Friday, January 29, 2010

Another Lost Opportunity: Too Much Regulation and Taxation

I recently received a letter from a reader. Here are her thoughts, summarized.

My husband was negotiating with a foreign company to open a processing plant for our dehydrated fruits and vegetables and a distribution center in the United States for our products. He had been offered the job of managing the distribution center. The owners came here to review his idea. They found many advantages to locating in Michigan:

  • Warehousing cost were favorable
  • West Michigan growers and their supply of fruit and vegetables was advantageous
  • Outbound shipping was favorable, even a day faster than larger cities in other states
  • Available labor pool was favorable
With all these positives, they chose another state to open their Distribution Center and Processing Plant. The reasons:

  • Michigan Single Business Tax
  • Excessive state and local licensing fees
  • Electricity (to operate the drying equipment) was too expensive
My husband and I cannot relocate, he would be too far away to operate our farm and work for the company. Our farm and my business are still here. If we could get what we owe on the farm, we would be out of Michigan. Instead, we have been blown away...just like Governor Granholm said we would.

Tell Gery Peters, "No thanks" Tomorrow, in His Neighborhood

9th Congressional District Republican Party
Concerned Citizens will Gather to Rally Against Socialized Medicine and FOR Consumer Choice in Health Care 

Tomorrow, Saturday, January 30, 2010, from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM, a gathering of tea party activists, Republicans, independents and conservative Democrats from the 9th district and surrounding areas will gather in Bloomfield Township, near U.S. Congressman Gary Peters’ home, to tell Mr. Peters, “No Thanks” to the healthcare takeover scheme that continues to be pushed by Congressional Democrats and President Obama. 

The activists will also be walking the surrounding neighborhoods with literature detailing the huge boondoggle this massive government entitlement would be.  The printed material will have information about how to contact Congressman Peters and encourage frustrated citizens to respectfully express their opinion on his previous ‘yes’ vote, as well as urging him to vote ‘no’ on any further consideration on the package of bills.  Special guest speakers will include Americans for Prosperity State Board Chair, Jack Hoogendyk. 

Activists will gather at the MDOT carpool parking lot at I-75 and exit 74 (Adams Road), Bloomfield Township, near the northwest corner of Adams & Square Lake Roads. 

Monday, January 25, 2010

Congress Flies to Denmark - You Get the Bill. ($1,000,000)

CBS News Reports:
For 15 Democratic and 6 Republican Congressmen, food and rooms for two nights cost $4,406 tax dollars each. That's $2,200 a day - more than most Americans spend on their monthly mortgage payment.

CBS News asked members of Congress and staff about whether they're mindful that it's public tax dollars they're spending. Many said they had never even seen the bills or the expense reports.

Total hotel, meeting rooms and "a couple" of $1,000-a-night hospitality suites topped $400,000.

Flights weren't cheap, either. Fifty-nine House and Senate staff flew commercial during the Copenhagen rush. They paid government rates -- $5-10,000 each -- totaling $408,064. Add three military jets -- $168,351 just for flight time -- and the bill tops $1.1 million dollars.

And who went on the trip? (Michigan Delegation in bold)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer
Rep. George Miller
Rep. Henry Waxman
Rep. Ed Markey
Rep. Charles Rangel
Rep. Bart Gordon
Rep. James Sensenbrenner
Rep. Sander Levin
Rep. Joe Barton 
Rep. Fred Upton
Rep. Earl Blumenauer
Rep. Diana DeGette
Rep. Jay Inslee
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito
Rep. John Sullivan
Rep. Tim Ryan
Rep. GK Butterfield
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords
Rep. Marsha Blackburn
President Obama
Sen. James Inhofe
Sen. John Kerry

Read the full CBS Report here.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Hit and Run, Below-the-Belt Politics

On January 19th, I moderated a Town Hall Meeting in Kalamazoo, Michigan on the Health Care bill working its way through Congress. One of the guest speakers was Congressman Pete Hoekstra. After his initial presentation, he took some questions. One of the questions he was asked was whether he regretted his decision to vote for the bailout. His complete answer, paraphrased, was that he could defend it based on what he knew at the time and how essential he felt it was, but that looking back from where we are today and how the money was misused, he regrets it.

It looks like someone from the Rick Snyder campaign, playing gotcha politics, recorded the entire forum and took about 8 seconds of Pete Hoekstra's answer where he said, "...I can defend it..." and put it out on You Tube as a hit piece. The attempt is to make it look like like Pete unapologetically defends his decision. Apparently the Snyder campaign does not observe Ronald Reagan's Eleventh Commandment: "Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow republican." But, then, Mr. Snyder has a very highly paid consulting firm that has the money and the scruples (or lack thereof) to to spend on such low-ball tactics.

Too bad.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Compulsory Education to Age 18: Bad Idea. Repeal: Good Idea

Just before the holidays, the legislature passed "Race To The Top" legislation into law. These bills were essentially improvements in how we educate children in Michigan. The motivation for it may not have been the best: to be eligible for millions in federal money. But, in the end, the legislation was pretty good stuff. You can read the objectives here. The Democrats slipped a "compulsory education to age 18" bill in as part of the package,even though it was not part of the federal mandates.

There is no evidence, (zero, none, nada) that keeping kids in school two more years improves test scores or achievement. But the bill was passed anyway.

On January 20, Senator Randy RICHARDVILLE, with co-sponsorships from NOFS, CROPSEY, PAPPAGEORGE, KAHN, JANSEN, HARDIMAN, GILBERT and JELINEK, introduced SB 1076, which will simply repeal the mandatory attendance to 18 and bring it back down to 16. Kudos to these Senators for removing his unneeded expansion of government. Let's allow the parents be responsible for keeping their children in school as long as they believe they should.

Center Right Coalition Meeting Friday. Get There Early!

Farmington Hills Public Library
12:00 - 1:30 p.m. Friday, January 22
32737 W. 12 Mile Road, Farmington Hills

Confirmed Guests: 

  • Pete Hoekstra, Candidate for Governor
  • Brian Rooney, Candidate for US Congress
  • Simon Haddad, Clinton Township: PA 312 Repeal Resolution
  • Patrick Wright, Paul Kersey, Mackinac Center for Public Policy
  • Debbie DeBacker, Troy Citizens United: 29% City Tax Increase Proposal
  • David Wisz, Birmingham Traffic and Safety Board: The $17 Million "Green Transit Center to Nowhere"
  • And others...

Planning to come? Please RSVP.