Monday, December 28, 2009

Assessment Time




Michigan Taxpayers Alliance and the Wayne County Taxpayers Association are about to start scheduling our state tour on How to Appeal Your Property Assessment. Here is the Problem. We have to schedule a seminar in Detroit in January because they are the only city that requires an appeal at the Assessors Review in early February before an appeal can be made before the Board of Review in March. We need a place to hold it.

Last year,we reserved a room at Wayne County Community College and they cancelled on us the day we were going to hold the seminar. We need a place in Detroit to hold our seminar. I need your help to find one. It can be a church hall. It can be an auditorium. It needs to be in a location where the people of Detroit will be interested in coming.

If other are interested in having one in their community please contact us and we will try to hold one or let you know where the closest one to you is located when we finalize our schedule.

Contact us at wctaxpayers@comcast.net or 313-278-8383.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Joy! Success!



On December 10, Michigan Taxpayers Alliance and the Wayne County Taxpayers Association held a successful awards banquet. The award winners gave inspiring speeches and appeared to delight the crowd. Approximately two hundred attended and listened as Wendy Day our, "Activist of the Year" explained how necessary and fun their participation can be. Frank Beckmann our, "Voice of the Taxpayer" entertained us with witty stories and comments. Robert Bobb received the "Taxpayer Hero of the year award" and mesmerized us with the feats he has achieved in the Detroit Public School system.

Everyone appeared to have a good time and indicated they would like to do it again next year. It will be difficult to beat this years edition but we should give it a try.
*************************
Another success for us was the recent decision by The U.S. District Court, for the Western District of Michigan, which struck down a Michigan law requiring recall petition circulators to be residents and registered voters of the recall district in which they reside.

When I became the plaintiff in this case so long ago, during the Dillon Recall attempt, I knew this would be an important decision for that effort and for future efforts. Grass root organizations need to rely on each other and; the chance that better funded organization just so happens to agree with them. This allows for like minded individuals to help with the cause and also levels the playing field to some degree that special interests will almost certainly have the greatest power.

Without the support of the Sam Adams Alliance, The Michigan Taxpayers Alliance and the individual contributors who came foreward this victory could not have been achieved. From the "little guys" I offer my sincerest thanks.

Monday, November 30, 2009

I'm Getting Excited





On December 10, the Michigan Taxpayers Allience and the WCTA are going to give awards to people that really deserve them. Robert Bobb, Emergency Financial Manager for the beleaguered Detroit Public School system and Frank Beckmann the taxpayers' friend and advocate from WJR AM 760 radio and writer of insiteful newpaper columns in the Detroit News have performed in a manner deserving of recognition. We will also have an award for a surprise guest.

We hope you will come and join us. Time is running out and tickets will not be available at the door. Click Here for information.

I expect we will all have a great time. Everyone is welcome. Help us celebrate and toast, in this time of government hell, those people who are actually doing something for us. It is a rare thing to find people of integrity who work hard at doing the right thing. When we find them, we should let them know they are appreciated and ask them how we can help.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Friday, November 27, 2009

I Must Be Precient



When the effort for passing Proposal A was in full force in 1993,I worked my heart out trying to defeat it. Some people thought I was crazy. There was no question that assessments were out of control as well as the property taxes they generated. My argument then is the same as it is now. It was the method they chose that I was opposed to. A tax reduction could have been acheived by something as simple as reducing taxes from 50% of true cash value to say 40% of the true cash value of the property.

They on the other hand had to make it complicated and bate one segment of the population against the other. While Proposal A did slow the taxation rate by reduceing millage rates and slowing taxable values for some, other were picking up the burden as property changed hands through sales or inheritance. Right now, two families living in identical houses in the same subdivision may be paying drastically different amounts of taxes for the same services because one person has lived in their house longer. The crash in our property values has helped to aleviate that problem for some but it has not eliminated it. When we go to sell our homes there are fewer buyers because the tax will then be applied to the State Equalized Value of our property making the payments to expensive.

Proposal A had all kinds of enabling legislation that went into effect. We got an increase in the sales tax and gas tax. Inflation helps to increase those taxes. Given the way the federal government is spending money, we will soon see a huge increase in inflation and taxes. We got a different rate of tax on our non homstead property. Another thing that came to fruition was an increase in requests for bonds and sinking funds for schools, which are still allowed.

Due to the decline in proprty values,you will now begin to see more Truth in Taxation Hearings. Local governing bodies can increase millage rates up to the maximum allowable truth in assessment / equalization millage by simple ordanance or resolution instead of a vote of the people. This can be done because the revenue generated under Proposal A will not equal last years revenue plus inflation without increasing the millage. This is also true of all the other government millages in Michigan.

Another interesting restriction that was created under Proposal A was a requirement that no increase over the then authorized operating millage could be passed unless it was done on an intermediate school district level. Each County wide region is allowed a 3 mil enhancement if approved by the voters.
Multi-district tax a tough sell, but that could change


By DAWSON BELL

FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

With state aid in peril and federal stimulus funding that came to the rescue this year set to expire, is it time for Michi­gan’s local school districts to turn again to local taxpayers?

Some have exercised a rare­ly used option under 1994’s Proposal A to seek multi-dis­trict millage hikes.

Very few have succeeded.

The schools of Washtenaw County — including Ann Ar­bor, Ypsilanti and Saline — asked voters to approve en­hancement mills on Nov. 3. Property taxpayers in the Washtenaw Intermediate School District would have paid an extra 2 mills for 5 years had the request been ap­proved.

It passed in Ann Arbor, but got hammered elsewhere. The final tally was 57.4% no to 42.6% yes.

“We knew that this was a bad time” to be asking taxpay­ers for more money, said Ann Arbor Public Schools commu­nications director Liz Margo­lis. “But we just had no choice.” With state help in decline as state revenues shrink and the likelihood of more bad news to come, a countywide discussion had been under way for a year, Margolis said. Ann Arbor vot­ers had a history of support for school millages, and district of­ficials led the campaign.

But while Ann Arbor voters kept their reputation intact, the measure lost by margins of up to 3-1 in some out-county communities such as Milan and Lodi Township. Margolis said schools won’t try again soon and would give it another shot only if every school dis­trict in the intermediate school district, or ISD, would “buy in and really try to sell it.”

So far, talk about enhance­ment- millage requests — re­gions can ask for as much as 3 mills and use the money for any purpose — has been muted around the state.

David Martell, executive di­rector of the Michigan School Business Officials, said that for years after Proposal A took ef­fect, school funding was secure and obstacles to winning re­gional approval for tax hikes were so high, that few en­hancement elections were held.

“It’s a very, very hard sell,” Martell said, chiefly because the cost and benefits are usu­ally unbalanced across an ISD because the tax is assessed on property wealth and distribut­ed on a per-pupil basis.

But financial conditions are rapidly worsening in so many districts that Martell said the bar for passing a millage could drop.

“I don’t know why” en­hancement- millage requests “haven’t taken hold more re­cently,” he said. “I think once parents start to feel the real impact of the cuts that are coming … they might turn to something like that.”

Voters in Kalamazoo Coun­ty approved a 1.5-mill regional tax in 2005 and renewed it by a wider margin in 2008. But Kal­amazoo Regional Superinten­dent Ron Fuller said that un­less economic anxiety in Michi­gan lightens by then, “it will be a tougher sell a year and a half from now” when it is scheduled to expire again.

