Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I Signed the Mt. Vernon Statement

The Mount Vernon Statement
Constitutional Conservatism: A Statement for the 21st Century
We recommit ourselves to the ideas of the American Founding. Through the Constitution, the Founders created an enduring framework of limited government based on the rule of law. They sought to secure national independence, provide for economic opportunity, establish true religious liberty and maintain a flourishing society of republican self-government.
See the entire statement here

I hope you will join me in signing this important document.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Great Essay About Waste in Government on Transportation

This essay was submitted to me by David Wisz of Birmingham, Michigan. I edited it only slightly.

Next to National Health Care, no liberal dream has lingered longer than forcing people out of cars and into mass transit – even in Michigan.  Like health care, the justifications shift with the political winds; the current rational is “jobs”.  However, unlike real jobs created by the private sector, taxpayers are forced to subsidize these public sector union “jobs.”

The 2010 SMART bus operating budget is $122 Million to support 900 union employees.  About one-third of the total bus operating expenses are siphoned from Michigan’s Comprehensive Transportation Fund (CTF) - a mass transit subsidy carved from Michigan’s annual road budget.  Nearly all CTF funds come from federal fuel taxes (18.4 centers per gallon), state fuel taxes, and state vehicle registration fees.

CTF is a redistribution of wealth from the Michigan’s car and truck drivers to public sector union-controlled mass transit agencies like SMART bus. Car and truck drivers actually pay substantially more for bus trips they never take than do the bus riders themselves as less than 10% of SMART bus revenue comes from ridership. 

Even now, MI House Bills 5768, 5769 and 5770 have introduced a TAX HIKE of 8 cents on gasoline (currently 19 cents per gallon) and 12 cents on diesel (currently 15 cents per gallon).

Yet even this is not enough…

MI House Bills HB 5731-33 have been introduced to form a Regional Mass Transit Authority which will have the power to levy taxes to subsidize Michigan mass transit projects similar to those in France, Spain and Japan which cost an average of  $51 million per mile.

We have also seen attempts at the County level by “Republican” Oakland County Commissioner Dave Potts who was the only “Republican” to vote with ALL the Democrats for a $17 million county-wide bus TAX HIKE – despite a veto threat by Oakland County Executive, L. Brooks Patterson - in his attempt to subsidize the public sector bus unions.

Now too, on the local level, Troy is pushing a 29% TAX increase, the largest property TAX HIKE in city history and Bloomfield Township is pushing a similar TAX HIKE with the encouragement of Mr. Potts. We already pay for bus trips we never take and may soon subsidize the Troy-Birmingham Transit center Bus Station we will never use. 

Citizens and Business owners are fed up with high taxes and wild government spending on such inefficient mass transit ploys which are primarily designed to TRANSFER WEALTH from taxpayers to public sector unions. Rather than spending more, we should follow the lead of New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie and cut millions from these mass transit boondoggles.

As President Reagan said: “Government does not tax to get the money it needs; government always finds a need for the money it gets.”

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Candice Miller Responds

A few days ago, I reported on an article from the Mackinac Center based on a report by the Club for Growth. You can read my article here:

I received an email recently from Eric Ventimiglia of Candice Miller's office. He copied me on a communication from Congresswoman Miller and asked me to share it with my readers: I am happy to oblige.

“It is interesting that over half of Michigan's Republican Congressional delegation was graded as failing on some cherry-picked arbitrary grading system in regards to being fiscally conservative.   Members of Congress take thousands of votes, so obviously if you want to, you can always find some you don't agree with.  I would respectfully point out that on what I consider to be the marquis votes on demonstrating true fiscal conservationism,   I believe I have reflected the will of the majority of my constituents. Some examples include:
  • I voted against the TARP Wall Street bailout twice
  • I voted against the $787 billion stimulus bill
  • I voted against raising the debt limit by 1.9 billion
  • I voted against the Cap and Trade Energy tax bill
  • I voted against the government takeover of the health care system
  • I voted against Obama's budget
  • I voted many, many times for amendments that would have cut almost $100 billion from the overall budget… 
One other item of note:  I have made a conscious effort not to abuse the process-- my requests have been for hospitals, domestic violence abuse shelters, local first responders, military construction projects at Selfridge, etc.  However, this year I will not be requesting any earmarks, as I hope we can fix a now broken system. 
Additionally I would point out that I am a co-sponsor of legislation that requires the Federal Reserve to be audited, as well as a balanced budget constitutional amendment.  Anyway, my point is, there will always be some votes that reasonable folks will disagree on-- I appreciate that--but I sincerely feel that I represent the values of the majority of the hard-working men and women that have given me the honor of representing them in the U.S. House of Representatives, not only on issues of fiscal conservatism but other core value issues like the sanctity of life and constitutionally guaranteed right to bear arms.”

RePORK Card for Michigan

"The Myrtle Beach International Trade and Conference Center", "The Institute for Seafood Studies", "The Commercial Kitchen Business Incubator Project", "potato research in Idaho, Oregon and Washington." Would your Congressman vote on earmarks to spend your tax dollars on such projects as these? Apparently so.

Club for Growth has issued their annual RePORK card.
The scorecard consists of 68 earmark-killing amendments introduced by U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake, R-AZ, and two of his budget-cutting allies in Congress. These legislators launched a similar assault on earmarks during the 2008 federal budget battle. Support from Michigan politicians for five of the targeted spending projects were examined in the September/October 2009 Michigan Capitol Confidential. Read their full report here.

