Letters

Letters 10-20-2014

Doctor Dan? After several email conversations with Rep. Benishek, he has confirmed that he doesn’t have a clue of what he does. Here’s why...

In Favor Of Our Parks [Traverse] City Proposal 1 is a creative way to improve our city parks without using our tax dollars. By using a small portion of our oil and gas royalties from the Brown Bridge Trust Fund, our parks can be improved for our children and grandchildren.

From January 1970 Popular Mechanics: “Drastic climate changes will occur within the next 50 years if the use of fossil fuels keeps rising at current rates.” That warning comes from Eugene K. Peterson of the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management.

Newcomers Might Leave: Recently we had guests from India who came over as students with the plan to stay in America. He has a master’s degree in engineering and she is doing her residency in Chicago and plans to specialize in oncology. They talked very candidly about American politics and said that after observing...

Someone Is You: On Sept 21, I joined the 400,000 who took to the streets of New York in the People’s Climate March, followed by a UN Climate Summit and many speeches. On October 13, the Pentagon issued a report calling climate change a significant threat to national security requiring immediate action. How do we move from marches, speeches and reports to meaningful work on this problem? In NYC I read a sign with a simple answer...

Necessary To Pay: Last fall, Grand Traverse voters authorized a new tax to fix roads. It is good, it is necessary.

The Real Reasons for Wolf Hunt: I have really been surprised that no one has been commenting on the true reason for the wolf hunt. All this effort has not been expended so 23 wolves can be killed each year. Instead this manufactured controversy about the wolf hunt has been very carefully crafted to get Proposal 14-2 passed.

Home · Articles · News · Letters · Letters 4/20/09
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Letters 4/20/09

- April 20th, 2009
Crisis management
If you have some extra money, it may be time to sidle up to the table and get yourself some assets. President Obama and others have said that the “profit ratios are now such that it may be time to invest.”
Hmmm! Back down that road again?
There are millions of properties that are now owned by banks, the government, and other lenders that can be snatched up at bargain basement prices. Stock values of financially sound companies are available at half the price of two years ago! Lay down the cash and walk away with some great homes, companies, and stocks. Or, if you can leverage one of your hedged futures, please do so. Now! You may not have to part with any of your cash or other assets and still pick up a whale of a deal on a foreclosed home or two!
Hmmmm! Have we so quickly forgotten where that road will lead us?
The sparkle can be seen in the eyes of those who will weather this “downturn” with excess cash left in their wallets or sufficient assets remaining to leverage credit. They know the game and are waiting patiently just outside the circle of light as the foreclosures, lost retirement funds, and folding small businesses burn down to ashes. If allowed to, the cyclical dynamo that propels additional wealth into the coffers of those who are already the most well-to-do, will work its magic once again, and again, and again.
Here is an outline that can help us to “make the best of this crisis” while at the same time heading down a road that may help us avoid such crises in the future:
• Create a single-payer universal health care system.
• Get rid of the health insurance industry.
• Re-employ insurance workers in a publicly run health care administration.
• Determine the present cost of health care without the insurance industry profits.
• Project the cost of health care for all people who live in the US of A.
• Re-work the pay structure for health care workers including doctors, nurses, technicians, etc., with negotiations resulting in a more equitable distribution of pay.
• Focus on achieving a healthy population through preventative care and education.
• Fund universal health care with a graduated monthly fee structure based roughly upon the asset ownership of individuals.
• Place banking services under public ownership.
• No longer charge interest on home mortgages or small business loans. Rather, add a fee to the loan principal at closing.
• No longer charge interest on credit card debt. Rather, add a surcharge to the principal at the time of each purchase.
Of course, there are many more ways that we could reduce the greed-driven functions of our economy while increasing the uplifting aspects of our “post crisis” existence. The way that we handle transportation, utilities, communications, energy, and natural resources are all areas that need re-evaluation along similar lines.

Dale S. Scott • Harbor Springs

All quiet on the left in TC
With a week in time passing since the serving of papers to the mayor of Traverse City and select commissioners, the local left has been very quiet on the subject.
I just checked out some of the local lefties haunts online and there was not one mention (excluding the Record-Eagle) of the lawsuit. Could it be the T.C. lefties don’t dare come out against George Galic at this point? Maybe because they know something? Or at the least have good reason to suspect he’s correct?
What if George Galic prevails and it is shown without a doubt that government business was conducted in the backroom? Would they defend conducting business behind the scene as the right way to operate government? No, they’ll remain quiet on this one. For now anyway. But that’s okay because “no (leftie) news is good news” as an indicator of George Galic‘s chances of prevailing.

Alex Peterson • TC

Let the sun shine
Due to the recent bail-outs and the blatant mismanagement of funds occurring in the private as well as the public sector, the idea of government transparency has recently received a great deal of attention. New organizations and websites have been created purely to provide information regarding our government’s bottom line.
Citizens have started blogs to track spending not only in Washington, D.C. but in Lansing and other state capitals. What’s clear is that the potential for open and obvious government has never been so ripe. It’s an insult that government does not provide this information in an affordable, easy-to-use manner.
In an effort to push back the curtain on at least part of the Michigan House of Representatives, I have published on my online office the budget allotment for my office as well as my staff’s salaries. I am the very first lawmaker in Lansing to post such information on-line. I hope others will follow.
Why is this important you might ask? Well, let me tell you. Last year, after it became certain the Legislature wasn’t going to return the $352 million in excess tax dollars the state over-collected in 2007, talks quickly turned to spending the surplus on such things as $14 million to the Detroit Zoo, the Detroit Institute of the Arts and the Detroit Historical Society.
Perhaps public disclosure of the state’s spending habits will help guide some accountability and transparency in government. If nothing else, it will provide an avenue for taxpayers to find out how government is spending their money. Is that really too much to ask?
It’s no secret that Michigan is in terrible economic shape however it does seem that our executive branch would like to keep the secret of state spending. Recently, I asked the Governor to create an easy-to-use web site where people can see exactly how their taxpayer dollars are being spent.
The Governor’s administration claims the cost of creating a web site is exorbitant. However states like Oklahoma built a web site for as little as $8,000 in software plus staff time and it took me less than two clicks of a mouse to post my expenses on-line. I find it hard to believe that our state cannot afford a system similar to Oklahoma’s when the benefits of such a system would only equal more effective spending.
In a time where every penny counts, it is no longer acceptable to make it difficult for citizens to see where their money is going. I hope you will take the opportunity to access my office’s financial information by visiting www.gophouse.com/elsenheimer.htm and clicking on the Government Transparency link.

State Rep. Kevin Elsenheimer
105th District




Correction
A number got cut off as the result of a printing error in a story about STOKE last week. STOKE has 17 retail outlets, not 1 as stated in the article.
 
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