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    Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?

    Raise the curtain.

    It's good for thee, but not for me.

    By KG One, Section News
    Posted on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 09:30:22 AM EST
    Tags: Lifetime benefits for elected officials, HB-4081, HB-4087, SB-26, What was that again about "Fairness"? (all tags)

    House republicans just love to talk the talk about "fairness" and "not picking winners and losers".

    But when it comes to walking the walk, it's a shame that philosophy doesn't apply to them.

    One of the mantras the governor loves to espouse is "shared sacrifice", especially while he is pouring another serving of kool aid to his doting acolytes in the Michigan Legislature.

    "It's not fair that one group doesn't pay taxes on their pensions"
    , he proclaims.


    The doting followers pass not one, not two, but five bills imposing brand-spankin' new taxes on seniors.

    In his Mr. Roger's-esque voice he'll continue to stay on message about "fairness", while at the back of his mind he's thinking,"Letting people keep more of their own earnings? Not on my watch!"


    Sensing their "leader's" intentions, the House republicans are anxiously eager to please. Language locking the income tax at a higher rate is slipped into a bill to accomplish this very feat (Hint: Look under Sec. 51 (1) (g)(h)).

    Wow! Was that fast.

    "I believe that we should have government impede a private business, and use taxpayer dollars to build a second bridge to Canada," is the next item the governor will announce from his agenda.

    {Insert cricket-like sound here.}

    Are the effects of the kool aid are beginning to wear off? Are members of the once loyal guv-lover clique are slowly beginning to recover their senses?

    I'll discuss that later.

    But what I will get into is something that has been languishing around Lansing for nearly as long as the Canadien/NITC/DRIC/Gordie Howe Bridge, and that eliminating Lansing's golden parachute for former members.

    The idea has been floating around for nearly a decade now. Some 26 bills have been introduced, for some mysterious reason; none of them have ever gone anywhere.

    Who'd have thought?

    Fast-forward to today.

    After their fervor to raise taxes, republicans are apparently getting their act in gear, and finally addressing the "fairness" of this very issue: lifetime health care benefits for only working for a very short period of time (good luck finding THAT in the private sector).

    Sorry people, but you could've done so much more, much much sooner.

    Rep. Dian Slavens introduced HB-4081 back in January to address this matter during this session. It went to committee, where Rep. McMillin promptly sat on it.

    "We've had to deal with a budget and other important issues," McMillin said.

    Millions of dollars in easy savings are not an important issue?!? C'mon, Rep. McMillin? Do you really feel that we are that stupid?

    Rep. Johnson introduced a similar bill the very next day, HB-4087, which pretty much does the same thing, but takes effect for those elected after November 10, 2010 (Rep. Slaven's bill had earlier cut-off: Jan 30, 2009). Sen. Jones introduced SB-26 one day after Rep. Johnson, and has similar language to his.

    This week, after a very long and unnecessary delay, the Michigan House passed HB-4087: 107-3. We'll see what happens in the Senate.

    As for the more part I spoke about?

    Why even impose a cut-off date at all?

    THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN ENACT: All lifetime benefits for all elected officials are terminated effective immediately.


    B-b-b-b-bu-bu-bu-but, "we didn't want to contend with any lawsuits," will be their pat response.


    Oh, like the ones that the seniors are working on for that unnecessary pension tax hike you just recently passed a few weeks ago?

    Where was the concern during that time about lawsuits?

    Sorry, but you'll lose even more credibility if you go with responses like that.

    Addressing future lifetime benefits for new elected officials is a start. You're moving in the right direction, but you still have a long, long way to go.

    < Proletarii vsekh stran, soyedinyaytes'! | Take this law and shove it! >

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    the truth about HB 4087 (none / 0) (#1)
    by Tom McMillin on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 10:05:50 PM EST
    Actually, the substitute for HB4087 has a cut-off date of 1/1/2007 - meaning anyone who hasn't been legally vested, they are included in the ban on retiree benefits.  This is better than HB4081, which exempted third termers from the ban. See:


    Could we have passed a law banning benes already vested?  Yes - but in politician form, that would have meant the whole law would have been thrown out down the road...and wahlah - all politicians, including us, would have retained their retiree benes.

    The budget got done, then we passed this.  Once passed by the senate and signed by the Governor, the first actual savings from this will occur 1/1/13, when the first legislators currently serving and having spent 6 years (third termers only) who are 55 at that time, won't get the benefit that they would have.  Passing the law now, in September, next February or next August would have all represented the same savings.

    Now that we've saved about $20,000 in 2013, let's keep pushing for significant reforms and savings, like the MI House has been doing.

    Have a very (none / 0) (#2)
    by grannynanny on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 10:34:25 PM EST
    liberal friend who worked for the Blanchard admin for 6 years and he can't wait until his bennies kick in next year.  

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