Doug Drake, a financial ana­lyst with Public Policy Associ­ates in Lansing and former state budget official, said that if state lawmakers decline to approve higher taxes to re­store school funding, more dis­tricts may have to consider joining for enhancement ef­forts.

“When the checkbook in the sky is empty, you just may have to think about going door-to­door. There aren’t very many other options,” Drake said.



Governor Granholm and the legislature understood this when they refused to reduce the budget in other ways, while alowing cuts to education. If you can not get the legislature to raise taxes, put the pressure on parents to do the job.

I for one am tired of excuses and the blame shifting. The Governor and the legislators are paid to do a job but they keep shiftng the hard stuff on to the taxpayer and disclaim any personal reponsibility. Enough is enough! We need to make them do their job or remove them and keep them from any future office.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Here's the Beef



If they were meeting in private to get it right without distraction, they failed. I can not believe that they could come up with a bill that is 1992 pages long and not explained away any faults in three bill. Hold on to your hats. It is going to be a very bumpy and dangerous ride. Maybe it will be deadly for some.

If you value your health, contact your senators now that the bill has passed the House. In fact, write them, email them and fax them. Contact other senators as well.
The phone is a great invention as well. In fact, I suggest you use it early and often just like some people vote.

Maybe if we make a real nuisance their staff will quit and they won't be able to do anything.

Friday, November 06, 2009

This is not a Laughing Matter



They may think this is funny, but I don't. As we speak the intent of Congress is to vote on the health care bill this coming Saturday (tomorrow). How many times can the American people be lied to before they fire these incompetent, self righteous, self serving, destroyers of the American way.

Neither the Democratic Bill nor the Republican bill is good for the American people. Both bills take away your freedoms and give power to the government. They are destroying our system of government and the legacy for our children. They have put forth nothing to solve our problems but have only done things to exacerbate them.

How can a $460 billion dollar tax increase be expected to save people who are already unemployed. Increased taxes to small businesses will not create more jobs. The fact that you can not believe a thing they say does not help. You never know what your getting. We have compromised our liberties to long. We should make them listen or throw them out if they will not.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Call Congress November 5

November 5, is Congressional House Call Day. The object is to tell congress at least one more time to keep their hands off your health care. The almost 2000 page bill as it stands today will ultimately lead to government control of your health care.

If you are interested in reading all 1990 pages of the bill, you can click here. If your interested in the breakdown of the important parts, then click here. It is important that we don't give up. We have to keep hounding them until they listen.

This represents 1/6 of our economy and the government makes a mess out of everything they control. Medicare is bankrupt. Medicaid is bankrupt. Social Security is bankrupt. The country's unfunded liability is astronomical. The debt we are leaving to our children is outrageous. More than that, the government should not be making decisions reserved to be between you and your doctor.


Friday, October 23, 2009

A Sad Day




You know your getting old when you start reminiscing. Lunchtime was great when I sat down in front of the TV and had it with Soupy Sales. As a little girl, I would giggle when Pookie would sing or White Fang and Black Tooth would show up. I am proud to say I was a card carrying official birdbath. That may not mean anything to some of you but it was a big deal for me.

Some of you never got the opportunity to see his crazy hat and bow tie. I can still do the Soupy Shuffle. The words of wisdom kept me on the straight and narrow.

Those were simpler days. I wish that the kids of today could appreciate things the way we did. I didn't realise until I was grown that we didn't have much money and the special things that magically appeared once in a while were the results of sacrifices by my parents. I am sure that I am not the only one who will miss his slapstick comedy. I throw you all A BIG KISS.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

An Honor to Honor







We are often accused of being negative. I attribute that to those who would rather call us names than judge our solutions. This time, we are sure our effort can not be misconstrued. When Leon Drolet of Michigan Taxpayers Alliance and I were deciding who should be honored, we found it easy to agree on Mr. Robert Bobb and Mr. Frank Beckmann to receive top honors.

Robert Bob has been doing yeoman's work at the Detroit Public Schools weeding out fraud and abuse. Frank Beckmann has been a voice of sanity and a source of information and taxpayer advocacy for years. This will be an event you will not want to miss. These men deserve to be recognized. For information click here.

Please help us make this a memorable event. Join us and join the fun. Jacket and tie for men and business attire for women.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Call for Resignation

I am respectfully calling for the resignation of Appropriations Chairman, George Cushingberry. He has the most powerful committee in the State House of Representatives. He controls the purse strings for all Michigan residents. He obviously does not understand that as head of that comittee he is supposed to represent all of us. His rant below is a clear indication that he needs to be reminded. I am asking that he appologize and recind his statement or resign.



Please contact him and remind him respectfully to correct his position or to resign from his Chairmanship.

Office Address
S0687 House Office Building

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909-7514

Phone: (517) 373-2276
Fax: (517) 373-7186


Toll-Free
(888) 347-8008


Email
georgecushingberry@house.mi.gov

When laws are passed and appropriations are made they effect all of us. Please be polite but firm.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Canadian Style Healthcare


It can't be good folks. I am contacted daily, by organizations I admire and trust who warn me, about the dangers in the proposed health care bills which are about to be consolidated into a bill which will be put before congress.

Last night I was part of a conference call of over 10,000 activists, sponsored by American for Prosperity, who listened to and asked questions of Congressman John Shadegg. He warned us of the deals being made. The bill has not even hit the floor yet. As you might imagine, these deals are being made for their constituents and not everyone.

Can you really believe they will cut costs, improve services, and cover more people without raising taxes and reducing accessibility to services. The fact that at present, the Sen. Baucas bill that came out of committee is enforced by the IRS should tell you something.

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy has put out several videos. I hope you will watch them and contact Senators Levin and Stabenow to oppose nationalized health care or anything that resembles it. Call their local and Washington office, email them, write them, and fax them. Do it more than once so they know you are serious and intend to stay involved all the way to the voting booth.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Election Wayne County Style


On November 3, the residents of Wayne County will be asked to vote on various ballot issues. We encourage you to check ahead to see which issues effect you. All ballot issues go through Wayne County. We have included a link to the Wayne County Elections in the County Clerks Office to assist you. There you will find everything that will be on the November ballot in Wayne County.
That includes city, school millage and all other elections elections. Please check out the list to see those that effect you and then forward the link on to others in Wayne County who are in your address book.

Some people may not even know there is an election this year. All elections are important. This year in particular as few are able to absorb the increases in taxes.


Proposition O is a renewal of the current millage rate without the increase in millage that has been rolled back under the Headlee Amendment. I am concerned that if property values continue to decline but the overall state rate of inflation increases that there might be an increase through "Truth in Taxation "hearings. We will keep an eye on this for you and you can contact your various government representatives.

PROPOSITION O:

OPERATING MILLAGE RENEWAL

To renew the millage authorized in 2000, shall Wayne County be authorized to continue to levy this millage at the estimated 2008 rollback rate of 0.9529 (about 95 cents per $1,000 of taxable valuation) for ten more years (2010 through 2019), and proceeds used to continue existing County services, including programs for arrest, detention and prosecution of criminals, juvenile court and related services, public health, recreation, County parks, job training, senior citizen services, and programs for meeting medical needs of the poor, the disabled, and the aged? This renewal is projected to generate $43,495,573 in 2010.
*************************

Keep in mind that if approved this year, the millage will be rolled back from this years Levy per the Attorney General opinion .

