Reflex Conditioning Drives Uncontrolled Government Spending
The brilliant, Nobel Prize winning physiologist Ivan Petrovitch Pavlov demonstrated that you could condition a dog to salivate by sounding a metronome. All he had to do was sound the metronome when putting out food for his dogs. It did not take long for his dogs to associate the sound of the metronome with food. Then he no longer even had to put food out to get the dogs to salivate; he only had to sound the metronome.
Today, inferior rank politicians have been conditioned to salivate when a financial grant is offered by superior rank politicians. The only problem with these grants of largess is that they always come with caveats, and usually require matching funds. These restrictions are a deliberate – and successful – effort to frustrate all efforts to manage government expenditures.
Mass Transit Skims $ 120 Million from Proposal 2015-01 Road Work Funds
Ever hear of the Michigan Comprehensive Transportation Fund? Ten cents of every Michigan fuel tax dollar gets diverted to this mass transportation slush fund. It is only just behind the sales tax as a diversion of your current fuel tax dollars from Michigan’s roads.
All motor vehicle fuel taxes collected in the State of Michigan are first deposited into the Michigan Transportation Fund. Then MCL 247.660 (1)(f) (Public Act 51 of 1951) dictates that 10% of the funds deposited in the Michigan Transportation Fund be immediately transferred to the Comprehensive Transportation Fund. The amended version of MCL 247.660 you are being offered in Proposal 2015-01 has the very same section (1)(f), making the same 10% immediate diversion.
So the $ 1.2 billion that Proposal 2015-01 supporters are promising you for road work is actually only $ 1.08 billion. Kirk T. Steudle, P.E. gets a whole new stash to maintain and expand his stable of rotting train cars, $ 120 million that cannot be spent on the roads by law. $ 120 million that gets skimmed from the $ 1.2 billion you are being promised for the roads. And no, it is not skimmed from the $ 800 million that Proposal 2015-01 dedicates to the Democratic base.
Now you now know how Michigan political math works in the age of Common Core. Pay $ 2 billion for roads, get $ 1 billion in road work.
The Federal Highway Trust Fund, which accounts for nearly one-third of the state’s transportation budget, made about $1 billion available to Michigan in 2013. That’s 8 percent less than five years earlier and 15 percent less when adjusted for inflation, according to figures compiled by The Associated Press.
So, where the Hell were Senators Levin, and Stabenow? Why did they allow our state to flounder while their man Harry Reid, was in charge? $3 Trillion?
The funding that generally comes from federal gasoline and diesel taxes was up 20 percent over a decade but down 5 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars [happens when .FEDGOV prints money].
The AP analysis also shows that Michigan ranked seventh-lowest among states in per-capita federal transportation funding in 2013 and second-lowest in per-capita overall spending on highways, roads and bridges [why is that?]. Only Georgia spent less per capita.
The same problem that has left the Highway Trust Fund teetering with insolvency [snip]
is vexing Michigan — people drive less and with more fuel-efficient vehicles while paying per-gallon gas taxes unchanged for two decades. For the last four years, Gov. Rick Snyder and lawmakers have had to divert money from the general fund [snip]
to ensure the state receives its matching federal transportation money because traditional revenue sources — state fuel taxes and vehicle registration taxes — are lower or stagnant.
Registration taxes are drying up? Well, gee, go figure what happens when Lansing’s Republican Majority loots what isn’t theirs. Went after pensions when it wasn’t necessary? Instantly $10,000,000,000+ flew the coop. Broke the 2007, promise by raising the State Income Tax, which they applied to those pensions. Those two raids alone stole money from folks who have decided to put off vehicle purchases, especially, the retirees who got plundered by Snyder. Look, it ain’t the undischargable student loan debt-slave Millennials who have money. Hell, they can’t even figure out that when borrowing for higher education it effects tuition rates to rise (another cluster**** conversation for another time).
