Tag Archive for Detroit Bankruptcy

Who Rules Michigan?

The Administrative State or the People?

The titanic political struggle unfolding in Washington is sucking the oxygen out of Michigan politics, but is analogous to the central political struggle which has been playing out here in Michigan for 48 years. Political media breathlessly report on a struggle between liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans. This struggle is not between Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, nor RINOs and true believers. The Democrats, liberals, and RINOs are completely discredited in Michigan, as they are across most of the United States. All that remains of them is jammed into the Hillary archipelago.

The present political struggle is between the people and the administrative state. Call it bureaucracy, deep state, or administrative state: they are unelected government employees, their agents in the media, and the select beneficiaries of government largess. Their opponents in this struggle are the majority of Americans and Michiganders who pay the price for the administrative state; a now seething mass whose ascendancy was a rude surprise to the administrative state.

The outcome of the struggle in Washington is yet to be determined, but in Michigan the administrative state is clearly winning despite its total responsibility for the Flint water fiasco. The administrative state owns Governor Snyder body and soul. The administrative state will stop at nothing to manipulate the Michigan Legislature when the chips are down. Refractory (but innocent) legislators are expelled before legal process while cooperative (but guilty) legislators sit unfettered until legal process is completed.

How else can you explain the PA 177 of 2015 road tax package, indistinguishable from the soundly trounced Proposal 2015-01? Or the bogus Detroit bankruptcy which somehow neglected a $ 491 million financial hole which will haunt the city with a vengeance in 2024? Half the city’s annual budget. Or the refusal of Michigan government units at all levels to even consider tax reductions due to the simmering public employee pension catastrophe? Those pensions enjoyed by members of the administrative state are but a distant memory to the Michiganders who pay them.  Indeed, all of Michigan’s units of government are jacking up fees to get around Headlee Amendment taxation limits.

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The DPS Bailout – The Bankruptcy Alternative Not Taken

Part I - No, The Richmond USD Case Did Not Challenge U.S. Bankruptcy Court Authority

Daniel Howes ImageGovernor Snyder browbeat the Michigan Legislature to approve the $ 617 million bailout of Detroit Public Schools which he signed today by regaling them with a parade of horribles which would occur if the bailout was defeated and DPS was forced to file for bankruptcy. Daniel Howes regurgitated Governor Snyder’s compelling tales of impending doom delivered behind closed doors in a Detroit News article, but was any of it true?

Right at the top of Governor Snyder’s parade of horribles was the Federal bankruptcy filing of the Richmond [California] Unified School District on April 19, 1991 . Governor Snyder portrayed the outcome of this action as the U.S. Bankruptcy Court denying the petition and ordering the State of California to financially bail out the district.  From Daniel Howes’ article:

There is scant precedence for school districts filing for bankruptcy, the Snyder administration found. In 1990, according to an administration letter to state Rep. Laura Cox, R-Livonia, the Richmond Unified School District in Northern California filed for bankruptcy because of $42.5 million in debt. The judge ruled the district could not be protected by the court in bankruptcy and ordered the state to provide the district with operating funds.

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

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Southeastern Michigan Water Fight

Last Act of the Detroit Bankruptcy Stumbles Behind a Wall of Secrecy

Water is Money Image 2The final Detroit bankruptcy plan established a 14 June deadline to reach an agreement transferring operating control of the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department’s (DW&SD) assets outside of Detroit to the newly created Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA). The State of Michigan, Detroit, Wayne County, Oakland County and Macomb County all signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) creating the GLWA late last year, subject to a 200-day due diligence period. Under the MoU, the City of Detroit would receive a $ 50 million annual lease payment from the GLWA while retaining full control of DW&SD assets and operations within the city. Erstwhile DW&SD customers outside Detroit were promised a 4% cap on annual water and sewerage increases for a 10 year period, which have been running above 10% per annum, in residential bills, in most Southeastern Michigan communities.

In point of fact, what has actually been occurring are secret negotiations over future tax increases across Southeastern Michigan. Water rates have become a surrogate form of incremental taxation. These negotiations will set tax fee increment rates for decades into the future. For taxpayers ratepayers who haven’t even been born yet. How are these negotiations going?

No one who knows is talking. Why?

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Mackinac Policy Conference At The Grand Hotel: Protect Your Wallet!

Detroit Chamber's Mackinac Policy Conference 2015 Starts Today - You Won't Like The Outcome

Is that a donkey in front of the Grand Hotel?

Is that a donkey in front of the Grand Hotel?

