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    Tag: waste


    By JGillman, Section News
    Posted on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 12:57:02 PM EST
    Tags: Michigan, Taxes, Government, Crony Capitalism, A123 Systems, Azure Dynamics, United Solar Ovonics, Evergreen Solar, MEDC, Paybacks, Waste, Fraud, Causes (all tags)

    Its whats for dinner.

    Continually feeding us the economic benefit angle of government intervention in free markets, leaders love to pad the wallets of their best buds in industry. To do so requires a "cause" however,as simply jacking the public treasury for personal gain is abhorrent to those on BOTH sides of the political divide. Climate change has become one of the easiest causes to gather around, because the science is so ambiguous, its been simply easier for governments to act and perhaps err on the side of caution.

    So we promote and enhance business models that are designed to combat climate change with other peoples' money. Also included in these 'causes' is the argument that "new jobs are created" with the development of such technology.  Such was the case with A123 Systems:

    "In 2009, A123 received millions in federal and state funds, for the creation of jobs for Michiganders. Taxpayers  unwillingly, or unwittingly saw their paychecks shrink for promises never realized, and now they may have ultimately subsidized a technology transfer to a competing world power."
    Which in fact is now happening.

    But the cherry in the pie is something even more disturbing.  Adding insult to injury, the failure to produce promised results for taxpayer paid incentives and gratuity is now lining the pockets of the failed executives who apparently understand private public partnerships better than the rest of us.

    Its a place where only the taxpayer loses:

    "The top executives who presided over its failure - and supported the president's cap-and-tax initiatives early in his term - are likely to receive millions of dollars in bonuses, thanks to their scheming earlier this year and a bankruptcy court judge."
    But wait.. there's more.

    Below the fold.

    (1 comment, 619 words in story) Full Story

    Closing Argument In Opposition To A $100 million Bond Request

    By JGillman, Section News
    Posted on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 12:10:11 PM EST
    Tags: Traverse City, ichigan, TCAPS, School Bonds, $100 million, $26.5 Million Performing Arts Center, waste, Maintenance, Restoration, Slush Funds (all tags)

    Traverse City Area Public Schools are asking for a $100 million dollar bond approval.  At great expense and use of time, I have been in opposition of this continued abuse of the taxpayers.  This is a Re-post from GROW.TC

    The election is upon us.

    Voters will decide if it is worth forcing property owners to pay an additional 0.8 mil in taxes for the luxury of a Performing Art Center, destruction of wealth, and an open ended slush fund for the school district's physical desires. Part of the plan is of course to extend the FULL 3.9mil an additional 5 years.

    ~ If the bond request passes. ~

    Lets clarify the slices of pie TCAPs is asking the taxpayers to put on its plate.

    The Performing Arts Center

    Sunday's  (November 04, 2012) Record Eagle ad and also similar postcards sent out by TCAPS Citizens for Students in its pie graph uses the term "CHS Renovation" to represent its current version of the $26.5 million Performing Arts Center.  This language is now consistent, and closely matches that of School board member Scott Hardy who advised the TCAPS board to deceive voters with the language "renovation" rather than face an obvious backlash for a perceived and very real luxury of "Performing Arts Center".

    The pie shows it as a 16% component of proposed projects, which is also misleading in the way it suggests that it is a 'small part' of the overall project.  The 16% figure is arrived at by taking the already approved and remaining from 2007 $65 million bond, and adding it to the requested $100 million on this go-round.  $26.5 million is exactly 16% of $165 million.

    The other deception the TCAPS board and its shill organization (TCAPS Citizens for Students - which is coincidentally run by a finance director for the schools, and funded by the local chamber) attempts, is the canard that it is ONLY $18 million that is being spent on the auditorium.  They explain that the other amounts are for "school improvements, office moves, and new entry areas."  Though all of those can be verifiably true, they also gloss over the fact that without the auditorium, NONE of the additional improvements would be necessary.

    The Performing arts Center is in fact, the sole source of the "CHS renovation" expense.

    Continued below.