Of the fifteen Congressman from Michigan, only four received a passing grade. Here are the rankings:
HoekstraPete Hoekstra.................................97% (A)
McCotterThad McCotter................................85% (B+)
EhlersVern Ehlers.....................................78% (B-)
RogersMike Rogers....................................66% (D+)
Fred Upton......................................53% (F)
Mark Schauer.................................43% (F)
Candice Miller................................31% (F)
Dave Camp.....................................24% (F)
Gary Peters.....................................1% (F)
Everyone Else (Conyers, Dingell, Kildee, Cheeks-Kilpatrick, Levin, Stupak............0% (F)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Fight The Gas Tax Increase!

Town Hall meetings on the massive Ball and Byrnes gas and diesel fuel tax hikes, HB 5768 & HB 5769 will be coming to a town near you. It is an effort by big-government pols to gin up support for these huge tax increases. (8 cents per gallon on gas and 12 cents per gallon on diesel.) Democrat Speaker Pro-tem and Transportation Appropriations Chair, Pam Byrnes will be chairing these local town hall meetings.

This is your opportunity to let your voice be heard. These are public meetings. Byrnes and company will undoubtedly attempt to pack the meetings with union bosses and big-government supporters who will express their support. They were not very forthcoming with details to the public about these meetings. In fact, we received this sketchy information just today:
  • Monday, February 22, 10:00 a.m. Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Texas Twp. Campus (map)
  • Monday, March 8, 10:00 a.m. Northwestern Michigan College, Traverse City (map)
  • Monday, March 22, 10:00 a.m. Eagle Crest Conference Center, Ypsilanti (map)
If you are a blogger in one of these communities, please get the word out. You can learn more about these bills here and here.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Home Improvement by Government Committee. Is Anyone Surprised at the Price?

"I'm from the government, and I can caulk your house for just $57,000. But, don't worry about it, the taxpayers will cover it." Read the NRO story here. Read the Los Angeles Times story here.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

There is so much pork, they have to start shooting the pigs in the street!

2010 Senate Bill 1136 (Authorize shooting of at-large swine ) Introduced by Sen. Ron Jelinek (R) on February 11, 2010, to allow animal control officers or individuals with any hunting license to kill swine running at large on public property.
  • Referred to the Senate Agriculture and Bioeconomy Committee on February 11, 2010. 
Read the text of the bill here.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Center Right Meeting Feb. 18, 9:30 a.m. Lansing

Ingham Building
116 West Ottawa (Next to House Biggby)
9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Confirmed Guests:
* Ron Weiser, Michigan State GOP Chairman
* Patrick Wright, Mackinac: Unwilling Union Members - revisited
* Jay Riemersma, Candidate for Congress
* Randy Bain, Bedford Township: Road Tax
* James Dally, Business Owner: How Local Municipalities "Do Business" with Contract Bids
* Dave Agema (and others): The Governor's Budget for 2011

We are sure to have a great meeting. Ron Weiser, GOP state Party Chairman will be updating on how we are going to "win in '10". Patrick Wright and others, will be updating us on how 40,000+ family-owned day care centers will be paying union dues, unwillingly and how the "union" continues to operate even after their funding was cut off.

Jay Riemersma will tell us why he is running for Congress in the 2nd district, currently held by Pete Hoekstra. Randy Bain, from Bedford Township in Monroe County will tell us about a road tax the township is trying to impose on its citizens. James Dally, from Mavcon Construction will tell us several examples of how local governments are apparently awarding construction contracts arbitrarily, to 5th, 6th and 7th lowest qualified bidders. Dave Agema will update on us on how the governor intends to raise several hundred million in new taxes without causing a taxpayer revolt. It will blow you away!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Kalamazoo County Democrat Party Chair: A Real Classy Guy!

Southwest Michigan Tea Party Activist Scott Arnett, kindly invited the Kalamazoo County Democrats to attend the Ronald Reagan birthday party celebration this Saturday. Seems like a sensible and courteous thing to do, especially since many independent and democrat voters are members of local tea party groups. Here is part of that invitation:

This is a formal invitation to the county Democratic Party to help celebrate the 99th birthday of the Great Communicator. We are holding a birthday party for President Ronald Reagan on Feb. 6th at the Fetzer Center Auditorium on the WMU campus. The festivities will be held at 11am to 2:30pm, including cake and ice cream. Please let your fellow leadership, candidates, and caucus know that the timeless principles and economic philosophy of President Reagan are to be remembered and celebrated.

Mr. Pawloski was not content to politely decline. He had to show his class (or lack thereof) with the following response, which I received a copy of:

I passed your invitation onto our leadership and they collectively agreed to tell you to take your invitation fold it five ways and stick it where the moon don’t shine!
PS: Your website violates campaign finance laws. Tell that to the derilict jack hoogydick and his cronies who are funding your rinky dink operation.
David C. Pawloski, Chair
Kalamazoo County Democratic Party

Not only does Mr. Pawloski lack class and common courtesy, he isn't a very good speller, either.

Governor Granholm to Give State of State speech from Capitol Steps?!

Traditionally, the governor gives her state of the state address from inside the chamber of the House of Representatives. We have found out that the governor reserved the steps outside for tomorrow night. Is she giving her speech from outside, or is she just trying to discourage taxpayers and voters from gathering to exercise their right to free speech on the steps of the building that "we the people" own?

The media is reporting there may be 1,000 people in attendance outside the Capitol. Those steps might be kinda crowded. Come tomorrow night and find out!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Rick Snyder to Launch Campaign During Super Bowl

I received an e-mail blast from the Snyder campaign announcing that he will be doing TV ads during the Super Bowl. Considering that they are produced by Strategic Perception Inc., of Hollywood California, which has done ads for John McCain and Arnold Schwarzenegger, they should be stellar!

Snyder and Schwarzenegger and McCain, oh, my!