Wednesday, November 30, 2011

How to Resart Congress: Term Limits

Senator Jim DeMint
South Carolina Republican Jim DeMint has introduced an amendment to the Constitution that would apply term limits to members of Congress.

Ten Republican Senators joined DeMint in his call to limit U.S. Representatives to three terms and U.S. Senators to two terms in office.

“If we’re ever going to permanently change Washington, we must change the process that encourages career politicians to amass personal power instead of making the hard decisions for the nation,” said Senator DeMint. “We need true citizen legislators who spend their time defending the constitution, not currying favor with lobbyists. We need new leaders continually coming to Congress to ensure every taxpayer dollar is spent wisely, not wasted on Washington special interests. We must end the era of permanent politicians that has led us to a $14 trillion debt and a pending fiscal crisis.” Read more.

Senator Joe Hune Works to Save the Family Farm

Senator Hune
From Joe's Newsletter:
Generations of children have learned the value of honest work and gained valuable life skills on family farms across our great state.

Yet proposed revisions to federal child labor regulations could put that way of life at risk. I co-sponsored a resolution calling on the U.S. Department of Labor to stop a proposal to prohibit youth under age 16 from performing any agricultural work with animals and all work if the farm is owned by a family member other than the child's parents - even grandparents or siblings.

Certainly, we want to protect our young people in the workplace, but the proposed federal rules show an amazing lack of knowledge of how family farms operate.

The revisions would not only impact family operations, but could eliminate all 4-H, FFA and Extension training programs and prohibit kids under age 16 from raising animals and showing them at county fairs.

I urge the federal government to look at ways to promote our agricultural heritage, not undermine it.
Senator Emmons
Read the text of Senate Resolution 94, sponsored by Senator Judy Emmons here.

Obama About to Kill the Family Farm?

From For centuries, even before there was Willie Nelson and FarmAid, farming throughout the world (including here in the United States) has largely been a family affair. That is, parents and their children (when not in school) work from dawn until dusk to put food on the family table, and the tables of others.

Recognizing this, when child labor laws were developed in the last century, there was an exemption built in for family farms. Now, however, the concept of the family farm may be getting gutted if the Obama Labor Department has its way. Read more.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Automobile Prices Going Up...Way UP?

Is this the Luxury car of the Future?
Brace yourself. The cost of a new car in America is set to explode, skyrocketing by thousands of dollars, all thanks to a new regulation proposed by President Barack Obama's Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Under a new 893-page proposal unveiled last week, automakers must hit a fleet-wide fuel economy average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025--double today's 27.3 standard. The government says it would cost automakers $8.5 billion per year to comply, which means a spike in sticker prices of at least $2,000 to $2,800, according to official projections. Other estimates peg the added costs at $3,100, and that could go even higher. As The Wall Street Journal writes, "Vehicles that currently cost $15,000 or less will effectively be regulated out of existence." Read more.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving: The Result of Free Enterprise and Prayer

Here is a lesson in free-market capitalism and dependence on God, learned almost 400 years ago, on our very shores. from the book: “The Landing of the Pilgrims” by James Daugherty, published by Landmark Press, 1950.

“1623 – Spring had come. It was March and the frost had come out of the hard ground, leaving soft and wet mud. The last handfuls of corm were being given out in equal rations from the common store. Only the precious seed corn for planting was left. On it depended the settlers’ survival from starvation. The time for third planting was at hand. Each year the Governor divided the common land equally among the families. The sounder church members usually got the best lots. 

Last year this had caused discontent and there had been some grumbling. Some were workers and some were shirkers, but all received equal amounts of food from the common supply. This was taken up at the town meeting. It was decided that each family should keep the crop it raised on its allotted land. Each little farm would be a free enterprise. There would be no common store. Each would work for himself.

