Friday, December 21, 2012

"A Victory for Conservative Principles"

“This is a victory for conservative principles,” said Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.). a conservative stalwart who frequently opposes leadership. He held a press conference on Wednesday to denounce Boehner’s bill. --as reported in "The Hill."

“When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat.”

President Ronald Reagan’s sound advice rang true yesterday. Grassroots activists and conservative groups, led by Heritage Action for America, derailed a plan to raise taxes on some Americans and small businesses. --from Heritage's "Morning Bell."

Friends, the solution will not be easy to achieve, but it is there. Heritage and several others have held firm that the only real solution to America's long term fiscal crisis is spending reductions, not tax increases. If we are going to stick to our principles, then we need to stand firm. Speaker Boehner and his leadership team discovered that last night. He found out there are some Republicans in Congress who will not bend to the easy way out - tax increases, because they know that it is no way out, it only prolongs the inevitable and makes the final outcome worse.

As stated in the Morning Bell, "It didn’t have to come to this. Nearly five months ago, on August 1, the House of Representatives voted to prevent a tax hike on all Americans. The measure passed on a 256-to-171 vote, winning the support of 19 Democrats. Meanwhile, as Obama divided the country with his class-warfare campaign, Reid sat idle." Read the full post here.

Let's not give up; let us continue to remind our members of Congress that if they truly espouse the "classical liberal" policies of limited government, then they must stand firm.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

House urged to support low-tax alternative to Boehner’s Plan B

From NetRightDaily

Dec. 20, 2012, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today issued the following statement urging the House of Representatives to support an amendment to the Speaker’s Plan B bill:
 “Republicans must not fall into the trap of increasing taxes and doing nothing to cut spending. The Jordan-Scalise-Mulvaney amendment to the House bill will make tax relief permanent for all Americans, averting the fiscal cliff, and address the dire state of the nation’s finances through real spending reductions.
“The Senate is going to reject the so-called Plan B anyway. The House might as well give them something that actually solves the real problem—which is spending—instead of a tax increase on job creators that will wreck the economy and drive investment overseas. Even if Plan B passes the House, everyone’s taxes are still going to go up at the end of the year, and Republicans will still get blamed if we go over the cliff.
“Republicans are missing an opportunity to lead the nation on real fiscal reform. There should not be a single tax increase on any American when the government will be borrowing $1 trillion every year for the rest of our lifetimes until we can no longer afford to service it. To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, conservatives and Republicans need to raise the banner of bold colors, not pale pastels.”
Interview Availability: Please contact Rebekah Rast at (703) 383-0880 or at rrast@getliberty.org to arrange an interview with ALG President Bill Wilson.


Read more at NetRightDaily.com: http://netrightdaily.com/2012/12/house-urged-to-support-low-tax-alternative-to-boehners-plan-b/#ixzz2Fc7qXCu6

This is Not a Suitable Compromise

"Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." Thomas Jefferson.

John Boehner is giving up too easily. His "Plan B" does not address the spending problem we have in Washington, and it allow for more taxation on those who create jobs. History has proven that tax increases do nothing to address the problem of deficits or spending.

Please consider this revised resolution and send it on to as many Republican members of Congress as you care to, but do it today; the vote is expected this afternoon.

Whereas: it has been reported that the U.S. House of Representatives is preparing to vote on Speaker Boehner’s Tax Hike known as “Plan B.” This tax increase bill is just like the tax increase proposal Nancy Pelosi offered last year on May 23rd. And, 

Whereas; the federal debt has exceeded $16 trillion and there is no evidence that tax increases help to balance the federal budget. Higher tax rates discourage all the activities that lead to a stronger economy. That’s even something President Obama acknowledged when he signed legislation preventing a similar tax hike two years ago. And, 

Whereas; revenues to the federal treasury have more than tripled in the last fifty years, in constant dollars; there should be plenty of revenue available to pay for essential services required by the federal government. And, 

Whereas; spending has been increasing steadily, and in fact has more than quadrupled, in constant dollars over the last 50 years. In fact, Washington does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem. Congress has demonstrated, year in and year out, that regardless the amount of revenue available, they always find ways to spend more than is available. And, 

Whereas; the Republican Party Platform states that taxes, by their very nature, reduce a citizen’s freedom. Their proper role in a free society should be to fund services that are essential and authorized by the Constitution, such as national security, and the care of those who cannot care for themselves. We reject the use of taxation to redistribute income, fund unnecessary or ineffective programs, or foster the crony capitalism that corrupts both politicians and corporations. And, 

Therefore, be it now resolved that the _____of ______, located in the ____ district of ________, calls on our Congressman, __________ to oppose any resolutions or legislation that would increase any taxes.

Speaker Boehner, President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and too many Members of the Republican conference have forgotten that the problem in Washington is too much spending and not too little taxation. When the American people voted to return the Republican majority in the House last month we sent them to cut spending. Instead, Congress is now voting on the Pelosi plan to increase taxes next year.   