The following opinion is presented on-line for informational use only and does not replace the official version. (Mich Dept of Attorney General Web Site - www.ag.state.mi.us)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
STATE OF MICHIGAN
MIKE COX, ATTORNEY GENERAL
TAXATION:
GENERAL PROPERTY TAX ACT:

HEADLEE AMENDMENT:

CONST 1963, ART 9, § 31:
Application of millage reduction fraction to renewed multi-year, voter-approved millages

In the case of municipalities seeking authorization to levy "renewed" millages, the millage reduction fraction specified in section 34d of the General Property Tax Act, MCL 211.34d, is calculated on an uninterrupted basis for each succeeding year as if the voter-approved millage it replaces had never expired. Under MCL 211.34d(11), the calculation of the millage reduction fraction does not commence at 1.0 for the first year of the "renewed" millage but with the fraction utilized for the millage levied in the last year of the millage it replaces.

Opinion No. 7193

March 30, 2006

Honorable Valde Garcia
State Senator
The Capitol
Lansing, MI 48909
Honorable Joe Hune
State Representative
The Capitol
Lansing, MI 48909

Honorable Chris Ward
State Representative
The Capitol
Lansing, MI 48909

OAG No 7131 examined this section at length and explained how the "millage reduction fraction" established by the Legislature as the basis for calculating the constitutionally required rollback was to be applied:

By this measure the voters mandated that the total of taxes assessed against all taxable property within a taxing unit shall not increase from one tax year to the next at a rate exceeding the rate of increase in the General Price Level for the prior year. In any tax year in which the value of all taxable property has, in comparison with the value of the same property for the previous tax year, increased at a rate in excess of the rate of increase in the General Price Level, the Constitution requires a reduction in the rate of taxation so that the revenue realized from such property for the current year does not exceed that which was realized from that same property for the prior year by more than the percentage increase in the General Price Level.

This constitutionally mandated rollback of authorized millage rates has been implemented by the Michigan Legislature in accordance with Const 1963, art 9, § 34, through its passage of amendments to the General Property Tax Act, specifically section 34d, MCL 211.34d. They establish the "millage reduction fraction" (MRF) as the basis for calculating a rollback and describe how the MRF shall be applied.

This fraction is calculated by comparing the value of taxable property that existed in the prior tax year with the value of the same property for the current year. It is designed to arrive at a true comparison by eliminating the increases and decreases in value attributed to additions and losses. Thus, the MRF involves the determination of the ratio between:

(a) the value of the property for the previous year, less losses, multiplied by the sum of 1.0 plus the rate of increase in the General Price Level (the numerator of the fraction); and

(b) the value of the property for the current year, less additions (the denominator of the fraction).

The value lost when property or improvements become exempt from taxation, are removed, razed, or otherwise destroyed in the previous year (losses) is subtracted from the numerator, and the value added by new improvements or other enhancements during the current year (additions) is subtracted from the denominator. Simply stated, losses, which are not present in the current year, are subtracted from the prior year and additions, which were not present in the prior year, are subtracted from the current year. Thus, the values compared are truly "apples to apples." It is the difference in the value of property that is actually present in both years that determines whether a MRF is appropriate, and to what extent.

If the value of such property for the prior year (properly adjusted), multiplied by the sum of 1.0 plus the rate of increase in the General Price Level, is less than the value of the identical property (again, properly adjusted) for the current year, then the value of such property has appreciated at a rate greater than the rate of increase in the General Price Level. To reduce the excessive increase in revenue that would result if the original millage were applied against that increased value, the effective millage (rate of taxation) is multiplied by the determined MRF, a number less than 1, so that the amount of revenue received is properly reduced. [OAG No 7131 at p 28; footnotes omitted.]

Section 34d of the General Property Tax Act (GPTA), MCL 211.34d, addresses your inquiry and warrants quoting in pertinent part at length:

(6) The number of mills permitted to be levied in a tax year is limited as provided in this section pursuant to section 31 of article IX of the state constitution of 1963. A unit of local government shall not levy a tax rate greater than the rate determined by reducing its maximum rate or rates authorized by law or charter by a millage reduction fraction as provided in this section without voter approval.

(7) A millage reduction fraction shall be determined for each year for each local unit of government . . . . For ad valorem property taxes that are levied after December 31, 1994, the numerator of the fraction shall be the product of the difference between the total taxable value for the immediately preceding year minus losses multiplied by the inflation rate and the denominator of the fraction shall be the total taxable value for the current year minus additions. For each year after 1993, a millage reduction fraction shall not exceed 1.

* * *
(9) The millage reduction shall be determined separately for authorized levied millage approved by the voters. The limitation on millage authorized by the voters on or before April 30 of a year shall be calculated beginning with the millage reduction fraction for that year. Millage authorized by the voters after April 30 shall not be subject to a millage reduction until the year following the voter authorization which shall be calculated beginning with the millage reduction fraction for the year following the authorization. The first millage reduction fraction used in calculating the limitation on millage approved by the voters after January 1, 1979 shall not exceed 1.[1]

(10) A millage reduction fraction shall be applied separately to the aggregate maximum millage rate authorized by a charter and to each maximum millage rate authorized by state law for a specific purpose.

(11) A unit of local government may submit to the voters for their approval the levy in that year of a tax rate in excess of the limit set by this section. The ballot question shall ask the voters to approve the levy of a specific number of mills in excess of the limit. The provisions of this section do not allow the levy of a millage rate in excess of the maximum rate authorized by law or charter. If the authorization to levy millage expires after 1993 and a local governmental unit is asking voters to renew the authorization to levy the millage, the ballot question shall ask for renewed authorization for the number of expiring mills as reduced by the millage reduction required by this section. If the election occurs before June 1 of a year, the millage reduction is based on the immediately preceding year's millage reduction applicable to that millage. If the election occurs after May 31 of a year, the millage reduction shall be based on that year’s millage reduction applicable to that millage had it not expired.
* * *
(16) Beginning with taxes levied in 1994, the millage reduction required by section 31 of article IX of the state constitution of 1963 shall permanently reduce the maximum rate or rates authorized by law or charter. . . . The reduced maximum authorized rate or rates for 1995 and each year after 1995 shall equal the product of the immediately preceding year's reduced maximum authorized rate or rates multiplied by the current year's millage reduction fraction and shall be adjusted for millage for which authorization has expired and new authorized millage approved by the voters pursuant to subsections (8) to (12). [MCL 211.34d(6), (7), (9) – (11), (16); emphasis added.]

Where the terms of a statute are clear and unambiguous, albeit complicated, they must be applied as written. See Storey v Meijer, Inc, 431 Mich 368, 376; 429 NW2d 169 (1988). The italicized text of MCL 211.34d(11) is determinative. For a renewal millage, the millage authorized is subject to a MRF identical to the MRF that would have been applied to the millage which it replaces had it not expired. For the first year of levying the renewed millage, the calculation of the MRF starts not at 1.0 but rather at the MRF of the expiring millage.

The millage about which you inquire was approved in 2004 after May 31.2 By its passage, the voters authorized levies in 2006 and subsequent years. No levies of the "renewed" millage are to be made until 2006.

For 2006, it is necessary to determine an MRF for the renewed millage. The MRF will be the same MRF as would have been calculated for the expiring millage and applied to it had it not expired. In other words, the calculation process does not start over but rather continues uninterrupted.

