Tag Archive for Bond ratings

A Dead Man Walking: Wayne County

Your Least Loss is Your First Loss

Bankrupcy WC 2Wayne County Executive Warren Evans told the assembled self very important persons at the Mackinac Policy Conference last Friday that he now believes that his county government can avoid bankruptcy. “He is now comfortable with the options” was the report. Little did he know that, on the very same day, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Lita Popke gave the County 48 hours to pay its retirees $ 49 million dollars to restore their 2010 ’13th check’ retirement benefit. Wayne County told the court flat out that it doesn’t have the money.

The Wayne County Commission voted yesterday to tap most of the last remaining funds in the County’s much abused Delinquent Tax Revolving Fund, however Warren Evan’s subsequent veto threat all but assures that this summer’s county property taxes will increase 1.23 mils to pay this judgement. This property tax increase will not even require a vote of affirmation under the Headlee Amendments to the Michigan Constitution, because it is pursuant to a court order.

’13th checks’ are a devious method of looting pension funds which began in the 1980’s, in Michigan. When some Michigan public pension funds earned more than their targeted rate of return in a year, say 8%, the ‘surplus’ earnings got doled out to retirees in the form of a 13th check.  These 13th checks could amount to far more than the pension fund’s actually surplus.  Retirees never had to give back their prior 13th check payments when the pension funds dialed up a big loss, so the 13th check was an opportunistic form of looting – not an equitable form of risk & gain sharing. This practice has occurred in state pension plans, county pension plans, and city pension plans across Michigan. The particular problem in Wayne County is that Robert Ficano stripped his pension funds of the 13th check payment funds in 2010 to make his books look better. Worst of all, Wayne County’s pension funds are only about 44% funded and their OPEB’s (retiree medical care, etc.) are essentially unfunded.

Wayne County’s accounting is nebulous, to be charitable. A read of their 2014 CAFR (22 MB document, it took a lot of lipstick to make this dead pig look good!) shows that the County is carrying forward an unassigned deficit of $ 82.8 million, and only got it down to this awful level by diverting $ 91.7 million from their dwindling Delinquent Tax Revolving Fund to their General Fund in 2014. Then, depending upon whom in Wayne County government you are talking to, Wayne County is still losing another $ 4 – $ 5 million each month.

This amounts to something over $ 50 million per year.

You Betcha! (19)Nuh Uh.(1)

Pssst! Hey Lansing?

Yes, I said Lansing, because, well, it took complete Republican control 4 years, 5 months, 5 days and $10 Million of our dollars to do absolutely nothing about our roads.

I’ll also remind readers that both the current Senate Majority Leader, and Speaker of the House, voted for and promoted Proposal 1 – Not One County Approved – by a devastating margin. That means for those elected ‘public servants’ in Lansing… with a rusty chainsaw.

Now, you boys and girls playing politician want to keep screwing around gouging us while shirking basic duties?

What’s most offensive is that voters were put in this position at all.

Road repair is a basic part of any state budget, one that the other states — 46 of them with part-time legislatures — are able to manage. There’s no excuse for underfunding our roads.

Our state budget increased $4.7 billion, nearly 10%, from fiscal years 2012 to 2015. New money was there: It just wasn’t spent on roads.

We’ll all be in Lansing if you keep it up. Sorry, former Rep. McMillin, but simply throwing more money at MDOT is not the complete solution and inspires others to consider that the path of least resistance answer.

No more tax hikes – No more excuses.

Snyder_54B_ballonKirk Steudle? Fire or prosecute… preferably both. Really, a missing bridge?

Rep. Pettalia, and Sen. Casperson, you’re both a disgrace. So is Schuette’s Public Integrity Unit.

The Nerd’s Ann Arbor SPARK clique days of maxing-out contracts are breathing its WALLY scheme death rattle. Complete Streets? Repeal that wasteful garbage. Neuter the MDOT bureaucracy. Streetscaping? NO. Michigan is underwater $7,500+ per head, and has yet another money vacuum waiting, which was aided by ineffectual state control.

Fix the goddam roads. Full stop.

Ps. we’ll see you Nerd bootlickers soon on your bullshit costly energy package

You Betcha! (24)Nuh Uh.(1)

The Editor’s Choice Awards

RightMi.Com editors weigh in on their favorite anti-prop 15-1 articles.

GasTaxRegistrationFreesHikeWe’ve had plenty to say about proposal 15-1.

In fact, there was so much to be said that we had to create a special category for it, and all things leading up to, and related have been edited by Kevin to reflect their importance to the issue.  While the traditional media sources play the equal opportunity game with both proponents and opponents of HR UU (proposal 15-1), it’s been our position to not do so.  We have maintained that equal opportunity is already a function of those who would lie about its ‘advantages,’ and it needs no further promotion to make it one of the most dangerous options Michiganians have ever faced at the ballot box.