We join with the Heritage Foundation Action, The Tea Party Express, and Club for Growth, a national network of thousands of pro-growth Americans, from all walks of life, who believe that prosperity and opportunity come through economic freedom and the following distinguished signatories: 

Edwin Meese III, former Attorney General
Brent Bozell, President, ForAmerica
Erick Erickson, Editor, RedState.com
Colin Hanna, President, Let Freedom Ring
J. Kenneth Blackwell, Ohio Faith & Freedom Coalition
Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council
David N. Bossie, President, Citizens United
Alfred Regnery, President, The Paul Revere Project
William Wilson, President, Americans for Limited Government
Michael Needham, CEO, Heritage Action for America
Peter Thomas, Chairman, The Conservative Caucus
Amy Kremer, Chairman Tea Party Express
Richard Viguerie, Chairman, ConservativeHQ.com
David Y. Denholm, President, Public Service research Council
Becky Norton Dunlop, former Reagan Administration official
Gary Bauer, President, American Values
David Williams, President, Taxpayers Protection Alliance
David McIntosh, former Member of Congress, Indiana
T. Kenneth Cribb, former Domestic Advisor to President Reagan 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Snyder's SB 59 Veto Letter

Here is the letter Governor Snyder gave to explain his veto to the "concealed carry" law. It strongly suggests he would sign a bill with a key modification in it. Supporters of this legislation need to encourage the legislature in the new session to re-introduce this bill quickly, with the provisions the governor asks for and send it back to him. I think he would then sign the bill.
--------------


Thank you for your recent correspondence sent to my office.

Senate Bill 59 offered a number of wise and necessary reforms to Michigan's weapon laws. The bill provided for an enhanced Concealed Pistol License that would require additional training. It would streamline the Concealed Pistol License process by eliminating county gun boards and vesting issuing authority with the sheriff.

More important, SB 59 looked at a feature of Michigan law that needs fixing - Michigan's open carry law. The law currently prohibits a concealed pistol license holder from carrying a concealed weapon in a "pistol-free zone," which includes a school, a day care center, a sport stadium, a bar, a church, a hospital, an entertainment facility, and a college classroom or dormitory. Ironically, current law does not prevent a concealed pistol license holder from openly carrying a pistol at these places.

My original hope with Senate Bill 59 was to reach a compromise by prohibiting the open carry of pistols in the above-mentioned pistol-free zones in exchange for lifting the prohibition on the carrying of concealed weapons in these zones -- subject to the approval of the public or private property owners.

The resulting bill only went part way in achieving that goal. The bill would allow private property owners to prohibit a person from carrying a concealed pistol on their private property. It permits certain universities and colleges to adopt an ordinance prohibiting the carrying of a concealed pistol. Unfortunately, the bill did not allow public schools, day care centers, or public hospitals to prohibit persons from carrying concealed weapons on their premises. For that reason, I have vetoed Senate Bill 59.

I believe it is important that these public institutions have clear legal authority to ban weapons from their premises: Each is entrusted with the care of a vulnerable population and should have the authority to determine whether its mission would be enhanced by the addition of concealed weapons.

This conversation is likely to continue over the coming months. I hope you'll continue to share your comments and concerns with my office.

Sincerely,

Rick Snyder
Governor

Adopt This Resolution. Send it to Your Congressman

Don't let your  Republican Congressman sell us out on tax increases. Have your local GOP, tea party, 912 group, or conservative club adopt the following resolution and send it on you your Congressman.

Whereas: it has been reported that the Republican caucus in the U.S. House, under the leadership of Speaker John Boehner is seriously considering agreeing to a $1 trillion tax increase on Americans. And,

Whereas; the federal debt has exceeded $16 trillion and there is no evidence that tax increases help to balance the federal budget. Higher tax rates discourage all the activities that lead to a stronger economy. That’s even something President Obama acknowledged when he signed legislation preventing a similar tax hike two years ago. And,

Whereas; revenues to the federal treasury have more than tripled in the last fifty years, in constant dollars; there should be plenty of revenue available to pay for essential services required by the federal government. And,

Whereas; spending has been increasing steadily, and in fact has more than quadrupled, in constant dollars over the last 50 years. In fact, Washington does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem. Congress has demonstrated, year in and year out, that regardless the amount of revenue available, they always find ways to spend more than is available. And,

Whereas; the Republican Party Platform states that taxes, by their very nature, reduce a citizen’s freedom. Their proper role in a free society should be to fund services that are essential and authorized by the Constitution, such as national security, and the care of those who cannot care for themselves. We reject the use of taxation to redistribute income, fund unnecessary or ineffective programs, or foster the crony capitalism that corrupts both politicians and corporations. And,
(if appropriate, add this 'whereas')
Whereas; our Congressman, ________has signed the Americans for Tax Reform, Taxpayer Protection Pledge, solemnly binding himself to oppose any and all tax increases.

Therefore, be it now resolved that the _____of ______, located in the ___district of ________, calls on our Congressman, __________ to oppose any resolutions or legislation that would increase any taxes.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Is Your Republican Congressman Selling Out on "Revenues?"

Latest news reports suggest Boehner and Co. are giving in on taxes and getting ready to go along with $1 trillion in tax hikes. Oh, but they need the revenue, you say? We can't balance the budget without more revenue? Really??