Like the situation addressed in OAG No 7131, the factual setting you present calls for a reduction in the rate of authorized taxation whenever the revenue monies to be realized from taxing property (after adjustments for losses and gains) at the voter-approved rate would result in realizing more tax revenue for the year of the levy than would be realized by multiplying the authorized rate of taxation by the taxable value of all property (after adjustment) times the rate of increase of the General Price Level for the preceding year.

It is my opinion, therefore, that in the case of municipalities seeking authorization to levy "renewed" millages, the millage reduction fraction specified in section 34d of the General Property Tax Act, MCL 211.34d, is calculated on an uninterrupted basis for each succeeding year as if the voter-approved millage it replaces had never expired. Under MCL 211.34d(11), the calculation of the millage reduction fraction does not commence at 1.0 for the first year of the "renewed" millage but with the fraction utilized for the millage levied in the last year of the millage it replaces.

MIKE COX
Attorney General

1 This subsection, MCL 211.34d(9), prior to its amendment by 2005 PA 12 (effective April 28, 2005), specified May 31 as the "cut-off" date rather than April 30. The change is not critical here as the election underlying your request was held after May 31 in 2004.

2 See n 1.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://~bogaert/Opinion.htm
State of Michigan, Department of Attorney General
Last Updated 04/03/2008 13:29:45

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Defending the American Dream III


I thought that the best way to communicate the incredible list of speakers that were at the final day of the convention was to provide a link to C-Span , who taped the whole thing. You can slide the gage to the speaker of your choice or listen to the whole list of speakers. I don't think you will be disappointed. They obviously are public speakers for a reason.

At Lunch we broke up into our state meetings. During lunch Lana Theis and I received awards for our efforts with AFP. Mine was a one time award given for "Lifetime Dedication to Limited Government and Economic Liberty". I am humbled by this award but it is not just mine. It is also for all those who have been with me since the beginning of our efforts and those who have joined over the years and have worked so hard. I thank you, Michigan AFP and anyone who joins the WCTA for making this possible. Please continue to support us and join in the effort.

After Lunch we had short updates from the state directors of each state. Next,we had brake out sessions where we trained in topics of our choice. They included topics concerning emerging issues in 2010:The Lefts Strategy and Our Solution, Grass Root Training, Detecting and Countering Media Bias, How to Impact your Legislators, Investigative Reporting Skills, State budget Crisis, and much more.

In conclusion we had the final reception and farewell speech by Tim Phillips. You should consider attending next year if you can, it is fun and informative.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

The Defense of the American Dream Continues




The morning of the first day was great. It started out with specialized grassroots training sessions on internet activism, grassroots activism and training on methods. It wasn't in anyway as subversive as it sounds. It was just good clean suggestions on methods.

In the afternoon, most people prepared for the rally and after that meetings with their legislators, which mostly turned out to be their aids. The above video was taken by AFP. Their cameras are so much better than mine.

That evening was the "Tribute to Ronald Reagan Dinner". We had some great speakers. Laura Ingram, radio host and best selling author was the keynote speaker. She was funny and thought provoking. She was followed by Congressman Mike Pence, who not only gave a very engaging speech but did great imitations of George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan. They were followed by Dr. Jim Miller, former Reagan Budget Director and Art Pope who is AFPs Chairman.

More tomorrow.

Friday, October 02, 2009

The American Dream Begins Again


I am writing to you from the third annual American Dream Summit in Washington DC sponsored by Americans For Prosperity. This year they have over 2000 people registered for the conference. This morning we had seminars on blogging and Grass Root training. In reality they are lessons in communication - ways to attract people to your organization and how to communicate your ideas.

In the picture above you see the attendees loading on to buses to go to a Capitol Hill town hall and news conference. After the rally they will go to meetings, organized by state delegations, to talk with legislators. Most likely they will be talking to aids or bureaucrats, as the legislators are not in session. I hope that you will get involved by calling or emailing your legislators and telling them to leave our health care alone. More later.

Sunday, September 27, 2009



Who would of thought that Governor Granholm would lack imagination? After all, she is such a dramatic actor. Who else can pretend to care for this state and not try to do anything different? She knows that the changes she suggested are DOA according to Speaker Andy Dillon. Here are the changes she suggested according to “Cynical Synapse”:

Here’s what Granholm’s plan includes for Michigan’s budget over the next 2 years: $2.2 billion in cuts, $1.09 billion in tax/revenue hikes, and using $2 billion of Federal stimulus money. It’s important to note this is on top of the $500 million in cuts Granholm proposed in February. To entice Republicans, she’s offering to phase out the Michigan Business Tax 22% surcharge over 3 years, beginning in 2011.
Reduce film industry tax credits from 42% to 37%
Reduce other business tax credits by 12%
Extend 6% sales tax to live entertainment tickets, vending machine sales, and service contracts
Impose a 1% sales tax on bottled water
Increase the cigarette tax by 25 cents per pack to $2.25
Double non-cigarette tobacco taxes
Increase liquor license fees
Cut school aid by $520 million
Reduce local revenue sharing by $74 million
Squeeze $34 million out of funds used to entice business—and jobs—to Michigan ($22 million from the 21st Century Jobs fund and $12 million from a road improvements fund)

If the legislature knew the proposed suggestions for balancing the budget was unacceptable, why did they go on vacation?

If we had a part-time legislature this would have been resolved by now. Passing a continuation bill is not acceptable. I say we shut the state down. Most people would not even notice and others who get funds from the state might take some concessions and squawk so loud the legislature might get something done.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Not All Tea Parties Need To Be Huge


I recently read a Post by "Parcbench" indicating that it was time to stop marching and do something. While I agree it can be overdone, I do not think we should stop. Over and over again we see movements develop. Leaders emerge. They are taken over by more powerful and financially developed organizations and the people who were involved are left to feel disenfranchised.

I will grant you that the large groups get access to the media and are effective in lobbing for taxpayers through our contributions and support. We definitely need to continue to support them. But, we need to maintain our own protests and our own groups to not only remind ourselves how important we are, but also, to remind those lobbyist and politicians that we are the force that makes them possible.

It is easy for us (well maybe not these days) to write a check and let someone else do our work for us. That is how we got into this mess to begin with. We have to continue to keep ourselves informed, question what our elected officials tell us and think about the consequences of what is being done. All to often, we are sucked into party politics before we know it and who gets elected becomes more important than what they stand for.

I say, keep these tea party groups going for all levels of government. One of the things that makes them most effective is recognizing that there are others out there that feel just like you. It keeps your spirit and your enthusiasm charged. It keeps you from being lethargic and just plain lazy. It keeps you informed and allows you to know what questions to ask. Don't slip back to the way it was because we have only made a dent. We still do not have the respect of those who are elected by us and who have usurped power that is not theirs to take.

Be selective but not invisible. Keep them on their toes and in their place.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

My Heart In Washington Today


I am at home today sitting in my front room watching Fox News coverage of the 9 12 project and the march on Washington. My heart is with them. It is physically impossible for me to walk the distance and stand for hours - or you can bet I would be there. I want to believe that there are millions more who share my feelings. Others are financially unable to attend.

On September 9, I attended the rally in Troy, Michigan to support the Tea Party Express which traveled from California to Washington,DC to today's rally. There enthusiasm and commitment bolstered my feelings.

We can not stop here. When the events have come an gone, we must continue to press the issues. It is difficult to keep up the momentum. But, it is even more difficult to live under an oppressive system of government. Many people have fought and died to preserve our system of government. We have been the envy of the world and rightfully so. It is far to precious to give up without a fight. We are far to smart to be seduced by lies of government saying everything is free. We know nothing is free, especially freedom.

