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    Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?

    Raise the curtain.

    `Tis a somber day indeed!

    By KG One, Section News
    Posted on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 09:15:01 AM EST
    Tags: Michigan Constitution Article 9 Sections 26 through 34, Michigan Taxpayer, Proposal E of 1978, Richard Headlee, Regional Authorities, Newest tactic employed to destroy Headlee Protections. And guess who is supporting them?, Governor Rick Snyder, Rep. Jud Gilbert, HB-6025, Sen. Tom Casperson, SB-909, Rep. Mark Ouimet, HB-5688, Rep. Joseph Haveman, HB-5667, Sen. Kowall, Sen. Casperson, Sen. Nofs, Sen. Colbeck and Sen. Green, SB-1302, SB-1301, Republican "principles", Not worth the paper they are printed on. (all tags)

    My dear friends, we gather here today to mourn the passing of a good, loyal and stalwart friend of Michiganians. It has looked over us. Watched over us and protected us. But in the end, too many of us were not here when it needed us the most.

    It has been often said that "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

    Sadly, that lack of vigilance is all that was required for those forces allied against us, to take from us, that which we held most dear.

    {Continued below the fold}

    We should recall the days when we first met our friend back in 1978.

    Back then was a time not that dissimilar from what we are facing today.

    We were just getting through another nation-wide recession. At that time, there was a high burden placed upon the backs of Taxpayers all across our land by bureaucrats who felt that they were superior to us, and better arbiters of what our own money should be spent on, than we were.

    This crushing burden placed a strain on Family Budgets. Families could no longer afford their own homes, and many had lost what they had lived in for years.

    Our friend, Proposal E, which we ultimately knew as the Headlee Amendment, changed that dynamic.

    No longer would Michigan Taxpayers face an unrelenting assault and overwhelming drain on their own personal budgets due to the arrogance of public servants.

    There would now be limits on what Michigan Government can take from us. Also, limits would be placed on how it spent our money.

    Naysayers argued that it would devastate Michigan.

    How could government function, if bureaucrats couldn't spend as much as they felt was necessary, on whatever they felt was necessary with these new limits imposed upon them.

    They were proven wrong!

    Michigan Families were able to stay in their homes.

    Keeping more of what they had earned allowed them to enjoy those benefits.

    Michigan Families were finally able to enjoy what they had worked so long and hard to obtain.

    Government continued to function and Michigan did survive.

    But those forces were marshaling in the background. Looking for ways to circumvent, minimize and ultimately do away with our friend.

    Not-so surprisingly enough, the first tests against Headlee, specifically Art 9, Sec 31, came from the City of Detroit of all places back in the late 80's.

    Much like an addict craving narcotics, Detroit was addicted to taxes.

    One such tax was the Detroit "Utility Tax" which was allowed under a special law enacted for a city with only Detroit's population previous to the implementation of Headlee. Simply put, a "Utility Tax" allowed Detroit to charge a tax on telephone service, natural gas and electricity services. But Detroit was constantly hemorrhaging population. To get around this problem, the Michigan Legislature constantly revised this number downward, most recently in 2011.

    But other bureaucrats began to take notice.

    The Headlee Amendment, specifically Article 9, Section 33 doesn't clearly define what a "tax" is for local government. They thought; Why can't we just create a new tax, but not really call it a tax, to get around this problem?

    We all remember the Bolt case that resulted from that, and how it put bureaucrats on notice, but didn't really stop them from doing what they are doing.

    They merely adopted a new tact; Let's just create a new layer of government altogether, short-circuit Headlee protections and just take more from Michiganians?

    We've all seen the results of this stratagem increase dramatically recently, especially during this session alone.

    I've spoken about the fallout from a similar tactic, and how taxpayers are becoming more vocal and regretful for their support of those bills.

    Even more regrettable was the fact this trend is increasing under Republican elected officials, whose own party's clearly stated principles claimed to be directly against such a practice.

    Who can forget Rep. Jud Gilbert's HB-6025, the proposed creation of a "new layer" of metropolitan governments? I've yet to hear an adequate explain from Rep. Gilbert on how a new layer of government solves what the old layer of government cannot?

    Or how about Sen. Tom Casperson's SB-909 creation of a Metro Detroit Transportation Authority? Two transit authorities serving Detroit (SMART & DDOT) were not already enough? Now, we need a third? Especially at the behest of Gov Snyder himself?

    Rep. Mark Ouimet's sponsorship of HB-5688 creating a "Lighting Authority" for Detroit? Wouldn't paying for basic city services like public safety be a better use of limited resources? It is not like they couldn't use those resources with greater effect?

    Rep. Joseph Haveman's HB-5667 creating "neighborhood enhancement districts". Rep. Haveman apparently feels that residents don't already have better things they can spend their hard-earned money on?

    Finally, Sen. Mike Kowall SB-1302 establishing a Michigan Port Authority along with Republican Senators Casperson, Nofs, Colbeck and Green, with the power to borrow and spend? SB-1301 sponsored by the same Republicans also allows this authority to provide direct and indirect subsidies to corporations or developers? Using the power of the state to take from one group directly and indirectly to give to the well-connected few.

    Haven't we all heard this story before?

    I can trouble your conscience with even more examples of this unashamed hypocrisy, but 'tis a somber day indeed, and I don't wish to add to it any further.

    Alas, we are finding ourselves right where we were when we first met you. And regrettably, we still haven't learned from our past mistakes.

    Rest in Peace, Headlee Amendment.

    We shall miss you.

    < I guess that they should've read the fine print. | I Think That's Illegal - Sheriff Benny Napoleon >

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    Bows head (none / 0) (#1)
    by JGillman on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 11:00:48 AM EST
    and pays due respect.

    Nerdpublican principles... (none / 0) (#2)
    by Corinthian Scales on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 11:12:58 AM EST
    Now available in 2-ply!

    Keep in mind . . . (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Kevin Rex Heine on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 02:50:10 PM EST
    . . . that Bill McMaster, head honcho of Taxpayers United for Michigan (allegedly the defenders of Headlee) was one of the leaders of the charge to shoot down Proposal 12-5.  His logic?  The 2/3 Tax Limitation Amendment was deliberately structured to amend Headlee.

    Never mind that Proposal 12-5 was also deliberately designed to reinforce and protect Proposal 1978-E, "don't mess with our constitution."


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