Folks, it is not a revenue problem, it is a SPENDING problem. Look at these two charts. The first shows that revenue, in constant dollars has TRIPLED in the last 50 years. That's great news...

Meanwhile, spending has more than QUADRUPLED over that same time, in constant dollars. Congress has proved, year after year, that if you give them a dollar, they will spend $1.25 or more. they have no control over their appetite. And, yes, I blame Congress because regardless of what the President PROPOSES in spending, it is Congress, primarily the House, that DISPOSES of the money.

Heritage Foundation makes some good points about what John Boehner is about to do and why it is a bad idea:
  • Higher tax rates discourage all the activities that lead to a stronger economy. That’s even something Obama acknowledged when he signed legislation preventing a similar tax hike two years ago.
  • Dollar-for-dollar tax increases and spending cuts — Boehner’s plan — won’t fix what’s broken. Spending cuts, not a $1 trillion tax hike, should be the GOP’s focus.
  • After two years of running the House, there’s still no clear plan how Republicans would cut spending. Even as of this late date, they have provided few real guiding principles or details on spending reforms. It’s the $800 billion question.
  • Relinquishing control over the debt limit to Obama for a year would take away one of the only points of leverage for conservatives. It ensures no meaningful reforms will happen in 2013.
Read the rest of Heritage's article here.

Speaker Boehner can be stopped, if his fellow Republicans in Congress refuse to go along with him. You need to contact your Republican Congressman and urge him/her to vote against any increase in taxes. Raising taxes to balance the budget has never worked, and it won't work now. Find your Congressman below and click on his/her name to link to their contact info:
Amash, Benishek, Rogers, Upton, Huizenga, CampMiller, Walberg.

Red State Blog. Why Did Gun Control Laws Fail in Newtown?

Read Thomas Crown's essay here, or in it's entirety below. The essence of his opinion piece is in italics.

"As noted above, according to the Brady Campaign, Connecticut has the nation’s fourth-strongest gun laws. The sale and possession of so-called assault weapons are banned under state law. As noted above, the state empowers judges to remove guns from those who constitute a threat. The state earns high marks for gun dealer regulation, reporting of lost or stolen guns, background checks, permit to purchase, child safety, and earns the maximum score on guns in public places.

So here’s the challenge for gun control advocates: explain why you failed the people of Newtown. You cited Connecticut as a national example. You said its laws “reduce risks to children.” You gave no state a higher rating for keeping guns out of public places — like schools."


Question One in Our National Conversation: Why Did Gun Control Fail the Families of Newtown

It is sickening that we have to discuss this with the dead not all buried, but such is our fallen world.

Were we a decent society, we would allow the parents of Newtown to grieve before we started talking about taking away guns. We are not a decent society, and the ghoulish, deranged left is once again trying to use a tragedy as an opportunity.
So, as they begin their ritual descent into bathing in the blood of children about whom they wouldn’t care were they just inside the birth canal, let’s have the “conversation” about pretending away the Second Amendment they want. Because they want to change the law, the burden of proof lies on them; so here is the first question they must answer:
Why didn’t restrictive gun control laws save the victims of Newtown?
This is what the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has to say about Connectictut’s gun control regime:
Connecticut has strong gun laws that help combat the illegal gun market, prevent the sale of most guns without background checks and reduce risks to children, according to the Brady Campaign. In the organization’s 2009 state scorecards released for all 50 states, Connecticut earned 53 points out of a total of 100 and has the nation’s fourth strongest gun laws.
“Connecticut has done more than most states to combat illegal guns and has worked to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. In fact, Connecticut has a one-of-a-kind law that allows a judge to remove guns from people who have been determined to be a threat to themselves or others,” said Ron Pinciaro, President of CT Against Gun Violence.
The Washington Post — no opponent of a disarmed citizenry — agrees with this characterization. Connecticut “has among the most stringent gun control laws on the books,” the Post notes, citing three disparate groups of experts, before allowing Connecticut’s chief Democrat to explain that his state can’t enforce its own laws without adult supervision.
I don’t believe that we should be making domestic policy based on anecdote or on a single event. No system is properly tested in a single instance. The proof of a policy is how it performs over time — after hundreds or thousands of events. But gun control proponents do not agree. Piers Morgan, Michael Moore, Rupert Murdoch, and many more seem to believe that the vicious and evil killings in Connecticut prove the need for more stringent gun control measures. They race to change the law in the wake of tragedies because they know that they long ago lost the policy debate and that cooler heads will reject any such regulation absent the immediate aftermath of a tragedy.
A lesser-noted detail of America’s current demographics is that in the midst of an awful economic downturn, violent crime is falling. Americans recognize that gun crimes have continued to trend down as more law-abiding citizens have gotten access to firearms. So having failed to fool the people into signing onto their policies, they pretend that their ideas have been ignored — rather than considered and rejected again and again — and they call for a “national conversation,” a term of art the Obama Administration has embraced since the beginning that translates into American English as “agree with me, or I’ll regulate it anyway, democracy be damned, you idiots.”
Defenders of the Bill of Rights ought to welcome that debate, one that we’ve been having for every year of the roughly four decades I’ve drawn breath on this planet. (We keep having it because the Left, like the Roman legions, refuses to admit defeat until they win.) After all, we can and will win one more time if the sense of the American people (also known to its opponents as “the gun lobby,” “the Israel lobby,” and so on) is allowed to prevail. But if we are to discuss the value of gun restrictions, we first need an explanation from gun control advocates of why their ideas failed the victims in Newtown.
As noted above, according to the Brady Campaign, Connecticut has the nation’s fourth-strongest gun laws. The sale and possession of so-called assault weapons are banned under state law. As noted above, the state empowers judges to remove guns from those who constitute a threat. The state earns high marks for gun dealer regulation, reporting of lost or stolen guns, background checks, permit to purchase, child safety, and earns the maximum score on guns in public places.
So here’s the challenge for gun control advocates: explain why you failed the people of Newtown. You cited Connecticut as a national example. You said its laws “reduce risks to children.” You gave no state a higher rating for keeping guns out of public places — like schools.
And a criminally insane man stole legally-owned guns (owned under Connecticut’s regime) after being denied their legal purchase, broke in through a window, and killed children and adults — adults who were not armed to shoot back, and so died unable to save the children who also died.
You want this one event to be a national test? Fine. Why are there 20 children dead when the state of Connecticut did what you said they should to keep their people safe?
Once you answer that question, we can get this conversation underway.
(A tip of the hat to Ben Domenech’s Transom, the research assistant we all need at a price we can’t beat.)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Call Congressman Dave Camp. Ask Him to Kill This Boondoggle