Continue to contact your legislators,both local and federal. Let them know that their jobs are in jeopardy if they continue to violate the Constitution they swore to uphold.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Energy Citizens

Energy Citizens


I am blogging from the Energy Citizens Rally. This rally is one of many across the country. It is being held in Livonia, Michigan at the Burton Manor. There is a great turnout. Speakers from the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Farm Bureau, American for Prosperity, and Frank Beckman from WJR Radio. They are all opposed to Cap and Trade legislation and are encouraging you to contact your legislators and ask them to oppose it as well. It is insanity to support legislation that would harm Michigan. We are already hemorrhaging jobs and being burried under stifling taxes.

It is time for all of us to get involved. Pick what ever organization that makes you feel comfortable and take action. Get involved. Makes some noise. Let your voice be heard.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

From the MTA





Dear Michigan Taxpayer,

You are about to be pitted against your own local government in a battle for your remaining income.

Why? Plummeting home values are (belatedly) slamming municipal governments and school districts with lower property tax revenues. Now these local governments are starting to panic. They see just one way of protecting their budgets - by going after more of yours.

As their tax revenues fall, some local politicians will simply vote to raise property taxes. Others need to ask voters to approve higher taxes because they already tax at the maximum rate permitted without a vote of the people. These local officials will carefully select the most obscure election day possible to place the tax hike on the ballot, hoping that government employees will vote while most citizens remain unaware.

DEFEATING THE COMING PROPERTY TAX INCREASES ISN'T ENOUGH

Even if voters defeat these tax hikes, you still lose. Why? Because nearly every school district and city hall is locked into unbelievably generous contracts with government employee labor unions. These contracts guarantee expensive perks that ordinary citizens would never imagine.

For example, many government employees are allowed to retire at an early age (age 50 in some communities). Other government employee benefits include platinum-clad health care (some plans even cover massages) and paid vacation days far beyond what's affordable in the private sector.

In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, local school and government employees enjoy benefits that cost almost twice as much as the benefits of the average full-time private-sector worker. Not to mention far better job security and higher wages.

Your local government isn't alone. Across the country, politicians have been caving to the increasingly outrageous demands of government employee unions. For decades, these unions locked-in jackpot pensions and other lucrative benefits that are now coming due. States like California are already collapsing under the weight of these past promises.

Why can't elected officials just cut the cost of these government employee benefits? Because the benefits are locked into contracts that your school board and local politicians already signed.

POLITICIANS WILL FORCE CITIZENS - NOT BUREAUCRATS - TO BEAR THE COSTS OF THEIR BAD DECISIONS

Due to the folly of signing these contracts, the only thing left for school districts and local governments to do is to raise taxes or lay off employees. If voters reject tax hikes, politicians will start laying off teachers, police officers, firefighters and such (of course, upper-level bureaucrats will NEVER be laid off, no matter what). These local politicians will threaten to make the service cuts they think will hurt citizens the most in order to scare voters into approving the tax hikes.

To stop both of these tactics, you and your neighbors would have to attend every township or city meeting, school board and county commission meeting in your community and fight against tax hike efforts while trying to convince your local politicians to reduce government employee benefit costs. You can’t win.

Or can you?

THE MTA HAS A REVOLUTIONARY PLAN THAT PUTS CITIZENS FIRST - AND COULD RESCUE OUR STATE

If local politicians won't address these outrageous costs - and they've demonstrated that they won't - why not go over their heads? What if local politicians were prohibited from providing benefits to government employees that exceed the cost of benefits in the private sector? In other words, what if there was a cap on the amount that government employee benefits could cost?

According to fiscal analysts at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, if every state, local government and public school employee in Michigan were provided benefits that cost the same as private-sector benefits, Michigan taxpayers would save about $5.7 billion!

How much is $5.7 billion? The despised Michigan Business tax will send about $2.3 billion to Lansing this year. The entire state income tax will send a total of $6.5 billion to Lansing's big-spenders. That's right, just by capping benefit costs of government employees at private sector levels, we could cut the state income tax in half AND completely eliminate the state business tax.

Michigan could become one of only five states with no tax on job providers and Michigan's struggling families could see their state income taxes cut in half!

A huge tax cut with no reduction in government services? All by simply capping government employee benefit costs at private sector levels? My friend, a change like this could be enough to rescue Michigan!

AMENDING THE CONSTITUTION IS HARD WORK (AND RIGHTLY SO)

But is it possible? It would take an amendment to the state constitution.

The Michigan Taxpayers Alliance is interested in researching whether this tantalizing possibility could become a reality, but we need your help.

Amending the constitution requires loads of research and legwork - and that costs money. For example, in order for the amendment to be air-tight and "tricky-politician proof" it would have to be written by top-notch experts on constitutional law and be researched by qualified labor law attorneys. And detailed economic analysis would have to be done by highly-competent economists. Amending the constitution is difficult (as it should be), and is therefore expensive.

But imagine for a moment that the citizens of Michigan DID collect the 380,000 valid signatures to put this amendment to the state constitution on the 2010 ballot. Every radio talk show host, editorial board and media outlet would suddenly be talking about the (previously hidden) costs of government employee benefits. Citizens would suddenly have a chance to see just how unfair these jackpot benefits are to taxpayers.

"RESCUE MICHIGAN" WOULD BE A GAME-CHANGING EVENT

What if this ballot proposal (let's call it "Rescue Michigan") were adopted by voters in November of 2010? The impacts would include:
• Significantly slashing the tax burden on businesses and families,
• Protecting core services,
• Eliminating deficits, and
• Overnight making Michigan a magnet for investment and new job providers

This "Rescue Michigan" initiative would be a bold, unprecedented and sweeping reform - the game-changer our state desperately needs. Never before has such an amendment to the constitution been considered in any state. But then, no state has ever been in the fix that Michigan finds itself in today.

But every other state, in the midst of their growing economic meltdowns, would know what Michiganders did. Those states' taxpayers would have an example of a new solution for their own state's budget implosion - the "Michigan solution."

Michigan is desperate. And the benefit costs of our public servants (including politicians) have been very quietly skyrocketing for decades. We need to fix this problem if we want to fix Michigan's problems. The "Rescue Michigan" constitutional amendment is a solution that may be the most important reform measure ever adopted in this state.

Again, it won’t be cheap or easy. Collecting the signatures will cost over $1 million, and then there’s the cost of winning a "yes" vote from voters in the election. But from a return-on-investment perspective, such a constitutional amendment would be the deal of the century: nearly six billion dollars returned to taxpayers - every year!

WILL YOU STEP UP FOR THE GOOD OF OUR STATE?

To make the "Rescue Michigan" proposal viable, the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance needs your help. We need citizen-activists and ordinary taxpayers willing to help fund the legal drafting and "ballot testing" that are a critical first hurdles for any serious ballot measure.

Will you help us rescue Michigan?

If you send a donation, I promise you that every dime will go toward drafting, researching and organizing the “Rescue Michigan” solution. Someone, somewhere in Michigan has got to take the lead if we are to have any hope of climbing out of the economic dumpheap we’re in. The MTA can take that lead, but not without resources to make it possible.

We need you to take the lead with us. We need you to contribute to the solution.