As we wrap up the arguments with only 2 days left before the polls close, RightMi.com editors thought it important to offer up a few ‘MUST READS!’ As you make a special trip to the polls for an election day that you wouldn’t have if the last legislative session would have done its job we have highlighted the most compelling.  The editors have selected 5 or more articles from RightMi.com directly, and one other from anywhere else, traditional or otherwise.

Let the review begin!

You Betcha! (15)Nuh Uh.(2)

Snyder’s People Really do Struggle to Keep Their Lies Straight

Check out the latest installment from MediaNews Group who appears to have taken on a pro Prop 1 slant.

McLellan_Mac_Cen_Vote_Yes_man-behind-the-sceneWith one week until the special statewide election next Tuesday, the Safe Roads Yes ballot campaign is deploying teams of volunteers to call voters and track down unreturned absentee ballots over the proposed constitutional amendment linked to boosting road funding $1.2 billion annually [No it DOES NOT. That is disinformation, Chad.]. The campaign wouldn’t divulge who will be on the bus. [maybe an AFSCME stooge?]

“I don’t care what side you’re on, everyone agrees Michigan’s roads have gone from bad to worse, and they’ve got to get fixed,” said Roger Martin, spokesman for the Safe Roads Yes campaign.

“It is the only solution before us.”

That so, Roger? Your boss doesn’t think so.

You know, it’s become typical of these creeps who get elected to office. They always start believing the lies they spin and overload their asses.

Some of us out here do have memories, you know?STOP-167

You Betcha! (26)Nuh Uh.(0)

MDOT: What’s Another $4,400,000.00? It’s not Like it’s Your Money

This is what arrogance and graft within bureaucracy looks like, folks.

The Michigan Department of Transportation is negotiating a lower lease rate for 23 passenger railcars now costing taxpayers $3,000 a day to sit idle. But the length of time the state could have to lease the cars before it can use them has doubled from two years to four years, according to a report sent to state lawmakers.

At the current lease rates, that means MDOT [taxpayers] would have to sink about another $4.4 million into lease charges before it is able to put the cars into service.

The Free Press on Feb. 1 broke the news of the idle railcars, which are intended for two proposed commuter services in southeast Michigan and so far have cost the state [taxpayers] about $12 million in refurbishment, consulting [more graft] and leasing costs since 2010.

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A half decade. 5 years and the plan is – there is no plan? Despicable. To say that This Guy is an incompetent boob and complete charlatan is an insult to incompetent boobs and charlatans who are forced to somehow figure out ways to survive in the private sector.

Single Cent Snyder is a total disgrace as well is every single legislator still in office who voted for this offensive garbage, which would be forever entrenched into our state’s constitution. And, don’t forget about the embedded fraud to the tune of at least $70M more per year. Do also note that Joan “gets it” about EITC.

Remember when Two Penny Jenny was a bad idea? Ya, well, with Single Cent SnyderIt Only Gets Worse. A lot worse if figuring in this unresolved can of worms.

Second highest Sales Tax in the nation, and the ballot proposal DOES NOT guarantee monies go to roads or schools.

That is fact.
STOP-167

You Betcha! (23)Nuh Uh.(0)

So… Safe Roads, yes?

Michigan traffic deaths fall 8% in ’14

Even the helmet-less motorcyclists strawman numbers are down. So much for the alleged ‘untouchable’ $18,000,000,000.00 *fund* that Lansing politicians are protecting for their insurance industry lobbyist friends, huh? It’s on the table for discussion now, governor Snyder.

You also have noticed that Snyder’s Martin Waymire, and McLellen is now pushing the repair cost meme, right?

GasTaxRegistrationFreesHikeDave Waymire, a spokesman for the Safe Roads Yes ballot committee campaigning for the measure’s passage, said most residents do not claim itemized deductions on federal returns. Crummy roads cost drivers an extra $539 a year in vehicle operating costs [Snyder’s people really cannot keep their figures straight, can they?] due to repairs, tire wear and increased fuel consumption, according to the proposal’s proponents who cite a report from the transportation research group TRIP [another quasi-governmental organization like PASER – that’s a Fact].

“Many Michigan residents today pay a hidden tax for our poor roads by virtue of [incompetency bordering criminal intent] the high cost of repairs that are incurred due to potholes, extra wear and tear on their vehicles,” Waymire said. “If you consider the hidden tax [or the BIGGER hidden tax on top of the 16.7% hike that is Proposal 1], which our opponents refuse to acknowledge, this is a substantial [Zero] savings for Michigan.”