WIND INTERMITTENCY AND THE PRODUCTION TAX CREDIT: A HIGH COST SUBSIDY FOR LOW VALUE POWER In its conclusion, the 21-page report says:

"The PTC represents bad energy policy and bad economics for at least three reasons. First and foremost, wind generation’s production pattern not only is volatile and unpredictable, but even more significantly, is “economically backward”: producing the least amount of energy when loads are highest and electricity is most valuable. Second, subsidized wind generation also exacerbates artificially low electric prices, thus imposing economic harm on competitive generators that are needed to maintain system reliability. Third, the inability to forecast actual wind generation accurately increases system reliability costs, which are borne by all customers."

7 Myths About the Wind Production Tax Credit. "The wind production tax credit (PTC) has created an industry that produces overpriced, intermittent power, and it will continue to produce overpriced, intermittent power so as long as there is a PTC to pay for it."

Blowing More Taxpayer Money for Offshore Wind. "Much of the debate over wind subsidies this past year has been over the extension of the wind production tax credit. But even if the subsidy expires at the end of the year (as it is supposed to), that does not mean all wind subsidies are disappearing, even though they should."

Your help is needed: Contact Congressman Dave Camp, Chair of Ways and Means. Tell him to kill the PTC (Production Tax Credit). Note that if you do not live in his district, you will need to include your address in your email. Please do this today. A vote is expected this week!


 

Taxpayer Supported Wind Energy Should End

Congress is considering a renewal of the "Production Tax Credit" which is just one more enormous taxpayer funded boondoggle that cannot demonstrate any results.

Your help is needed: Contact Congressman Dave Camp, Chair of Ways and Means. Tell him to kill the PTC (Production Tax Credit). Note that if you do not live in his district, you will need to include your address in your email. Please do this today. A vote is expected this week!

Here is a comment from Sen. Lamar Alexander. He presents some good, hard data and rationale for why this tax credit should be allowed to die:
"Should Congress extend wind power's federal tax credit for six years at a cost of about $50 billion...?

The wind production tax credit was created in 1992. It gives wind developers a subsidy that is often equal to or below the wholesale cost of electricity in some markets. This "temporary" subsidy, already extended seven times, expires this month. Wind developers have urged Congress to extend the credit at decreasing levels over the next six years. The one-year extension passed out of the Senate Finance Committee costs $12.1 billion, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. Some have estimated the industry's proposed six-year "phase out" would cost $50 billion--on top of $16 billion in federal wind subsidies from 2009 through 2013.

This subsidy should not be extended, first, because a government that borrows 42 cents of every dollar it spends can't afford it. Second, U.S. Energy Secretary Chu has testified that wind is a "mature" technology. Third, after 20 years and billions in subsidies, wind produces only 3 percent of our electricity. Fourth, such large subsidies distort the marketplace, making coal and nuclear uncompetitive. Replacing such baseload power with electricity that is produced only when the wind blows is the energy equivalent of going to war in sailboats when nuclear submarines are available. Finally, giant turbines and their power lines strung along scenic mountaintops destroy the environment in the name of saving the environment."
Read the full commentary here.

By contrast, Senator Charles Grassley made this video, telling you to support this waste of taxpayer money. Notice, he makes no credible argument that this tax handout has any merit, whatsoever.


