A recent town hall meeting on road funding in Wexford County revealed a lot about the condition of our roads. It also revealed the most likely scenario for funding ongoing road repairs. County Road Association of Michigan Deputy Director Ed Noyola set the tone for the meeting by saying “your roads stink.” Kelly Bartlett from the Department of [...]
George W. Bush and school privatization advocate Dick DeVos teamed up to raise over $400,000 for the West Michigan Aviation Academy this week. West Michigan Aviation Academy (WMAA) is a public charter high school that already receives more money per pupil from the state than 511 of Michigan’s 826 school districts. WMAA’s enrollment is expected to be around 400 students next year. If you figure [...]
Some people have begun calling Michigan Michissippi. This is not meant as an insult to the many smart and decent people who live in Mississippi. It is meant as an insult to the dominant political force in Mississippi whose ideals are now gaining traction in Michigan. Those ideals are not a lot different than they were during the [...]
Michigan’s Poor and Middle Class are Disproportionately Burdened with Taxes. Snyder’s Road Bill Would Add to the Problem.
Michigan has a fairly regressive tax rate. According to data from The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), the bottom 80% of Michiganders pay almost 10% of their income in taxes while the top 20% only pay about 7% of their income in taxes. This occurs in part because of our state’s reliance on [...]
Legislators Have the Means to Make Michigan Schools Safer. Here is What They Should Do and How You Can Help.
Legislators have the means to make Michigan schools safer. Since Republicans have control of the House, the Senate, and the Governorship, they will need to lead the initiative. Here are three relatively uncontroversial ways they can help us protect school children. 1. Intermediate School Districts (ISDs) should be put in charge of school safety. ISDs are supposed [...]
They’ve compared teachers to whiny children who haven’t earned their allowance. They are making them pay an additional 6% or more for benefits they were already promised. They have raided the school aid fund causing their employers to freeze their wages and charge them more for health insurance. The fiscal chaos they unnecessarily created has increased their work load and eliminated opportunities for their students. Some [...]
Do you remember the movie Indecent Proposal? The movie, released in 1993, starred on-screen couple Demi Moore and Woody Harrelson. It also starred Robert Redford as a handsome billionaire. Redford’s character becomes so smitten with Moore’s character after meeting her in a casino that he offers the couple, who just lost their life savings, a million dollars for one night alone with her. That [...]
2013 Ranking (2012 Ranking) 1. (not listed) Governor Richard Snyder- It is one thing to be eccentric (call it a nerd if you want). It is quite another to completely disregard this crucial fact; government is not a business. States are democratic institutions. Businesses are not. Businesses have one goal, to make a profit. Government has many goals, and making a [...]
Drumroll Please . . . After Two Years of “Reinvention” We are Still the 47th Best State to do Business in!
For the third year in a row, Michigan was ranked 47th in Forbes’ Best States for Business and Careers list. The people at Forbes were nice enough to let Governor Snyder write an op-ed to offer excuses for why his policies aren’t working. In the article that posted less than 24 hours after right-to-work became law, Snyder predicted [...]
When Governor Snyder set out to “reform” Michigan’s tax structure, he repeatedly said “let’s stop picking winners and losers, let’s start being fair.” Snyder’s fairness did not extend to right-to-work legislation though. Police and firefighters are exempt from the new law (Act 349 of 2012) and still must “share fairly in the financial support of (their) labor organization.” Needless [...]
From the State House: 1. Democratic Representative Brandon Dillon of Grand Rapids spoke up in opposition of the legislation that Republicans are trying to rename “Freedom to Work.” He called the legislation ”Freedom to Freeload” and expounded by saying ”with this bill, allowing people to benefit from the hard work that others do, without personally having to sacrifice one penny, is [...]
Proposal 1- A Referendum on the Emergency Manager Law (PA 4 of 2011)- If the President declared that Michigan was being mismanaged and he was going to suspend the power of our elected officials and appoint someone to run the state, we would literally be up in arms. No other state, to my knowledge, has [...]