The result was wonderful. Each family, even the women and the children, worked in the fields daily from dawn until dark. Every inch of each field was planted and tended. There never had been such a planting. They had no plows, horses, or oxen. With spades and mattocks they loosened the earth, planted two fish in each hill, and dropped in the hard kernels. At night they took turns watching to keep the wolves from digging up the fish. The lean and ragged colonists tended their greening fields with a new pride and energy. The laziness and indifference of “communitie” had vanished like the sea mist before the sun.” 

The story goes on to describe how spring turned to summer. Six weeks went by with no rain. Finally, the pilgrims gathered at the meeting house and prayed for eight hours, non-stop as the sun shone brightly in the “brassy July sky.” That night the rain came “without either wind, or thunder, or any violence, and by degreese in that abundance, as that ye earth was thorowly wete and soaked therwith…the Lord sent them such seasonable showers, with interchange of faire warm weather, as through His blessing caused a fruitful and liberall harvest, to their no small comfort and rejoyceing. For which mercie (in time conveniente) they also sett aparte a day of thanksgiving.”

Can you believe that this book was common reading material in the public schools?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Union Charges Dues to Parents Caring for Their Own Disabled Children

Robert Haynes feeds his son who has cerebral palsy
How insidious is it that the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) charges a family union dues for providing care to their own children who are afflicted with cerebral palsy? Under a scheme originally cooked up during the Granholm administration, home health-care "workers" have been placed in a union, in many cases without their knowledge or consent. The stipend they get from the state has monthly dues deducted, which go to the SEIU. Read more here.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Chinese Have Control of Our Satellites, Says Federal Government

nasasat1 US Satellites Compromised by Malicious Cyber Activity
Recently, I wrote a blog about concerns expressed by former Professor of aerospace engineering, William Kauffman. He has asserted, and has been saying for several years now, that the University of Michigan, and other universities in the United States are transferring sensitive military technologies to Chinese Nationals who are enrolled as students. Nobody seems to be listening.

Yesterday, ABC News reported, "US Satellites Compromised by Malicious Cyber Activity."

According to a report just issued by the U.S.-CHINA ECONOMIC AND SECURITY REVIEW COMMISSION, “Chinese military writings advocate attacks on space-to ground communications links and ground-based satellite control facilities in the event of a conflict. The report noted that in [two] instances, “The responsible party achieved all steps required to command the satellite but did not issue commands.” The report mentions the serious implications the intrusions could have on the satellite systems, particularly if they were directed against more sensitive systems such as military or communications satellites.

“If executed successfully, such interference has the potential to pose numerous threats, particularly if achieved against satellites with more sensitive functions. For example, access to a satellite’s controls could allow an attacker to damage or destroy the satellite,” the report read.

So, if I have this right, the Chinese Nationals have figured out how to control and command our satellites, but they have chosen not to implement the commands...yet. And, apparently, the ChiComs are getting the education from us on our American university campuses, AND, the taxpayers are subsidizing their education.

Meanwhile, China has increased its military budget by double-digits every year for the last ten years.

Let me know if I am missing something.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Auto and TARP Bailout Cost to Taxpayers: $81 Billion

The Detroit News has reported that the Auto Bailout cost to taxpayers has been boosted to $23.6 billion, and the cost for the Troubled Asset Relief Program has been increased to $57.33 billion.

Once again, government has demonstrated to us that, no matter how bad something may be, and no matter how expensive it might be to "fix" in the private sector, it will ALWAYS be worse if the government gets their hands into it. It is a simple problem, really. Either you (the business) fix your own problem with your own company's money, which encourages a certain level of personal responsibility because its your money. Or, you fix your problem with OPM (other people's money), which requires very little personal responsibility because, after all, "it ain't MY money!"

Read the story here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

School Millage Fails by 55% - 45% Why?

MATTAWAN — An organization headed by former state Rep. Jack Hoogendyk sponsored robocalls last week warning Mattawan school district residents about the cost of a $59.9 million bond issue on the Nov. 8 ballot.

The Citizens’ Alliance for Life & Liberty paid for a round of calls on Nov. 7, the day before the election, and then another round Thursday, said Hoogendyk, the organization’s executive director.