Consider these facts:

Wind energy creates only 90 jobs for every 1,000 MWs generated; nuclear plants produce 500 jobs for every 1,000 MW of generating capacity.[1]
With 50,000 MW of wind already installed, this indicates only 4,500 permanent, longterm U.S. wind jobs.[2] And wind jobs are incredibly expensive:

·        In one glaring 2010 example, the government provided $1.2 billion in subsidies for a $1.9 billion project in Oregon, which created only 35 permanent jobs, costing taxpayers a whopping $30 million per permanent job![3]

·        In Texas, the 2010 Comprehensive Annual Report prepared by the comptroller’s office found that tax breaks awarded to 63 wind farms averaged almost $1.6 million per job.[4]

·        Extending the PTC for just one year is estimated to cost about $12 billion.[5]

·        The wind industry claims that ending the PTC will cause 37,000 job losses; Even accepting that exaggerated number, each of these purported wind jobs would cost American taxpayers an astronomical $325,000.00

·        Incredibly, a well-established industry with 50,000 MW of installed generation is asking the public to pay more than $325,000.00 per job, because wind can’t compete with other more cost effective, reliable domestic resources.

A PTC EXTENSION WILL NOT INCREASE U.S. JOBS
Contrary to the wind industry’s vastly inflated claim of 75,000 current wind-related jobs, the real wind related figure is less than 15,000, including positions in O&M, project  development and construction jobs, which will remain even after the PTC expires. The wind lobby’s own jobs data reveals this fact in reporting construction and “other” jobs.[6] After 20 years of PTC subsidies, the wind industry permanently employs only 0.01% of the 142 million employed Americans.[7] In stark contrast, in 2010, the shale gas industry supported nearly 150,000 direct jobs, growing to more than 360,000 direct jobs in 2035.[8]

WIND JOBS CREATED UNDER THE PTC ARE NOT SUSTAINABLE.
Despite the $4.9 billion in federal subsidies that wind received in FY2010 alone, and record growth in generating capacity, the wind industry has created few employment opportunities overall. Even with the PTC and new wind farms, the wind industry lost 10,000 jobs between 2009 and 2010 and employment stagnated between 2010 and 2011.

Many wind employers have made headlines with layoffs and cash flow shortfalls.  Why? Because regardless of the PTC availability, wind is uneconomic and costly. Wind jobs – even with massive taxpayer handouts – are not sustainable given current market conditions, i.e., low demand and abundant, cheap, domestic natural gas.
The taxes funding subsidies saddle the economy with large costs, negatively affecting employment overall. Subsidizing uneconomic, unsustainable wind jobs eliminates better jobs elsewhere. For example, an independent economic analysis of a New Jersey wind project concluded it would reduce employment by almost 30,000 jobs because of higher electric costs, causing layoffs in other businesses.[9]

Your help is needed: Contact Congressman Dave Camp, Chair of Ways and Means. Tell him to kill the PTC (Production Tax Credit). Note that if you do not live in his district, you will need to include your address in your email. Please do this today. A vote is expected this week!



[1]Nuclear Energy Institute; Resources and Stats
[2] U.S. Energy Information Administration, Monthly Energy Review May 2012
[3] Institute for Energy Research: It’s not “green energy,” it’s corporate welfare masquerading under an environmental rainbow
[4] 2010 Texas Comprehensive Annual Financial Report
[5] Joint Committee on Taxation Estimate of Senate Finance Committee Tax Extenders Bill – Aug. 2, 2012.
[6] AWEA U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report Year Ending 2011; www.awea.org
[7] Bureau of Labor Statistics; http://bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t01.htm
[8] HIS Global Insight, The Economic and Employment Contributions of Shale Gas in the U.S. December 2011
[9] David Dismukes, Assessment of the Net Economic Benefits of the Proposed Fisherman’s Atlantic City Wind farm. 

Urge a "NO" Vote on the Hurrricane Sandy relief Bill"

Here is an alert from Club for Growth. Looks like Congress is out to spend more money on whatever they can to buy votes.

The Club for Growth urges all Senators to vote “NO” on the Hurricane Sandy relief bill (HR 1) scheduled for consideration in the upper chamber this week. The vote on final passage, and perhaps procedural votes, will be included in the Club’s 2012 Congressional Scorecard.

When a natural disaster occurs, there is a textbook response by Congress – they cobble together an overpriced bill that isn’t paid for, there’s no accountability or oversight, and it’s filled with pork. This proposal is no different.

If lawmakers are interested in improving the bill, they should release the funds in installments to make sure the resources are spent wisely. They should also strip out all immaterial line items, and fully offset all expenditures with spending cuts elsewhere. Serious reform would also include a way for the states to take over the responsibility for future disaster relief funding so that accountability is more localized.

Our Congressional Scorecard for the 112th Congress provides a comprehensive rating of how well or how poorly each member of Congress supports pro-growth, free-market policies and will be distributed to our members and to the public.

True Story from Tom Selkis' Latham Ford Dealership

This is taken verbatim from a Face Book posting that appeared on Free Republic. I cannot verify it, but, it sounds about right.
 
"I'll try to make this as short and to the point as I can. One of my salesmen here had a woman in his office yesterday wanting to lease a brand new Focus.
 
As he was reviewing her credit app with her he noticed she was on social security disability. He said to her you don't look like you're disabled. She said "well I'm really not, I could work if I wanted to but I make more now then I did when I was working and got hurt" (non-disabling injury).
 