Or, we can sit and wait. Maybe the politicians in Lansing will save us? Maybe President Obama will send ever larger stimulus checks every year, trying to prop up our state, local government and school budgets? Maybe our local officials and school boards will suddenly muster the courage to confront the unions and force them to make reasonable concessions?

But you know the truth: It’s in our hands. It’s up to us to stand up and make something happen ourselves.

Don’t wait. Help now.

NO FIGHT WORTH HAVING IS EVER EASY

I know you probably have questions about this proposal. Will it work? Will it hold up in court? Could it be written to prevent end-runs? Will "big money" donors contribute?

The answers depend on how carefully the rescue Michigan amendment is constructed, but yes, it CAN work.

Guarantees? None, besides my personal pledge to, as Mr. Churchill said, give my "blood, sweat, toil and tears" to make it happen. This is a big idea and gaining victory is a major challenge.

I'll be frank, the ways we could come up short are many. After all the research and legwork, it may happen that not enough resources are found to make a ballot drive possible. I don't have all the answers, but I do know that any idea meaningful enough to have a huge impact will also face huge obstacles.

I WOULD KNOW - I'VE AMENDED THE CONSTITUTION BEFORE

I understand these obstacles. Back in 2003, I became Chairman of the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative constitutional amendment. MCRI would ban the government from giving preferential treatment to people based on race or ethnicity in government hiring, contracting and college admissions. It took three years of work against enormous odds to collect over 500,000 signatures and qualify the MCRI for the 2006 ballot - but the job got done and voters overwhelmingly approved the amendment.

OUR ECONOMY NEEDS "RESCUE MICHIGAN" IMMEDIATELY. THE MTA CAN LEAD - CAN YOU HELP?

Every important idea has obstacles and risks, but the biggest risk is to do nothing. Our state's economy is NOT going to magically fix itself while burdened with high taxes and exorbitantly expensive government employee benefits.

I understand that there are other ideas to help fix Michigan. Reforming labor laws, adopting the Fair Tax, making the legislature "part-time" and other ideas are all important, but no potential solution to our state's problems would provide a more immediate reduction in government spending and taxes.

I’ll do the necessary groundwork, I just need you to please help with the costs - even a little. Let me get started. I know how to build a team that can get this done, but that team needs to include you.

It's in our hands - your hands. Will you work with me to rescue Michigan?

Please make a contribution in whatever amount you can afford to the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance. Rescue Michigan is the best hope we have for a fast and dramatic turnaround. Your contribution funds the best strategy to win a fight that we didn't ask for, but that we MUST win.

Sincerely,

Leon Drolet
Director, MI Taxpayers Alliance
www.mitaxpayers.org

P.S . The MI Taxpayers Alliance is a federally registered 501c4 (an activist organization) — not a 501c3 (a charitable organization). Donations are NOT tax deductible. Corporate checks ARE permissible.

P.S.S. We won’t give up, but we need your support so that Michigan’s government-class, big-government statists know they are in for a fight. Your contribution gives the MTA a real chance to win.


©2009 | Michigan Taxpayers Alliance | 46116 Lookout Drive | Macomb | MI | 48044

Monday, August 17, 2009

Plymouth Health Care Rally

On a very windy Sunday in Plymouth, Michigan people gathered. I apologize for the poor sound and video quality but I thought you should see the angry mob and the truth about those who oppose health care reform.



As you can see they are a well organized mob and their attire indicates their subversiveness. They obviously do not know how to protest properly. No fires. No broken glass. No police in riot gear. What a disgrace. Flags and signs - how unoriginal. What we need are our legislators who know how to drain the last drop of blood from people to show them how to make a real mess.

Just remember. Sticks and stones may break your bones but names will never hurt you. Personally I like walk softly and carry a big stick.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Trust Me

I have been watching every one of President Obama's meetings on health care. He has been inconsistent, his analogies have been poor and he has lied or been misinformed on what has been contained in the health care bills.

He comes off charming, friendly and down to earth, most of the time, and at others haughty and superior. The thing that troubles me the most is that he talks as if he knows what he is talking about. There are a number of bills in the House and the Senate. None have been completed and all,to the best of my understanding, have some undesirable qualities. How can you do anything but listen to concerns under those circumstances?



Those in Congress seem to know even less. They do not seem to know what is in the bill they are sponsoring. I'm not sure they have even read them.



The people of this country are right to be angry. We have turned our heads for long enough. Our attention is required to keep our great country. We can not continue to elect people without checking their credentials and values. We need to hold them accountable and demand that they keep their promises. We can not allow those we elect to call us names and denigrate us.

Get involved and, if they refuse to hear us, then we must remove them from office and replace them with someone who will. This is not a partisan problem it is a universal problem. They have awakened the giant now let's give them something to remember.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Unorganized Mob

When I arrived early it was already too late to get in. Congressman Dingell's Town Hall Meeting was packed. Large numbers of union supporters were already seated in a room that holds only 150 people. The rest in attendance I can not account for. The real story is the hundreds outside the building who could not get in.



I have to give Mrs. Dingell credit. She came outside to talk to some of those standing around. So why are people so upset? They are tired of getting form letters which don't address the subject. They are tired of the phone being taken off the hook at the legislative offices. They are really tired of being called names and being described as fronts for other organizations.

As I walked up and down the line talking to people I asked some of them why they came. Most were fed up and were tired of being thought to be stupid. Some heard about it on the radio, some on the television and some from organizations to which they belong. They do not feel misinformed because they feel that even the legislators do not know what is involved.

They can do the math and know from experience that congress and presidents make mistakes and sometimes tell bold face lies to achieve their objectives. The older people know medicare is in trouble. They are upset that their benefits and services may be cut to take care of illegal aliens. They observe the poor quality of health care delivery in one payer systems and have no desire for death counseling every 5 years as a substitution for good medical care.

This discussion is far from over. Citizens are encouraged to fight back with every non-violent measure possible. Socialism does not work, fascism does not work but capitalism does. It has provided us with the best country on earth. Take time to preserve it.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Assaulted On Every Side.

On July 15, President Obama came to Macomb County Community College to again tout one of his expensive initiatives. While he spoke of his plans for our money, outside along 12 mile, protesters gathered to express their dissatisfaction with many of his policies. Opposition to his healthcare policies, Cap and Trade, the bailouts and some wanted to audit the Federal Reserve to find out where our money went.
There was very little coverage and some say Obama didn't even know we were there. That may be true, but the people driving along 12 mile knew we were there. We can't control the media but we had the support of many who drove by.



On the State level the 2010 budget is expected to be $1.7 billion in defecit. Speaker Andy Dillon has come up with changes to public sector healthcare reform which would take care of $900 million but chances of them passing are as good as they are when others presented them before.

Chances of increasing revenue anytime soon are slim and none. The exodus from the state due to bad policy and tax increases does not bode well for those of us who remain here.





On the local level you can expect to see an increase in "truth in taxation hearings" over the next two years. Due to the decline in property values local units of government revenue can decline. They can increase millages to adjust revenue up to the rate of inflation just by holding a hearing. It can not exceed the voted millage. So while you are experiencing job loss,wage cuts and decline, the value of what may be your biggest investment. Elected officials can increase their revenue and overide the Headlee rollback just by getting together at a public meeting and agreeing on it.