Health Care: 10%
Michigan ranks 31st overall among the states in the Freedom Index. Dismal per capita levels of state taxes, spending, and regulation weighed down Michigan’s rankings. Michigan’s ranking in the individual policy categories are:
“Our review … identified 48 of 92 [52%] expired warranty projects that needed corrective action,” the report said. “As of June 30, 2014, 24 of the warranties had been expired for over one year without MDOT having addressed the corrective action.”
MDOT said it agrees with all six recommendations made by the auditor general and is taking action to improve its system of monitoring and enforcing warranties.
“By October 2015, MDOT, in working with the Department of Attorney General, will develop a procedure for non-responsive contractors that have been notified to perform warranty work,” the department said in part of its response to the audit.
But the auditor noted that similar issues were raised in an earlier audit, released in 2010, and at that time the department said it would “strengthen its procedures to assure the completion of inspections.”
DNR just slyly reported that Michigan hunting license sales dropped to 729,000 in 2014, a 4.2% drop from 2013 sales and the all time low in data extending way back to 1958. This drop is even worse than the numbers suggest, since the new HB 4668 hunting license rules require base licenses for hunting activities which did not require licenses in previous years. And if you believe President Obama and his statistical mathmagicians, the U.S. economy surged at a 5% GDP growth rate in 2014Q3 just before Michigan’s traditional firearms deer season. Michigan’s population increased by 11,684 people in 2014, the third consecutive annual increase. So the number of hunters should have increased in 2014? But the number of hunters in Michigan dropped, and hunter numbers declined because license fees skyrocketed under HB 4668 of 2013.
The most popular hunting license prices increased 50 – 100 % under the new 2014 fee schedule, although a direct comparison is not possible because the licenses were restructured under HB 4668 to ‘simplify’ the license schedule. Even though the DNR has not released license sales dollar amounts yet, we can still sketch out the doleful effect of the DNR hunting license fee increases on Michigan’s staggering economy.
“The goal should be to try to honor these agreements or, in the context that if there are changes, they’re mutually agreed to,” Snyder [Mr. Avalon, founding chair. Yes, thatJohn Truscott] said in a Detroit News editorial board interview. “These are major job creators. They’ve helped bring us back economically [what Team Obama says] in the state and we shouldn’t overlook that fact.”
Snyder said he wants to work with companies holding the business tax credits to “bring better visibility” and “transparency” [a Snyder priority. No,seriously.] to the tax credits, which will consume more than $500 million a year in general fund tax revenue until 2029. The final tax credits awarded under the Michigan Business Tax [thank Brian] don’t expire until 2031, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corp.
The MEDC [Snyder’s Mini-Me] has asked companies to agree to redeem their credits in the year they were issued and give the state a three-year forecast on using tax credits to help governors and legislators budget for the subsidies.
But Snyder did not rule out pursuing legislation to put new rules in place for when the tax credits could be cashed in. [here, pull this finger.]
“I think the starting point should be what we can do in a mutually agreed-upon fashion,” Snyder said.
Mike Johnston, vice president of government affairs for the Michigan Manufacturers Association, said his members, which include Detroit’s three automakers [$3,000,000,000 yes, Ford too], are open to helping state officials know when they will seek tax refunds.
The games all these mother******* play with other people’s money is downright obscene.
We now return you to your regular Team R points its collective finger’s at Granholm programming…
Imaging that. And, CPA Snyder’s $250,000/year numbers guru John Nixon, bails out of Michigan a year ago, too? Go figure.
Snyder enlisted the help of Detroit attorney George Scott Romney, the brother of 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, in bringing Nixon to Michigan, because Romney shared ties to Utah and the Mormon faith.
“They’re just a wonderful family,” Romney said of Nixon, who along with his wife, DeAnn, has six children between the ages of 4 and 17.
“I was disappointed” to hear Nixon was leaving, Romney said, but “I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for him.”
Leaving is “a wonderful opportunity”? That’s an understatement. Then again, ‘ol Elder “Arithmetic” Romney ain’t never been too sharp with numbers, has he?