How the federal debt would look in terms of a household
The information below cuts thru political hype and helps put things into perspective.
Let's remove eight zeros from the federal figures and pretend it's a household budget:
U.S. Tax revenue / Annual family income: $21,700
Fed budget / Money the family spent: $38,200
New debt / New credit card debt: $16,500
National debt / Outstanding credit card balance: $142,710
Recent budget cuts / Family budget cuts: $38.50 -- How can we ever get ahead if we only cut the budget $38.50?
This may help to explain the Obama administration: Only 8 percent of President Obama's cabinet has ever worked in private business! That's right! Only 8 percent -- the least, by far, of the last 18 presidents whose average was 46 percent with a high of 57 percent under Eisenhower and a low of 30 percent under Kennedy! And these people are trying to tell our corporations how to run their business? How can the president of this nation, with the most successful economic system in world history, talk about business when he's never worked for one; or jobs when he has never really had one and it's the same for 92 percent of his senior staff and closest advisers? Many don't understand the serious situation this country is in. We are on a financial cliff and if this frightens you then it should. Financial consultant Daniel Amerman said, "The promise to create money out of thin air and inject it into the economy at a rate of $40 billion a month on an unlimited basis is the single most inflationary act the Federal Reserve has taken to date. Here's another way to look at the debt ceiling: Let's say, you come home from work and find there has been a sewer backup in your neighborhood ... and your home has sewage all the way up to your ceilings. What do you think you should do? Raise the ceilings, or pump out the crap?
Your choice is coming Nov. 6. I will not support any democrat because they all enthusiastically support this president and his failed policies.
Please seriously think about it before you vote.
Mike Coulter, Petoskey
Send a message to Congress
Much of the blame for our weak economy rests on the shoulders of Congress (10 percent approval rating compared to 52 percent for President Obama). When President Bush was re-elected for a second term in 2004, he declared his victory to be a mandate and vote of confidence for his policies.
Do we want to send that same message to our current Congressman? Do we want to send a mandate for a rigid, stubborn ideology that discourages compromise while engaging in obstructionism and partisanship?
Our Rep. Dan Benishek has signed his allegiance to lobbyist Grover Norquist and is backed by the tea party. Compromise is not a viable option with them.
Congress has followed a strategy of opposing the current administration and had done very little of anything else.
We must send a different message to Congress. Especially to those who cater to the agenda of lobbyist and outside interests rather than the opinions of his constituents. I urge you to vote for McDowell this November.
Klaus Lehrer, Williamsburg
Republican tax cut helps companies, not families
If you tend to vote Republican, this letter is guaranteed to cure that problem.
You already know that Congressman Benishek is on record favoring"privatizing" and even "phasing out" Social Security and Medicare. (See Benicheck.wordpress.com)
At the state level, Republicans cut over a billion dollars from schools for 2011, to give corporations a big tax break. (The average school district had its per pupil funding reduced by $470 last year).
Now for the big April 2013 surprise. You are going to pay much more in Michigan income taxes next year. Michigan Public Act 38 starts for tax year 2012. In July 2011, the bipartisan House Fiscal Agency estimated the impact of this Republican change on 2012-13 revenues. http://www.house.mi.gov/hfa/PDFs/FINAL%20TaxpayerExampleM.pdf.
Indeed, for tax years 2012-13, our personal income tax payments will go up almost $2 billion.
Why? Well Republicans cut business taxes big time in PA 39-40. Michigan business tax revenues from Walmart and other companies are going down even more than $2 billion over the same two years!
It's the same sort of redistribution to corporations and the 1 percent started by Reagan and Bush II and now promised under the Romney/Ryan budget plan.
Here are two examples :
A married couple with two kids and a household income of $55,000 will pay an additional $739 next April. How about a retired couple born after 1952, with a pension of $48,000 and a total household income of $53,000. They will pay an extra $3,130 under the Republican state income tax increase.
Now that you know the facts, you can return to the Democratic Party and elect someone who represents real people on Nov. 6.
Leonard Page, Cheboygan
Vote no on Proposal 3
Great Lakes Energy is one of 11 not-for-profit, member-owned electric cooperatives in the state that support renewable energy, but stand united against Proposal 3. This ballot proposal would amend the Michigan Constitution to include a 25 percent Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which would be very expensive and extreme.
Michigan's electric co-ops support the current 10 percent RPS set by the Legislature in 2008. Co-ops are key partners in Michigan's first commercial wind farm, and one of our state's largest renewable energy resources, a hydro facility in Sault Ste. Marie, is owned by an electric co-op. We believe renewable energy has a place, but has limitations. Wind farms in the state typically only generate 30 percent of the time and even less on hot, still days when needed most. By comparison, wind farms in other states often operate at levels exceeding 40 percent.
Wind power in Michigan is very expensive. The Mackinac Center for Public Policy reports it would cost the average homeowner an additional $170 to $190 annually to achieve the 25 percent RPS suggested by Proposal 3. This does not include the high costs of building new transmission lines or additional generation needed to "back up" the wind when it does not blow. These costs would increase rates even more. Solar power is even more expensive.
Finally, we strongly believe that the Michigan Legislature, not the constitution, is the place to enact far-reaching energy policy.
We support the reasonable use and development of renewable energy, but believe Proposal 3 threatens our mission to provide reliable and affordable electricity to 125,000 homes and businesses served by Great Lakes Energy. Please vote "no" on Proposal 3.
Steve Boeckman, President and CEO, Great Lakes Energy, Boyne City