Stop-100Another “unadvertised feature” of the plan is that taxes on fuel sold for boats, off-road vehicles and lawnmowers would rise significantly because the fuel would not be exempt from the sales tax, Anderson said. The new 7 percent sales tax [hike of 16.7%] would only be removed from fuel used to operate motor vehicles on public roads, raising compliance issues [see Here and Here] since the vast majority of fuel is sold by gas stations without regard to whether someone is filling up a car, boat or gas can, according to the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan.

“Some promise it will be fixed. It’s not fixed now, so we included it,” said Anderson. He said he is not a “fan” of Proposal 1 but when his research company crunches numbers, “we do them straight.”

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You do realize that you are being lied to by Snyder’s cabal of *safe roads yes* pushers, right?

You Betcha! (24)Nuh Uh.(0)

Proposal 1: Passing Along Hidden Costs to the Consumer

Uh-oh. A major red flag for consumers should be indifference to us facing what could be the second highest sales tax in the nation on May 6.

Proposal_1_SnyturdAs part of Proposal 1, the May 5 ballot issue that would raise the state’s sales tax [16.7%] from 6 percent to 7 percent, commercial truck registration fees would rise between $100 and $1,000 per vehicle, depending on gross weight. The plan also would end a gradual reduction in registration fees — averaging $40 a year — granted on new passenger vehicles during the first three years of ownership [and loss of federal itemized tax deduction].

The higher fees for commercial trucks would immediately raise $50 million a year, while the fee change for new passenger vehicles eventually would raise an additional $125 million a year.

The extra fees on commercial carriers would be on top of a stiff diesel fuel tax hike also connected to the plan. Despite that, Michigan’s leading trucking association supports the governor’s roads proposal.

“We’re comfortable with the package, but we’re not out there waving the flag,” said Walter Heniritzi, executive director of the Michigan Trucking Association, which has represented motor carriers in the state since 1934.

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Truth be told, Mr. Heniritzi is a small lobby player in this matter so, his go with the flow mentality should be no surprise. He knows whatever is levied onto the trucking industry is passed along to the consumer. The big players will survive, and the smaller operations will go away or, be consumed by the big corporations as they have historically.

Think not? Well, let’s talk for a moment about Prop 1’s “stiff diesel fuel tax hike” for a moment, shall we?

You Betcha! (16)Nuh Uh.(0)

Proposal 1 Comment Of The Day

Well, yesterday’s, as I just noticed today but, it is noteworthy: Click here.

You see, once one moves past what I call Chuck’s cutesy outhouse-genius mentality of telling wondering tales, it all comes down to the $116,000,000.00 baked into Proposal 1 that Chuck & Co. would like to get their hands on for Rick Snyder’s perpetual Detroit bailout and his Utopian moving of chattel schemes.

einstein_simpleThere are many viable Plan B options in the works, and we all know that. The end.

Ps. we all should thank our lucky stars for term limits. Moving to a part time legislature is way past its needing, too.

Pps. does one wonder why Chuck is so sensitive about protecting the insurance lobby sitting on $18 Billion without ever opening up their books for audit?
GasTaxRegistrationFreesHike
Just sayin’…

You Betcha! (22)Nuh Uh.(0)

Rep. Franz Explains the Disaster That is Proposal 1

Wait until you discover zero sales tax dollars goes to roads, and the Education Fund doesn’t mean money going to schools. Enjoy.

Think those additional costs on shipping goods to stores aren’t going to be passed along to you on top of the direct personal hit to the wallet? Better think again about that.

Thanks for voting against this convoluted, Snyder invented perpetual tax hike during the lame duck, Rep. Franz. Also, thanks for being the only Rep. to address this, and the fact there are multiple “Plan B’s” in the works.

STOP-167And, to you out there who are appalled that Lansing had the audacity to foist this abomination onto us, you better get off your asses and Vote NO on May 5, because the news outlet editorial page propagandists pushing Snyder’s agenda is already ramping up their “it’s all we got” meme as noted here and here.

Remember, requirement is 50% + 1 stinking vote is all it takes to entrench this mess into our constitution.

You Betcha! (48)Nuh Uh.(0)

Roads are a Healthcare Issue, huh?

OK, Slick Rick, here’s an $18,000,000,000.00 “insurance policy” waiting for fixing only roads.

So, Snyder’s goal is to protect the insurance industry lobby? Rick Snyder and Brian Calley have a huge credibility problem, yes?

Gilligan's IslandAnd, Snyder is wasting our money on his frivolous River of Opportunity Lake of Lobbyist special interest payola pursuit of this universally despised constitution tampering disaster Proposal.

You Betcha! (21)Nuh Uh.(0)