Hoogendyk taped both messages, including Thursday’s call thanking residents for voting. About 55 percent of Mattawan Consolidated School voters rejected the request, which would have financed construction of two new elementary schools and upgraded technology for secondary students.

In the Nov. 7 call, Hoogendyk said the Mattawan bond proposal was “about four times higher than any previous bonding proposal in the school district’s history. .... If you are over 40, you will most likely be paying this tax increase as long as you own property in the school district.”

Hoogendyk, a Mattawan schools resident, said the point of the call was to provide information on an important local issue.

“I don’t want to hide the fact that I was personally opposed to the bond and I wanted it defeated,” said Hoogendyk, who is well-known for his strong anti-tax stance.

The Nov. 7 call did not say the call was from the Citizens’ Alliance for Life & Liberty, which was an oversight, Hoogendyk said.

Although state election law does not require identification for robocalls, Hoogendyk said his group paid for the second round of calls on Thursday to make it clear it sponsored the calls earlier in the week.

“I wanted people to know it was us,” Hoogendyk said. “We weren’t trying to run and hide.”

Hoogendyk said the group paid for 5,000 calls to Mattawan school district households. That’s a little more than the number of votes cast Nov. 8.

The Citizens’ Alliance was founded a few years ago as a nonprofit and registered as a political action committee with the mission of “protecting the right to life, liberty and property,” said Hoogendyk, who became the alliance’s executive director in February.

He said CALL is not “a Tea Party group per se, but its philosophy aligns with the Tea Party.”

The organization is based in Kalamazoo and does not have any paid staff or an office. Hoogendyk, who works as a political consultant, said he receives some consulting fees from the group.

This was the first time the alliance has targeted a local ballot issue, he said. It had focused on state issues, including right-to-work and immigration legislation and education spending.

Is Obamacare Being 'Locked In' to Michigan?

2011 Senate Bill 693: Create state "Obamacare exchange"
  • Introduced by Sen. Jim Marleau (R) on September 22, 2011, to create a government health insurance “exchange" (the “MiHealth marketplace”), which would be the state entity through which the federal “Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act” would distribute its subsidies and impose its various restrictions and mandates.
    • Referred to the Senate Health Policy Committee on September 22, 2011.
      • Reported in the Senate on November 10, 2011, with the recommendation that the substitute (S-2) be adopted and that the bill then pass.
    • Substitute offered in the Senate on November 10, 2011, to replace the previous version of the bill with one that revises details but does not change the substance as previously described. In general, the bill's provisions take advantage of narrow opportunitities within the federal health care law to make it less rather than more restrictive on the state insurance market, although it must "perform all duties and obligations of an exchange required by" the federal law. The substitute passed by voice vote in the Senate on November 10, 2011.
  • Passed 25 to 12 in the Senate on November 10, 2011. For details, click here.

Michigan Professor Questions University's Ties with China

"We are transferring every bit of knowledge and know how that we have to the People's Republic of China," says tenured aeronautics engineering professor William Kauffman. "This has been happening for at least a decade. It is done by having many of [China's] undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students, who pay out-of-state tuition, here in Ann Arbor and having University of Michigan campuses staffed by University of Michigan faculty in the PRC."

This article is several years old, but to date, nothing has been done to address this problem. Dr. Kauffman spoke at our Center Right meeting November 10th. The information he shared was shocking, to say the least. You need to know this information. Please read this story and log on to the web site for more information.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Worse Than a Tax Increase: A NEW Tax

The House recently passed HB 4293, which ostensibly legalizes many fireworks that are not currently allowed in Michigan. But, it imposes a $1,000 fee for any seller in a permanent structure, $600 for sellers in temporary structures (tents), adds 6% tax on top of the current 6% sales tax, requires a $10 million insurance policy and allows local municipalities to further restrict, through permit fees, the sale of fireworks. Only eight Republicans voted against the bill.