    (3 comments, 1084 words in story) Full Story

    A Message To Our Legislators - Beware False Choices

    Dead Ponies

    By JGillman, Section News
    Posted on Wed Feb 09, 2011 at 11:23:53 AM EST
    Tags: Pure Michigan, Subsidies, Business, Dead Horse, Farms, Lansing Michigan, MEDC, Republicans, Waste (all tags)

    As much as possible, I try to keep both MTTM and RightMichigan separate in author content, however, I realize that some folks don't get over there, and vice versa..

    Today's post over, is about whether our state Republican electees are prepared to examine their principled beliefs, or if they pander to the will of the entrenched ideology of progressivism within the Michigan GOP.  An entrenched ideology I might add, that attempts to shame true conservatives for being too far right.

    -- -- --

    Dead Ponies.  Re-posted from Michigan Taxes Too Much

    One of the toughest things for Republicans elected to positions that have, as a matter of course the spending of taxpayer money, is the `supporting business' angle. Perhaps it could even be called a `supporting the economy' paradigm. Business is everything right? So why wouldn't an elected official do everything to get business going, and create those jobs? And why shouldn't Republicans support any measure that enhances business activities, promotes job growth, and expands business in general?

    Define "any" first, and we may have the appropriate answer.

    And any legislator who wants to do what is best for his or her constituents might be at risk.

    More below.

    (1 comment, 1132 words in story) Full Story

    Is That A Sucking Sound I Hear?

    By JGillman, Section News
    Posted on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 10:56:21 AM EST
    Tags: Michigan, MEDC, Political favors, Corruption, Waste, Fraud (all tags)

    To Meet the legal obligation and receive $125,000,000.00 from Michigan Taxpayers, A123 needs to create only how many jobs?  In a Capitol Confidential piece today, Tom McMillin says:

    McMillin poured through the legal documents on the deal and said that the company only needs to create 300 jobs by Dec. 31, 2016 to get most of the state money and doesn't need to create a single job to get the $249 million in federal aid. A123 Systems would have to create 350 fulltime jobs by August 2012 to have a $4 million loan forgiven.

    "We keep hearing all these grandiose plans and claims of thousands of jobs, yet whenever I've tried to put those inflated numbers as requirements for getting our millions of taxpayer dollars, they always say, 'No,' " McMillin wrote in an e-mail.

    "The fact is, A123 only has to have 300 new jobs to get over $100 million in checks (subsidies) from Michigan taxpayers. That's over $300,000 per job of our money and over $700,000 per job of federal money (which is debt laid on our kids).  Real, independent studies show that these schemes, while getting some headlines, actually cost Michigan jobs, because existing businesses pay for those subsidies with higher taxes that would have gone to either preventing layoffs or hiring new employees."

    Unless my calculator app on this PC has another one of those floating point problems of yore, I see $416,666 that Michigan taxpayers are paying per each required job in addition to the two times that of federal money.

    (9 comments, 565 words in story) Full Story

    We All Live In Poletown.

    By JGillman, Section News
    Posted on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 10:19:36 AM EST
    Tags: Michigan, MEDC, Political favors, Corruption, Public Good, Public Use, Waste, Fraud (all tags)

    Anyone who has read my work here, or at MTTM on a regular basis, might have an understanding I am not a big fan of the MEDC, or for that matter, of any government funded operation that has as a matter of its business model, a mandate to give away tax payer dollars.  I disagree with any particular favoritism by government, and any funding from government towards private business entities that essentially picks winners out of a basket of marketplace entries.

    The reasons I disagree with these methods of "spurring economic growth" are many, but essentially, a direct credit or payment to a business for it to settle in a particular location is "Taking" from others who pay the dues (taxation) and giving to another without any benefit to the payers, and in some instances working directly against their best interests..

    There are "Public use" vs. "Public good" arguments that look at government's practice of taking.  The 5th amendment: "Private property shall not be taken for a public use, without just compensation", addresses a reasonable goal of keeping citizens whole when it becomes necessary to use what they own for the common use of the citizens.  And in a smaller way, the taxes we pay, are presumably for the necessary operation of government services, which we also presumably benefit from "equally."