She said the gov't sends her $1500.00 a month in 1 check; she gets $700.00 a month on an EBTcard (food stamps), and $800.00 a month for rent. Oh yeah and 250 mins free on her phone. That is just south of $3500.00 a month.When she was working she was taking home about $330.00 per week. Do the math and then ask yourself: "why...should she go back to work?"
 
If you multiply that by millions of people you start to realize the scope of the problem we face as a country.
 
Once the socialists have 51% of the population in that same scenario we are finished........ *and we are real, real close*. The question is: when do we cross that threshold if we haven't already?
 
She didn't lease the Focus here because the dealer down the road beat our deal by $10.00 month. *Glad to know she is so frugal with her hard earned money!*

Ask Snyder to Sign SB59, It Will Provide More Protection for Children in School

Friday, December 14th was a most tragic day in Newtown, Connecticut. A crazed young man allegedly shot and killed 20 young children and 6 employees at the Sandy Hook elementary school there. As a father of five and grandfather of 11, some of whom are 6 and seven years old, I can only imagine the pain and grief parents and grandparents are enduring in Newtown.
 
Gun control advocates wasted no time crying out for more control.  One of the tactics of the gun control crowds is the creation of gun-free zones. Second amendment supporters have long been concerned about that strategy, claiming that putting a sign in front of a school, for instance, that says, "This school is a gun-free zone" is merely an invitation for something unthinkable, like what happened at Sandy Hook, to happen. 
 
Meanwhile, back in Michigan, literally hours before the tragic occurrences in Newtown, the state legislature passed SB59, which had been originally introduced in January, 2011. This bill, which passed the Senate with a veto-proof majority and the House by a 68-41 count, would, as described at michiganvotes.org: "exempt concealed pistol license holders who have completed at least eight hours of additional training from the "gun free zone" limitations in the CPL law, which bans licensees from carrying in a certain areas (schools, day care facilities, sports stadiums or arenas, bars, bar/restaurants, places of worship, college dorms and classrooms, hospitals, casinos, large entertainment facilities and courts), except that a school or private building owner could still ban guns."
 
The legislature endorsed this bill probably because it offers the potential for more protection and because it still allows private building owners and public university administrators the right to ban firearms in their respective facilities. 
 
In the wake of the shootings in Newtown, the governor is surely being lobbied heavily from both sides of the argument. Gun control advocates see last week's event as further evidence that we need to "ban guns." With over 200 million handguns registered in America, the elimination of firearms in this country seems unlikely. Second amendment supporters will argue that this bill would offer just the kind of protection kids in school need. Read this post that just appeared today on the michiganvotes.org web site: if a law abiding citizen doesn't [carry] then a crazy criminal who DOESN'T follow the law will. We prepare for fires, tornadoes, power outages, our children prepare for gunmen and practice lock downs in schools. If we have even one good guy with a gun in a school when a bad guy is there shooting it up then the odds of our children surviving has increased dramatically! It's not if it is going to happen it's when. We advertise "Gun free School Zones" so these nuts know where to go to not get shot back at. Our state is already an Open carry state. All this is doing is allowing someone to put a jacket on and cover their pistol. You are around guns a lot in your shopping experience and you never new it. Funny how no one was killed.
 
In some districts in the great state of Texas, school district employees are allowed to carry concealed weapons. David Thweatt, superintendent of the tiny Harrold school district in northwest Texas, said he wanted to minimize casualties that could quickly increase while waiting for deputies. He didn't want a plan where you "lock yourself in your closet and hope that an intruder won't hurt you. So what we came up with was a policy that would protect."

I support this legislation and encourage the governor to sign it. I co-sponsored a similar bill in 2007. I ask you to contact Governor Snyder and ask him to sign SB59. Contact him here. But do so quickly. The bill is on his desk.

UPDATE: Here is the text of a letter one reader just sent:
I know you are facing tremendous pressure from both sides regarding the approval of SB 59. As a survivor of a violent assault and robbery I urge you to support and sign this bill even in view of the recent tragedy in Connecticut. Here are my reasons why. First the record among lawfully licensed CPL holders in Michigan and other states is impeccable.  With the requirement of additional training I can only believe that record will get even better. Second we have the right to protect ourselves wherever we go. It is safer for us to be able to lawfully carry unrestricted than it is to have to leave our firearms in a vehicle if we suddenly find it necessary to visit a facility where we cannot presently carry.  Third there have been occasions where concealed carry license holders have stopped a crime in progress. While my focus would be on self defense it is not inconceivable that I might find myself in a situation where my assistance might be required.
Governor, you showed amazing courage in the battle over right-to-work legislation. That same courage would be much appreciated in this present debate as well.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Charles Krauthammer Gives Us the Cold, Hard Truth

Charles Krauthammer, in a mere 90 seconds boiled the right-to-work debate down to some simple, painful realities. Here is part of what he said:

"The fact is that in the right-to-work states, unemployment is 6.9%. And in the other states the non-right-to-work, it's 8.7. So you can choose to have fewer workers who enjoy higher, inflated, unnatural, if you like, wages, uncompetitive wages. Or you can have competitive wages and more people employed, more people with the dignity of a job and less unemployment, more taxation and more activity. I think it's it the right choice but I understand how it's a wrenching choice."
For the full video, click here.