It is time for you to stand up and be heard. Make your feelings known to those who are supposed to represent you.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Rational Health Care Reform

Free Clipart Picture of a Caduceus. Click Here to Get Free Images at Clipart Guide.com

by John Connelly

America's doctors and medical institutions are the envy of the world. The level of expertise and the pace of innovation in U.S. health care are unmatched. Yet many Americans worry whether they will have access to medical care when they need it. The present health delivery system does have some serious issues. Many Americans lack health insurance, there are gaps in coverage, and costs are increasing at an alarming rate. Health insurance is usually not portable from job to job, and consumers have very little choice about what their insurance covers. Many of these deficiencies in the present system are the result of government regulation.

President Barack Obama has begun an intensive public relations campaign with the media and the American people, to promote his “public option”. He has asked Congress to draft the legislation, but called for it to encompass three basic principles:
1. The rising costs of health care have to be brought down.
2. Americans have to be able to chose their own doctor and their own plan.
3. All Americans need to have quality, affordable health care.
The President must know that these goals are impossible to achieve in a government run plan.

Unfortunately, most Americans don't pay much attention to the details. With the implied promise of something for nothing, and few alternative solutions offered, Obama has many supporters. Most of them are unaware that every where this has been tried, it has increased the cost of health care and lowered the quality of care. The innovation, high quality and advanced treatment techniques that characterize our current system would be degraded. Rationing of care, especially at the end of life, would become the norm.

To see government health care at work we don’t need to look at Canada, Cuba or Great Britain; fifty nine million Americans already have it. It’s called Medicaid. Medicaid was passed in 1965 to provide health care for poor Americans. Government, both federal and state, pay for it. A recent study cited by Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a physician and health care expert at American Enterprise Institute, showed Medicaid patients to be 50% more likely to die after heart bypass surgery than patients with private coverage or Medicare.

Obama’s proposed plan would be an insurance program designed to compete with private insurance. It would be funded by taxpayers, administered by Washington, and open to everyone. President Obama claims people would not be forced to change their doctors or their coverage. He denies trying to push people into a government-run plan, but employers and state governments with private plans will soon realize it's less expensive to move employees into the government plan than to continue private coverage. Obama Care will soon become the single dominant health plan, which is its political purpose.

The Lewin Group, a health-care policy research and consulting firm, estimates that a public option could result in employers switching up to 120 million Americans from their current coverage to government-sponsored coverage to reduce costs. Thus a public plan, especially if combined with a mandate on employers to offer government coverage or pay a tax, would mean that millions of Americans would be pushed out of the private coverage they have today.
Like Medicare, the Obama Plan will control spending by using its purchasing clout and political leverage to dictate low prices to doctors. Physician income declines will be aggravated by regulations that will make practicing medicine more costly. Doctors will be required to employ expensive electronic prescribing tools and computerized health records, and will be encumbered with rules requiring expensive staffing and documentation to show compliance.

With last fall’s bailouts, the government spent almost $1 trillion. This year’s stimulus package cost even more. Can we now afford the price tag for an “Affordable Health Choices Act”, the name given to the recent Kennedy-Dodd health care bill? Last Monday, the Congressional Budget Office estimated the cost of the Kennedy-Dodd health care plan at $1 trillion. Supporters of the plan complained that the estimate was based on a preliminary plan that was incomplete. Since that time the cost estimates for the plan have been upped to $1.6 trillion. The government already owns much of the banking industry and two major automakers. Do we now need to give it control of another 17% of the economy?

In a recent Wall Street Journal Opinion (June 8, 2009) the writer offered the following:
“Increasing cost-sharing would discipline the health spending curve and give it a more rational bent. As societies grow richer, it makes sense that people will invest more in their own well-being. Health is a superior good, while the utility of wealth is fairly low if you're dead. The U.S. health cost "crisis" is that we spend so much with no incentive to weigh the costs against the benefits.”

I couldn’t agree more. In 1960, the average American paid more than 60% of his health care out of pocket. Health care spending has since increased sevenfold, but the percentage that consumers pay directly is now less than 12%. It is unrealistic to believe that health care will become less expensive because the government is paying for it. When people aren't exposed to the true cost of their care they consume more care. The real solution to the health care dilemma is to give consumers more control and more responsibility for their health care choices.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Across the State and Across the County


Apparently the news media was to busy eating hot dogs to do justice to the tea parties that were taking place all across Michigan and the United States. That's OK. We know who we are, our numbers and the effect we can have on election outcomes.


I spoke at a Tea Party in Owosso, Michigan. There were about 170 patriots there concerned about the direction of our country. They had a great little country band and people who seemed to know why they were there. We were right along the road and people honked in support as they drove by. The real inspiring aspect of the tea parties is that these people are ready to put their words into action.


A real example of a Wayne County resident moved to action is Nancy Hames who is attempting to recall two members of her city council in Grosse Pointe Woods. She is only recalling two because the others who voted for the increase are up for reelection in November. Her reason is their vote for a property tax increase of 13.5% a full 1.75 mills. Grosse Pointe Woods has some very exclusive property but the owners have not been exempt from the effect of the bad economy. Small business owners, white collar workers and professionals have been hit too.

There is no reason to believe that Grosse Pointe Woods is any different than any other municipality which thinks they are justified in raising taxes instead of cutting spending. We will be meeting with her this week to see how we can help.

If you are interested in helping call me at 313 278-8383 and I will direct you to the proper person.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

What A Well Dressed Protester Should Wear


At one of the breakout sessions at the Tea Party Convention last Saturday, a interesting man stood up and said that the Tea Party on April 15, was the first protest he had ever attended. He said he did not even know what to wear but decided on casual clothes. Well that was a pretty good guess.

In reality , the well dressed protester wears what ever he or she pleases. That is what it is all about, liberty, soverinity and getting those we elect to represent us instead of themselves. I think the convention was a success. It was a good second step. The speakers were interesting, the discussions were good and the people were friendly.

The feeling I got was that everyone there was ready to move on to the next step and was not willing to maintain the status quo. Some were preparing for more Tea Partys on July 4th, others were preparing for the march on Washington in the fall and still other are prepared to gather signatures to effect change in our state. What I saw was a large group of determined people.
You can get involved too. Click on the minuteman and sign up. Read how a little effort by a lot of people can make a difference. Let the events in Iran motivate you. Let it remind you how precious our freedoms are. Let it remind you what our forefathers had to endure to acheive their goals. Do not let anyone convince you that any political party,or any person has motivated the new patriot revolution. It is driven instead by the actions of our elected officials and their insesitivity to the people they represent. It is a result of thier lack of regard for the principles set down in our constitutions that they swore to uphold.
Any people who believe in freedom, when pushed, will eventually push back. Technology has made this a much more even fight. We can not let the selfserving ruin our country or our state. We can not let them decieve us into complacentcy. The thugs on the far left or the wacos on the far right should not be allowed to define the rest of us. That sould not be interpreted as the lack of will by the rest of us to do what must be done.




Thursday, June 11, 2009

Et Tu Wayne County?


On Tuesday June 9, Scott Hagerstom from AFP and I testified before a Wayne County Committee which was considering a county sponsored title corp at the request of the Register of Deeds Bernard J.Youngblood. What has Wayne County got to do with title searches and insurance. Needless to say, we thought it was a bad idea and said so. The title companies, as you would suspect, had something to say on the issue as well.

Our main concerns were that government should not be in business. If they did this, what kind of transparency and oversight would there be? How would the liability be paid for? Who would pay the $10,000,000 that is anticipated for start up? What success has there been where it was tried before. Has It been tried before and succeeded?