This is bad policy. For lawmakers to essentially say, we know you want this bill legalizing fireworks, and we know our neighboring states are selling fireworks, so we will legalize them, but use the opportunity to slap a huge new tax on this new entrepreneurial opportunity.

Oh, and here is a prediction: the parents of the first kid who gets burned by one of these new fireworks will sue for...$10 million.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Another Tax "Opportunity": The Internet Sales Tax

Two legislators have introduced bills in the House to impose sales taxes on anyone who sells products on the Internet. It appears to be part of the effort led by Senator Dick Durbin, (D) IL. which would require that Internet-based retailers and mail-order companies collect state and local sales taxes. It also authorizes state and local governments to collect these taxes.

The bottom line is, this is just another way to collect taxes, thus giving the government more of your money to spend. Here is a great article that gives a clear perspective on the legislation. The bill numbers are HB 5004 and 5005. After reading up, please contact Chairman Jud Gilbert and share your thoughts.

Nesbitt's Resolution: One More Way to Bring Jobs to Michigan

Please urge Committee Chairman Ken Horn to move this resolution out of committee.

House Resolution No. 134.

A resolution to urge the Governor to expedite Michigan’s withdrawal from the Midwestern Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord.

Whereas, Signatory states in the Midwestern Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord agree to establish greenhouse gas reduction targets and timeframes. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions through government regulations generally requires placing limits on carbon dioxide, which is produced by most energy production and industrial processes. Carbon dioxide cap-and-trade policies are the favored approach for the Midwestern Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord; and Whereas, Forcing business, industry, manufacturers, energy producers, and food producers to reduce carbon dioxide emissions through the government mandates and cap-and-trade policies advocated by the Midwestern Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord will increase the cost of doing business; push companies, job-providers, and businesses to other states or overseas; and increase consumer costs for manufactured goods, electricity, fuel, and food; and Whereas, The Congressional Budget Office warns that the cost of cap-and-trade policies will be borne by consumers and will place a disproportionately high burden on poorer families; and

Whereas, Simply reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the state of Michigan or in the Midwest will not have a significant impact on global greenhouse gas emissions, especially while developing countries such as China, Russia, Brazil, and India emit an ever-increasing amount of carbon dioxide; and Whereas, A tremendous amount of economic growth and job creation would be sacrificed in a regulatory cap-and-trade scheme that would have no appreciable impact on global concentrations of carbon dioxide; and Whereas, No state or nation has enhanced economic growth or international competitiveness through a cap-and-trade scheme or any other government-mandated carbon dioxide reduction policies; and

Whereas, The European cap-and-trade system has been undermined by political favoritism, corporate giveaways, higher costs for consumers, and accounting tricks and has failed to achieve its carbon dioxide reduction targets; now, therefore, be it Resolved by the House of Representatives, That we urge the Governor to expedite Michigan’s withdrawal from the Midwestern Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord; and be it further Resolved, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the Office of the Governor of Michigan.

Are Michigan Employers Hiring Illegals?

Sometimes, Michigan business owners are hiring illegal immigrants knowingly, sometimes they are doing so not knowing for sure whether their employees are in Michigan legally or not. Under new legislation introduced by Dave Agema, this issue will be resolved. Agema's bills, HB 4024 and 4026, will make use of the E-verify system, a quick and reliable way of checking the legal status of immigrants.

This is a government-run program which always raises suspicion about its reliability and efficiency. But, as reported by James Edwards in NumbersUSA, "Queries in this program give accurate responses 96 percent of the time. Not bad for a government program...99 of 104 employers sampled were generally satisfied with E-Verify. Those employers reported that the program isn’t burdensome."

It is a matter of security, (we need to know who is in our country), and a matter of legality regarding employment, taxation, benefits, etc. You can learn much more about E-verify here.

House Commerce Committee Chair Wayne Schmidt has been sitting on this bill since January. Please encourage him to take it up. His email is here. After all, what is it about the word illegal that we don't understand?