We, in Michigan are in a competitive market with the rest of the United States, and the United States is competing with the rest of the world, something we did not have to do in the 1950's. Business and industry are not moral or immoral, they are amoral. They will go where they need to go to create profit and wealth. Some care more about employees than others, (although the smart ones know that happy, safe, well-paid employees mean a more successful business in the long run).

Smart businesses adapt, that's what keeps them competitive. Smart people (workers) adapt as well. That's what keeps them competitive as employees. Whether you are discussing businesses or people, the ones who adapt stand a better chance of success. Is it easy for business? Just ask the thousands of business owners who went bankrupt. Is it easy for workers? Just ask the millions who have lost a job.

The hard reality is we live in a free market where workers and business owners still have the freedom to adapt however they need to in an attempt at being successful.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

How Right-to-Work in Michigan Really Happened: a 20 Year Battle

Nick Carey from Reuters did an in-depth story into how Labor Freedom came to Michigan. It was not an overnight success but rather a long, careful process.

"From outside Michigan Republican circles, it appeared that the Republican drive to weaken unions came out of the blue - proposed, passed and signed in a mere six days.

But the transformation had been in the making since March 2011 when Colbeck and a fellow freshman, state Representative Mike Shirkey, first seriously considered legislation to ban mandatory collection of union dues as a condition of employment in Michigan. Such was their zeal, they even went to union halls to make their pitch and were treated "respectfully," Colbeck said...

...Together with Jack Hoogendyk, a former Republican member of the Michigan House who supported right-to-work, and a small group of other activists, they founded the "Michigan Freedom to Work" coalition, which sought to capitalize on Republican control of the state legislature and the governorship." Read the full article here.

Lawrence Reed, former President of Mackinac Center for Public Policy has written his own retrospective on the twenty year battle to make Michigan a right to work state. It is very insightful...
"I remember well the first time I wrote about RTW in the Detroit Free Press almost 20 years ago. Better yet, I remember the reaction to it: A scattering of lukewarm encouragement on the order of 'good luck on that one' and 'someday maybe, but not in my lifetime' and a whole lot of 'no way, never' with some unrepeatable epithets tossed in to underscore the point.

It wasn’t the first time I or the organization I headed, the Mackinac Center, had called for RTW, but getting such prominence for the idea in the state’s largest daily newspaper was an early victory on a long road. While we knew from the start that it would be mostly uphill, our attitude was 'so let’s get to work on it.'"
Read full story here.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Amazing Story of Clint Tarver and His Hot Dog Cart

Clint Tarver is a hot dog vendor. He sells them from his cart on the corner of Michigan and Capitol, across from the State Capitol Building. Watch this heartwarming four-minute video about Clint and his All-American success story.

Yesterday was a tragic day for Clint. But the day turned into an example of how God can turn tragedy into blessing through the love and compassion of hundreds of individuals who wanted to make something bad into something good.

Yesterday, Clint moved his hot dog cart into the Americans for Prosperity "Worker Freedom" tent on the capitol lawn. AFP was there to encourage and educate supporters of the historic Freedom to Work legislation that passed the House and the Senate. Unfortunately, some of thousands of union members who came to protest decided to tear down and trample over that tent, and in the process destroyed Clint's Hot Dog cart, and essentially put him out of business.

Here is where the story turns. A young lady named Lorilea Susanne created a website, telling of Clint's misfortune and providing a place for people to make donations to help Clint buy a new hot dog cart. Hopes were that $5,000 could be raised to cover the costs of replacing what was lost.

As of 5:00 p.m. today, nearly $17,000 has been contributed. Is America a land of self-absorbed takers? Or are there still people of generosity and goodwill in our land? I guess the story of Clint Tarver and his hot dog stand answers that question. If you would like to contribute to Clint's fund click here. I am sure he and his precious wife, Linda Lee will find a good use for any excess dollars that come in.

God bless you Clint. Thank you for spreading all that mustard and joy around Lansing!

School Teacher Protests Gov. "Synder"

While the teacher in this picture probably did not make the sign behind her, I wonder if she noticed the misspelling of Governor Snyder's name. Is it any wonder though? According to a recent report, only 7% of Detroit 8th graders are proficient at reading.
I wonder if the "union guy" who made the sign attended Detroit Public Schools.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

"This is What Democracy Looks Like!"

The title above is one of the chants we heard today at the Capitol as Right-to-Work legislation was passed in the House of representatives. Below are some examples of how our union brothers apparently view the democratic process. Watch and decide for yourself:

Breitbart: Lansing Mayor Tells Mob 'I am proud of you' as City Erupts in Violence

Breitbart: Right-to-Work Supporter Assaulted by Angry Mob

Breitbart: Union Mob Destroys Tent With People Inside

Lefler: First Person Account of Tent Destruction

Detroit News: Three Arrested...Pepper Spray Used at the Capitol
Michigan State Police donned riot gear this afternoon to control an increasingly angry crowd at the state Capitol, with police estimating that about 12,500 people were gathered at the site.

