Like most Conservatives here, I was disappointed, but honestly not surprised in the least, by last weeks vote in the Michigan House on the “Grand Bargain”.
I say this because leading up to the vote, when my sources go dark, or when they do finally return my calls and begin to waffle, that is almost always an indication that things are going bad rather quickly.
I’m not going to mince words here. Aside from absolutely hating that misleading term “Grand Bargain”, I still can’t see why people in Lansing can’t/won’t do their homework on what is really going on here and why they are reticent on calling a bailout what it actually is: a bailout.
You’re probably asking yourselves; what causes people like that to lose their way?
Limited government and fiscal responsibility were once hallmarks of the Republican Party platform a long time ago.
Michigan taxpayers have been overcharged by the state of Michigan to the tune of $350 million. That is what Michigan’s budget surplus really is, the state taxed its citizens an extra $350 million that they had no plan to spend. So, rather than sending the money back to the taxpayers, spending the money to fix our literally crumbling roads or simply hang on to the money for a rainy day, what does our nerd Governor propose?
Gov. Rick Snyder said Thursday he’s open to using one-time surplus tax dollars for the state’s contribution toward a fund to bolster Detroit pensions and settle the city’s bankruptcy.
Snyder has pledged $350 million over 20 years toward a $816 million fund designed to limit cuts to pensions and shield city-bought art at the Detroit Institute of Arts from being sold to satisfy creditors.
While private sector citizens in Michigan have had to go round after round of belt-tightening (job losses, furloughs, pay cuts) during the reign of economic terror during the Granholm era. Now we have to punch additional holes in our belts for even more belt-tightening during the ongoing Obama disaster. Why should Michigan taxpayers take it in the shorts, again, protecting city worker pensions? Let them tighten their belts, or sell the DIA art and other city assets like other bankruptcies require.
BTW, you know after Snyder uses our tax ‘surplus’ protecting city pensions, he will come hat in hand looking for additional ‘revenues’ (i.e. taxes) to fix our roads.
This story is certainly getting very little attention across Michigan.
I just cannot imagine why?
After living large from the public trough for decades, using the same pubic treasury to pay hush money in order to avoid embarrassing behavior from the public spotlight, money from the public treasury going to businesses that have bought off city council votes and getting a disproportionate share of a myriad of breaks and special carve-outs from Lansing during all that time (and I’m just starting here), Governor Snyder is going to play the crony capitalist game one more time and put Michigan Taxpayers on the hook again.
By Michael Lafaive
The recent announcement that philanthropic foundations may donate $330 million to help the Detroit Institute of Arts, which would also help city pensioners avoid the consequences of Detroit government mismanagement, sounds like great news.
Unfortunately, there may be a hook: A requirement that the state treasury contribute, which would convert voluntary private generosity into a coerced taxpayer bailout.
A state bailout of Detroit is a terrible idea. It creates moral hazard and adds to the overly generous financial support the city has for years received from state taxpayers.
So, what do you get when you add a ton of special interest groups who feel that they are even more entitled to your money than you are (and their hopes that you’re not paying any attention to them whatsoever)?
You get the makings for a very interesting (series?) of elections in 2020…that’s what!
Multiple media outlets in Detroit are reporting that the Detroit Institute of Arts will renege on their pledge made after the passage of their Regional Art Tax (aka “Art Institute Authority”) in 2012 and seek a renewal on the March 2020 ballot, two years ahead of its statutory end.
Yeah, I cannot wait to see how they’ll justify spending even more money on “art”?
I’m currently running on very little sleep, but more details to follow…
A Bankruptcy Postponed Is Not A Bankruptcy Avoided
The $ 617 million PA 192 – 197 bail out package signed by Governor Snyder on 21 June (plus the $ 48.7 million emergency down payment earlier this year) will not fix the Detroit Public Schools. The culture of corruption and incompetence long fostered within DPS suggests that the new DPS – same as the old DPS, except for some liabilities – will fail miserably a few years hence in an avalanche of new liabilities. Michigan will then be left to sort out two separate DPS entities with unsustainable liabilities. This could easily occur even before Governor Snyder leaves office in 2019. Karma. Déjà vu all over again.
Someone needs to impress upon the MRP legislative and executive leadership that “NO” means “NO” . . . period.
Roughly nine months ago, We the People of Michigan, by a record-breaking 4-to-1 statewide margin, told our elected nobility in Lansing “HELL NO” on a proposed tax increase, which they’d tried to sell as a road proposal, but which the voting public saw clearly as a political sausage job that produced a cronyist’s grab bag of goodies. Thus, every single county in this state, without exception and in no uncertain terms, clearly delivered a mandate-level message that we are no longer interested in extending the legislature a taxpayer-funded line of credit, until such time as they get their spending priorities in order. You would think that a statewide vox populi shellacking, with a turnout rate typical of the biennial congressional primaries, would clue in the GoverNerd, and the rest of the MRP/MIGOPe professional political establishment, that We the People are done being their ATM.
You would think that . . . but you would be wrong. Six months after that ballot box rejection, while most of us were tucking our children into bed (or monitoring local election results), the lords and barons in the Michigan Legislature essentially told we the proletariat that our opinion is irrelevant, and that “no” really means “don’t ask again” – which, of course, they didn’t – by passing a “road funding” tax package that was nearly identical to the core of Proposal 15-1, less the elements required to force it onto the ballot. In doing this, they flatly rejected the clear will of the people, imposed through legislative fiat that which they couldn’t persuade the electorate to publicly ratify, and took yet another step toward government by aristocracy.
The art world is buzzing, albeit quietly, about a prospective, voluntary sale of some Detroit Institute of Arts works — including an 1886 Van Gogh still life.
In the hubbub of Detroit’s Chapter 9 bankruptcy, the prospect of selling off the DIA’s collection was a key controversy. Selling even one painting to satisfy creditors or fund operations, DIA officials said then, could destroy the DIA’s standing in the museum world.
The DIA triumphed when the so-called “grand bargain” ensured the museum would remain intact last year. Instead of selling any art, the museum pledged $100 million to help the city pay down debt.
It would appear, Mr. Orr has learned his place within the U of M cronies.
Wealthy patrons vowed to bankroll a legal fight between the Detroit Institute of Arts and the city before mediators reached a deal to save the city’s art collection, Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr testified Thursday.
Orr testified about behind-the-scenes pressure applied by the DIA and patrons who believed the multi-billion dollar art collection could not be sold and was held in public trust — and explained why the city didn’t hire an auction house tied to a local billionaire. A costly, prolonged legal fight threatened to delay Detroit’s attempt to shed $7 billion in debt and emerge from bankruptcy court.
While not naming names, Orr said patrons vowed to fight any attempts to sell the 60,000-piece collection. Many of Metro Detroit’s leading families, including generations of Fords, have donated art to the internationally renowned museum.
“High-value net worth individuals who have an interest in the (DIA) were motivated and had the wherewithal,” to support a legal fight, Orr testified.
The city believed it could sell pieces of the DIA collection purchased with city funds during the last century.