Later today Michigan’s Self Very Important Persons start checking in at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s 2015 Mackinac Policy Conference held on Mackinac Island. At $ 2,150 per person for Chamber members and $ 2,925 for Chamber wannabees, average Michiganders will not be much in evidence. The attendees list reads like the last itemized contribution report for SafeRoadsYes!, along with the clueless Michigan politicians who endorsed Proposal 1.

The Detroit Regional Chamber’s “Vision and Pillars” for the 2015 Conference is innocuous enough, but the Conference’s agenda is far less oblique. A host of left luminaries and crony capitalists orbiting Michigan government will be plotting higher taxes, bigger spending, and more vexatious regulations.  When they are not drinking.

The official agenda is all about Detroit, Michigan schools, alternative business subsidies, and the roads, but there is also the transformation of Detroit Water & Sewerage Department into the Great Lakes Water Authority lurking in the background. Roads are the most interesting part of the official 2015 Conference agenda, given the near universal support for Proposal 1 amongst the attendees. Despite touting ‘vision’, expect the Conference to endorse new taxes over improved efficiencies and better engineering.

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“All those in favor say ‘Aye’. Any opposed? Seeing none, the motion is approved.”

This is not the time for chutzpa!

If our elected representatives in Lansing are in need of any suggestions to “find” money to reallocate towards more important matters affecting Michigan, a local vote that was taken yesterday afternoon by an advisory committee would be my recommendation for a great place to start.

{Story continues below}

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Ugh, work is stupid!

Let’s all take a break.

Just when you thought that the Three-ring Circus that tries to pass itself off as “leadership” couldn’t make an even bigger ass of themselves than they already have done to date, they just turn around and surprise you.

Same cast of characters. Same city.

And another example of ungrateful children pretending to be mature adults wasting your hard earned money.

{Click below to find out who they are and what they have done this time}

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Boy, are these people stupid!

Chumps!

Morons!

Idiots!

Dupes!

Simpletons!

Fools!

Betcha think these comments regarding Michigan Taxpayers was “secretly” overheard coming from the confab between Gov. Snyder, Ex-Speaker Bolder, Ex-Sen. Richardville, Rep. Greimel & Ex-Sen Whitmer last December just before they announced placing Prop 15-1 before Michigan Voters?

Close, but not quite.

{Tantalizing details after the fold}

You Betcha! (9)Nuh Uh.(0)

Will the real Rick Snyder, please stand up?

The governor’s spin people are certainly working overtime trying to pour industrial quantities of perfume on his latest pig (a.k.a. Detroit Bailout).

I’m not going to go (too much) into why this was a terrible package of bills. I’ve done that enough already.

No, today I’m going to go into why Gov. Snyder can’t just show just a tad of integrity, take a position on an issue and simply stick with it.

It really isn’t that difficult to do (unless of course your name is Rick Snyder).

{Continued after the fold}

 

You Betcha! (6)Nuh Uh.(1)

We’re looking at a new level of cognitive dissonance coming from Lansing.

A long time ago, I would be asked to accompany family members who wanted to go to the local Fretter or Highland whenever they wanted to buy any appliances/electronics (yes, I know that I’m dating myself here). Part of it was because they knew that I had a vehicle big enough to bring home whatever they bought without much trouble. The other was that I could usually be counted on to hook it up after I brought it in.

One of the things I hated most about those experiences was dealing with the salesmen when actually making the purchase.

Even though my relatives were usually buying something listed in the newspaper ad so what we should be paying going out the door wasn’t a mystery, at the counter the salesman would always give them that sincere look and always ask them if they wanted to purchase additional items to go with what they were there to buy in the first place. Looking a little baffled at the salesman’s question and not appearing certain about how to answer, I’d step in at that point and tell them firmly, but politely, that I’ve hooked up enough TV’s, stereos, etc. to know what else I would need to get it to work and would’ve had it on the counter if we actually needed it. Being a little put off, but still undiscouraged, they turn to them again and ask about getting additional “warranty/insurance coverage” for their purchase. More often than not, it wasn’t any better than the manufacturer’s warranty. I strongly told them “no” for a second time.

At the time I didn’t know this, but they were using a technique called “upselling” which is a used for the benefit of the seller in additional to the actual sale of the item.

“Upselling” is also a technique being used by the Republican Leadership in Lansing to rationalize to the people they represent why they have abandoned their own stated principle of, ‘government practicing fiscal responsibility and allow individuals to keep more of the money they earn.’

 

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