Capitol Confidential: Union Right to Work Protest Goes Violent

Los Angeles Times


Without Delay, Governor Snyder Signs Freedom to Work Bills

Here is how Huffington Post reported it:
WASHINGTON -- Gov. Rick Snyder (R) officially made Michigan a "right-to-work" state on Tuesday, signing into law two bills that significantly diminish the power of unions.

"I have signed these bills into law. ... We are moving forward on the topic of workplace fairness and equality," he said at a press conference on Tuesday evening, just hours after the state House passed the bills.

And the Detroit News:
Lansing — Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation making Michigan the nation's 24th right-to-work state. "I'm confident this is in the best interest of Michiganders," Snyder said Tuesday evening.

In dramatic fashion, the Michigan House of Representatives on Tuesday afternoon sent Snyder two controversial right-to-work bills as thousands of rowdy protesters demonstrated outside the Capitol.

Board is Open. This is the Final Vote

Yes: 58
No: 52

Mike Shirkey is Speaking

He is probably the last speaker to the bill. He was the original author of the legislation. Because they used an existing bill, his name is not listed as the sponsor, but he and Senator Pat Colbeck are the drivers of this legislation.

Mr. Shirkey is debunking, once again, the lie that this bill somehow gets rid of collective bargaining.

This is Labor Freedom...it gives the worker the right to influence the union balance. Union elections are unfair because once you vote a union in, you never get to vote them in again. They are in forever, (barring a rare decertification.)

Unions are the ones free to ride, not the workers who do not join.

He just quoted John F. Kennedy, every one has the freedom to join or to refrain from joining.

While the speeches continue...

I invite you to subscribe to the Core Principles Newsletter. Right-to-work is a big sotry, but bills move through the legislature every month. You need to know what is going on in Lansing. Core Principles, the Newsletter, is delivered two or three times per month to your email inbox. There is no charge for you to receive the letter.

I work hard to keep the information fresh and informative as well as brief and to-the-point. If you would like to subscribe, just sign up in the box on the right margin. I look forward to keeping you informed about what your state lawmakers, and governor, are doing.

The Speeches Continue

The Democrat speakers continue to misrepresent the truth. They continue to state that this legislation is an elimination of collective bargaining.

Michigan workers are being decieved by the term job creation...it's a con job! (says the current Democrat speaker. I am sorry I did not hear her name.) I do appreciate her passion, however.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Detroit Democrat

"Corporate greed is so ugly." What, union greed isn't ugly?

Meanwhile, Dick DeVos is the whipping boy of the Democrat party. He is getting blamed for everything but pimples.

"There will be blood"

http://washingtonexaminer.com/article/2515629#.UMdhiYPAcaB

HB 4003 and SB 116

There are two bills, 4003 passed earlier, which deals with public sector employees. SB 116, which is beng debated right now, is about private sector employees.

Arguments may continue for awhile, but final passage is a fait acompli. It is just a matter of letting everyone give his arguments. Ah, the process of making laws.

Not Enough Bandwidth?

Maybe its all the blogs, emails, texts and phone calls coming out of Lansing, but I am having problems getting these blgos out. Hang in there.

Arguments for/against SB 116

Rep. Dillon: This bill is Orwellian.

He says this bill is all about retribution. Punishing the other side for past grievances.

SB 116 is on Third Reading for Immediate Passage

SB 116 will be voted on soon.

Majority Leader Stamas moves second reading or SB 116. Now, we get the amendments.
Another attempt by the Dems to remove the $1 million appropriation. Of course, it fails.
Several other amendments are being offered. The same amendments that were attempted in the previous bill.

SB 116 is Being Discharged

This is the other Right to Work Bill. The Dems are mad because the bill is being discharged to the floor without a hearing.

They are Chanting in the Gallery

Go Home
Shame on You.
I think they just arrested someone.

There was a motion to reconsider the bill, but the motion was ruled out of order. This is a procedural motion to get the bill voted on again the next business day. It was ruled out of order because the Speaker had already "sent it to be enrolled."

All Heck is Breaking Loose!

"Shame on you!" People are being removed from the gallery.

Final Tally is...

YES for Freedom to Work: 58
NO Against Freedom to Work: 51

Speaker Bolger Has Just Made Closing Remarks

The board is open

Speaker Bolger Gives His Remarks

He is the last speaker on the bill.

Speaker Bolger Speaks in Support

He is the last speaker. "This is about Michigan's future."

Rep. Lisa Lyons Speaks in Support of HB 4003

"I urge you to support a bill that will give workers the freedom to decide whether to join a union. Collective bargaining does not change one bit with this legislations. The simple truth is about the freedom for unions to make their case and wokers to make their choice. This is the day when Michigan grees its workers."

"My husband is a union corrections officer. I am convinced of the value of the union. We are a proud union family. Tomorrow, we will be a proud union family by choice."

Rep. Speaks in Opposition.

"Where collective bargaining is forbidden, freedom is lost." -Ronald Reagan. His point is that this bill forbids collective bargaining. (But, it doesn't.)