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.’
Shortly after Gov. Snyder and Speaker Bolger were mutually congratulating themselves on what a wonderful job they had done saving Detroit from itself. They made a few statements before last week’s Mackinac Junket.
“Today we saw lawmakers from across our state coming together to help make a brighter future for Detroit – and all of Michigan. I thank state House of Representative members for their bipartisan work on a settlement that will help Detroit pensioners and ultimately save taxpayers millions of dollars. This is a thoughtful plan that provides key safeguards protecting Michigan’s taxpayers while helping resolve Detroit’s long-standing challenges.
“I especially appreciate the leadership of Speaker Jase Bolger, House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel, Rep. John Walsh , and Rep. Thomas Stallworth III. I’m looking forward to consideration of the package in our state Senate.
“This settlement will allow us to more quickly resolve the bankruptcy issues, and create a solid, sustainable fiscal foundation to support Detroit’s continuing turnaround. This is essential for the city’s 700,000 residents, who are seeing improved vital services and quality of life. But these efforts are about helping all of our state. Detroit is an important part of Michigan’s identity. Let the city’s resurgence show the world that Michiganders are standing together and growing stronger as we accelerate our continuing comeback.”
First off, if he had actually taken the time to actually read the package of bills, (conveniently located here…Thank you, Mackinac Center!), the “safeguards” the governor mentioned are pure bunk.
None of these bills are tie-barred together!
If a well-heeled constituency gets to bend the ear of the Michigan Senate enough this week (cough, cough, the DIA), that protection for Taxpayers is gone, yet the bailout still gets paid out to Detroit. What other “protections” might gets stripped out if the Senate fails to pass or Snyder refuses to sign a bill he disagrees with?
I would also recommend that the governor get out more often. Detroit might be a part of Michigan’s identity, but it’s for all the wrong reasons. When I’m on the road and people ask me where I’m from, their initial reaction is akin to terror.
I’m sorry, but how does Michigan Taxpayers spending over $600-million (more on that total amount below), ultimately end up saving money?
In commenting about a “Detroit rescue done right” (sic), Speaker Bolger had this to say before running up 127,
“…This begs the question: Who would be forced to pay this tab? We cannot ignore a potential $3.5 billion threat to our kids’ and grandkids’ futures.
If this case were not settled, the proceedings and litigation would go on for many years. The legal fees for the first year alone hit $36 million. Many more years would mean many more millions. A “loss” in the bankruptcy case would cost taxpayers well over $3.5 billion in debt and well over $50 million in legal fees…”
The pensioners aren’t exactly dancing in the streets over this and a significant number are pledging to vote “no” as part of a protest vote over a lower pension than what they were originally promised.
This protest vote also goes a long way towards explaining a “clerical mistake” on Kevyn Orr’s end this week resulting in a voiding and re-sending out of approximately 2,000 ballots to Detroit Retirees. I mean, what are the odds of a financial expert with his education & experience making such a mistake like this?
Speaking of people owed money, I don’t think that FGIC & Syncoria will go quietly into the night for just cents on the dollar.
Aside from creatively interpreting bankruptcy law, I’m still waiting for a rationale on why Detroit assets (i.e. DIA, Detroit Water and Sewer Department, etc.) are sacrosanct and off-limits.
So, remind me again why this NOT going to court Speaker Bolger?
Moving on here, much like Al Jolson used to say, “You ain’t heard nothin’ yet!” We’re finally getting a glimpse of Detroit post-bailout.
Thinking that the (Michigan Taxpayer) money is in the bank and they are safely out of the woods, Detroit’s Elected Officials quickly demonstrated how different they are from the people who ran Detroit’s finances into bedrock.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan was quoted in The Detroit Free Press last week saying,
“We have no intention of keeping Jones Day,” Duggan’s spokeswoman and chief of staff, Alexis Wiley, told the Free Press. “We have every intention of running this city, and that means both services and finances.”
Firing the people who will have spent 18-months fixing 50+ years of fiscal madness. Word on the street is that EM Orr has restored Detroit City Council’s office budget to near pre-bankruptcy levels. And who could forget when Mayor Duggan and Councilwoman Jones were protesting the Michigan State Police actually enforcing the law on Belle Isle? Explain to me again how Detroiters running Detroit isn’t going to go anything but hopelessly bad?
If only there was something, I don’t know, like state oversight into Detroit’s budget. Something that was connected with the other bills, like language tie-barring them together, so that the inmates aren’t running the asylum.
Finally, I would be remiss if I had forgotten to mention one other machination by EM Orr in the works.
Not giving up from his earlier failure, EM Orr is pushing for a regional water authority to run DWSD.
Buried in the particulars is a change to how pensions are funded.
Unlike his old plan, his new plan came up with brilliant feature to reduce the time to fully fund DWSD pensions from 30-years down to 10.
Yes, that’s right! Those living outside of Detroit get to pay for DSWD’s inability to run itself profitably. And we get to do it to the tune of about half a billion dollars!
All told, we should be happy to pay over $600-million ($194.8 for the Detroit Bailout and $428.5-million on DWSD pensions), but Gov Snyder found an interesting way to upsell this to Michigan Taxpayers in The Detroit News.
“Instead of paying your mortgage over 30 years, you pay it over 10 years, saving even more money,” Snyder told The News. “It doesn’t cost the ratepayers any more. It’s just an acceleration of the payment schedule. It actually saves the ratepayers money in the long-term.”
So using Gov. Snyder’s own logic, I should tell my bank that I don’t want a 30-year mortgage which fits my budget. What I really want a 10-year mortgage and according to Gov. Snyder own rationale, there shouldn’t be any difference in my payments at all.
I’m sure that’ll go well with my bank.
Look, It’s bad enough that Detroit has a history of not wanting to do the work involved in staying viable, like collecting the money that it is owed for services rendered.
But thanks to people like Gov Snyder and Rep. Bolger, why should we hold that against little quirk against them?
Interestingly enough, Gov. Snyder feels that these issues should be separate and not be connected in any way before this week’s vote in the Michigan Senate.
Speaking as a taxpayer/ratepayer, I strongly disagree.
Who else shares that viewpoint?
Oh, and did I mention that the Michigan Senate is reported to be taking up these bills sometime this week.