles and reports.

Thank you Speaker Leonard for fostering genuine political transparency.  Long overdue in Michigan.

It now appears that killing both tax reductions was the plan all along. Bridge Magazine and the Michigan Municipal League just launched a trial balloon to gut the Proposal A constitutional amendment of 1994. Proposal A limited the tax depredations of government employees acting through their local units of government, a popular activity in Michigan’s more leftward big cities and counties. The sales tax was increased 50%, but property owners got some constitutionally protected tax relief in return.

Local government employees and their Democratic political puppets want to renege on the 1994 Proposal A tax deal. Well, not entirely. Just the constitutionally protected property tax relief. No one is offering to restore the 4% sales tax rate. What was it JFK said about negotiating with the Soviets? “We cannot negotiate with people who say what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is negotiable.” Public employees and their subservient Democratic politicians have a lot of gall claiming that President Trump is a Russian stooge and a neo communist tyrant to boot.

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Trump a disappointment on Civil Asset Forfeiture so far

I live in Tim Walberg’s district.  In fact, his residence of record is about 10 miles from my house.  Those of you that live in a Rural setting may appreciate that this is “right around the corner”.  I’ve not been a huge fan of Tim Walberg because of his repeated support for the PATRIOT ACT.  I once confronted him over his support for this act at a tea party meeting and he and I got into it a bit.  Anyhow…I smiled this morning while doing some quick research for this piece to discover Walberg sponsored legislation (albeit in 2015) to reform Civil Asset Forfeiture.  Good job, Tim!

I hope Tim continues his Civil Asset Forfeiture reform efforts in the new congressional session.

The new leader of the United States Government, on the other hand, disappoints on this front.  Many of you may have seen this video, I made this post for the benefit of those who have not.

A Texas lawmaker has the audacity to introduce legislation that requires the State Government there convict a fellow of a crime before they gank his stuff! GASP!  What’s Trump’s solution? Ruin the lawmaker’s career!

I think we need to call out bad actors on Civil Asset Forfeiture (and other violations of civil liberties and due process), whether they are Republicans, Democrats, or a beloved (by many, not I) newly elected President.  I recognize he’s not the only bad guy in this regard.  Civil Asset Forfeiture was popular during alcohol prohibition — the better part of 100 years ago.  Let’s hope Mr. Trump sees the error of his ways in the future.

One thing is for sure: he must NOT be given a pass simply because he’s a Republican (at least he says he is now — he was a Democrat between 2001 and 2009).

 

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