Wayne County's track record, in my book, has not been very good. Even if it starts out costing less, taxpayers will eventually wind up picking up part of the tab. Even those people who do not have the resources to own their own property. They had to stop the meeting because of conflicts but they are going to schedule another for more discussion. Good thing.

Forbes Magazine said that title insurance is the richest insurance racket. If Youngblood believes that, why does the county not prosecute instead of go into the business?

Youngblood's attorney, Patrick J. Bruetsch, approached us after the meeting. He says the county will have nothing to do with this, Youngblood just wants to endorse the idea. We asked then why is it before the committee. Then he said Youngblood will only let credible investors be involved. We asked "how does he get to pick the investors if he is not involved?" He claims he misspoke. He then proceeded to say much the same twice more. Something stinks here. The county should stay clear of this. They have enough problems to deal with. When they can do the job with what they have, even then it should not be expanding government. Besides, who is paying for youngbloods attorney? Why does he need one if he only wants to endorse the project?

If someone can do the job cheaper let them go in the business. If the title insurance companies are price fixing as they implied, then call in the feds.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Stand Up


I am looking forward to this Saturday, June 13. The Tea Party Convention will not only be fun, but it will continue the momentum of the Lansing Tea Party. The five proposals that will be presented, voted upon and prioritized will give us goals to work towards. The speakers have a wealth of information between them and the break out sessions will give us a chance to share ideas.

I am asking you to get out of your fetal position and register. It is being held in Holt, Michigan. It"s not that far. You can get to the registration page from the homepage of the Wayne County Taxpayers Association. The cost is only $10 per person and that includes lunch. For those of you that have children, there is even childcare. What more could you want.

Put some effort behind your words and join us. All talk and no action doesn't change a thing. People call me all the time and want me to do there work. This is your opportunity to commit to do your share. Hope to see you there.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

D Day Dilema




I watched with appreciation the international ceremony to commemorate the 65th anniversary of D Day. It is very easy to take for granted the sacrifices the others have made for the freedoms enjoyed by the rest of us. It is also almost impossible not to be touched by the old and failing figures who were there at the ceremony. Those aging soldiers that remain are passing at a phenomenal rate and soon will be no more. We can not afford to let their memory pass with them.

Against incredible odds they landed in Normandy, France and thus began the eventual downfall of Nazi Germany. With the playing of the most impressive rendition of taps that I have ever heard, speeches, a 21 gun salute and fly overs by planes of the countries of France, England, Canada and the United states we honor the courage, dedication and and the supreme sacrifice of those who fought and died.

You could see behind the eyes of the remaining soldiers the memories of their lost friends and the difficulties that they endured from that moment on, both in memory and physically. They gave up so much for our way of life, please do not let it be in vane.

Recently, we have been warned by our socialist friends about the dangers. We are on the precipice and ready to fall over. Of all the warnings, the most unsuspected was from Pravda, a Russian publication:

It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American decent into
Marxism is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a
passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me dear reader, I meant people.

True, the situation has been well prepared on and off for the past century,
especially the past twenty years. The initial testing grounds was conducted
upon our Holy Russia and a bloody test it was. But we Russians would not
just roll over and give up our freedoms and our souls, no matter how much
money Wall Street poured into the fists of the Marxists.


Those lessons were taken and used to properly prepare the American populace for the surrender of their freedoms and souls, to the whims of their elites and
betters. ..........

The Russian owners of American companies and industries should look thoughtfully at this and the option of closing their facilities down and fleeing the land of the Red as fast as possible. In other words, divest while there is still value left.


The proud American will go down into his slavery with out a fight, beating his chest and proclaiming to the world, how free he really is. The world will only snicker.

I can not believe that Americans will much longer sit by and let this happen. How can we refute our history. How can we deny that our poor have been better off then in any country? How can we refute that opportunity has not been plentiful when people try to sneak into this country across the borders and across the seas? How can we so willingly turn over to our representatives control of our lives? How can we let people run our economy who have no experience, tell us what we want, tell us what we need and ,heaven forbid, what we should think?

Thank you to those who have fought and died for our country. I for one will try not to let your efforts be in vane.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Dillon the Villan and Boss Hog Handy

Nothing to relieve the taxpayers burden has been done in this state. Some things just stay the same. When I failed to recall Andy Dillon from the 17th district and rid him of his seat as the Speaker of the House for raising taxes, I was sure that this would happen.

I allowed myself to rejoice in the fact that his association with R Miles Handy, then Supervisor of Redford Township, along with Handy's own bad reputation, caused Handy to be replaced as Supervisor. That joy was short lived. I knew in my heart that those that sleep with dogs get flees. So instead of eliminating one bad apple from Lansing, we now have two. This kind of thing is part of the reason we do not have good governance.

Handy is now Andy's right hand man. I hate to think how the two of them can conspire to think about what they can do FOR themselves and TO the rest of us. Between the two of them, they have one diabolical mind. Andy Dillon's payback to his political friend costs us all. We have another year and a half to endure. I wonder if he replaced someone or if he is paid from the increased office expense account they voted themselves.

As a reminder of who Dillon calls his friend, I have a must see video released during the recall. If you have already seen it, it is fun to watch again anyway.




Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Short Wait By Future Standards


I am delighted to say that I spent 6 1/2 hours in the Emergency room at Oakwood Hospital last night. Oh it was tiring and aggravating but I was happy to do it.

The day before yesterday, my husband felt a pain behind his knee. We thought he must have pulled a muscle or stretched a tendon. He could not remember anything he had done to cause the problem. The next day it started to really swell and by evening his leg started to turn blue below the knee. At that point, it was off to the emergency room with his very swollen blue leg.

Our fear was that it could be a blood clot that might travel and kill him. They took his information as soon as we walked in. Then, proceeded to take his vitals and information about the problem. We waited about 45 minutes to be taken back to a examination room. Then it was wait for a doctor. In the mean time, a nurse came in and took his vitals again. The doctor finally examined him. He said it may be a cyst that had burst or a blood clot and an ultrasound was necessary to determine the problem.

We then had to wait a couple hours for his turn with the ultrasound machine and a reading from radiology. They determined that this was one of the biggest cysts that they had ever seen in a leg and it had burst. Keep the leg elevated and see your physician the next day was the advice. He thought that it might not require surgery and would eventually be absorbed by the body.

The point of all this is not that you care about my husbands leg but that in 6 1/2 hours we went from fear to diagnosis and treatment. Only in America!

The Fraser Institute of Canada did a study about "Waiting Your Turn in Canada". The startling statistics brings home the truth about socialized medicine.
The Fraser Institute's 11th annual waiting list survey found that waiting
time for surgical and other therapeutic treatments grew significantly in
2000-01. Total waiting time between referral from a general practitioner and
treatment, averaged across all 12 specialties and 10 provinces surveyed, rose
from 13.11 weeks in 1999 to 16.2 weeks in 2000-01. This nationwide deterioration
reflects waiting-time increases in eight provinces, while concealing decreases
in waiting time in Saskatchewan and Newfoundland.

In 2007 the median wait for an ultrasound was 3.9 weeks,but in Manitoba and Prince Edward Island it was 8 weeks. Prince Edward Islanders are waiting far too long for routine ultrasounds and X-ray results. The same story replays over and over in each country with socialized medicine.

We have to keep that nightmare from happening here. Call your members of congress and tell them you don't want single payer healthcare.