    (4 comments, 830 words in story) Full Story

    Liz Boyd versus the all-Dem Detroit Public School Board

    By Nick, Section News
    Posted on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 07:31:10 AM EST
    Tags: Granholm, Boyd, Bobb, DPS, Union, waste (all tags)

    Circle this date on your calendars and remember it well, because these sorts of things tend to happen only once in a lifetime.  I'm going to agree with something said by Governor Granholm's spokeswoman, Liz Boyd.  

    Yesterday while the President was turning a long-planned town hall meeting with Macomb County moms and dads into an invitation only speech for Democratic Party donors and big-wigs about Community Colleges a little dose of that "yes we can" attitude was force-fed into the southeast Michigan atmosphere.

    If only it'd filtered south a few miles and made it's way into the D, where Robert Bobb has been waging a one-man war with the entrenched Democratic Party education bureaucracy in an effort to turn around one of the most maligned public school districts in the nation.  And the man has been getting things done.

    His reward from the all-Dem Detroit Public School board?  A lawsuit seeking an injunction to stop him in his tracks.  The Detroit News:

    "We have no problem working with him, but we have a problem with him working around us, (said board President Carla Scott). You can't do something without discussing it with us. You don't have a right to set the policy."

    Last week, Gov. Jennifer Granholm's spokeswoman said Bobb, whom the governor appointed earlier this year, is not overstepping his role with the district. Granholm gave him a very difficult job of turning around the district, and he doesn't need to be micromanaged, Liz Boyd said.

    Apparently Ms. Scott and the rest of the board (which voted unanimously to take the man to court) didn't get Ms. Boyd's message.  And while I fully understand there is ZERO chance the Governor will actually defend her appointee against elected Democrats in public, at least we've got last week's statement to keep us warm at night.

    Not that I wouldn't trade those warm fuzzies for a bit of common sense at DPS.  Let the man do his job cleaning up your mess, Madame Chairwoman.

    Read on...

    (2 comments, 544 words in story) Full Story

    Greed, graft, corruption... horse racing? Just another day in government spending

    By Nick, Section News
    Posted on Fri May 22, 2009 at 07:59:13 AM EST
    Tags: Cox, Blue Cross, Detroit City Council, waste, graft, corruption, horse racing (all tags)

    Almost a pity that the Second Annual RightMichigan Bloggers' Challenge starts June 1st and not today because this morning's headlines provide more unbelievable blog fodder than any day in recent memory.  

    There's the same-old, same-old that could seemingly (and probably will) carry a political conversation for an entire Presidential term with talk of restructuring in the Big 3; this morning we learn the UAW may be making concessions with General Motors.  There's the steady and continuing escalation in jobless claims and applications for benefits.  Autos and layoffs in Michigan.  We've been down that road before and we'll be down it again.

    There's better... and more peculiar... news out there this morning, too, though.

    We've got Attorney General Mike Cox taking on Blue Cross, for instance, over their decision to again dramatically hike health insurance rates on Michigan senior citizens.  According to the Ivory Tower:

    "Blue Cross should stop putting profits over people and focus on its mission as the insurer of last resort," Cox said in a statement announcing the challenge.

    Overall, average increases sought would be 56% for non-elderly people buying their own insurance; 42% for group conversion policyholders who purchase coverage they once had at work, and 31% for seniors with supplemental Medicare, also known as Medigap policies.

    The massive hikes would slam more than 400,000 Michigan seniors, folks on fixed incomes who can afford it the least.  Of course, BC/BS claims they're caught between a rock and a hard place and can't afford NOT to hike rates.

    I get tough times.  If you live in Great Lakes State then YOU get tough times.  Baseball, apple pie, hot dogs and tough times.  That's how we roll.  The Attorney General doesn't think Blue Cross is quite as pinched as they're claiming, though.  Remember, this is the same company that last year gave away more than $1.54 million in bonuses to members of their board of directors.

    And while we're on the subject of inappropriate use of scant resources, the Detroit News checks in with the Detroit City Council which continues to break land-speed records for inappropriate behavior and irresponsible spending.

    The City currently faces a $300 million budget deficit but the City Council has increased their own budget by 12 percent over the last three years and now spends over $6 million a year.

    Read on...

    (6 comments, 757 words in story) Full Story

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