Letters

Letters 08-29-2016

Religious Bigotry President Obama has been roundly criticized for his apparent unwillingness to use the term “radical Islamic terrorism.” His critics seem to suggest that through the mere use of that terminology, the defeat of ISIS would be assured...

TC DDA: Focus On Your Mission What on earth is the Traverse City DDA thinking? Purchasing land around (not within) its TIF boundaries and then offering it at a discount to developers? That is not its mission. Sadly enough, it is already falling down on the job regarding what is its mission. Crosswalks are deteriorating all around downtown, trees aren’t trimmed, sidewalks are uneven. Why can’t the DDA do a better job of maintaining what it already has? And still no public restrooms downtown, despite all the tax dollars captured since 1997. What a joke...

European-Americans Are Boring “20 Fascinating People” in northern Michigan -- and every single one is European-American? Sorry, but this is journalistically incorrect. It’s easy for editors to assign and reporters to write stories about people who are already within their personal and professional networks. It’s harder to dig up stuff about people you don’t know and have never met. Harder is better...

Be Aware Of Lawsuit While most non-Indians were sleep walking, local Odawa leaders filed a lawsuit seeking to potentially have most of Emmet County and part of Charlevoix County declared within their reservation and thus under their jurisdiction. This assertion of jurisdiction is embedded in their recently constructed constitution as documentation of their intent...

More Parking Headaches I have another comment to make about downtown TC parking following Pat Sullivan’s recent article. My hubby and I parked in a handicap spot (with a meter) behind Mackinaw Brew Pub for lunch. The handicap spot happens to be 8-10 spaces away from the payment center. Now isn’t that interesting...

Demand Change At Women’s Resource Center Change is needed for the Women’s Resource Center for the Grand Traverse Area (WRCGT). As Patrick Sullivan pointed out in his article, former employees and supporters don’t like the direction WRCGT has taken. As former employees, we are downright terrified at the direction Juliette Schultz and Ralph Soffredine have led the organization...

Home · Articles · News · Other Opinions · Seniors need to pitch in...
. . . .

Seniors need to pitch in too 4/4/11

Michael Estes - April 4th, 2011
Seniors need to pitch in too
By Michael Estes
A few Lansing demonstrators hustled together by AARP and unhappy union
members to create problems at the capital don’t constitute the majority
thinking of Michigan voters and especially not seniors.
Instead of wasting a sunny spring Michigan afternoon, most seniors were
busy gainfully employed, assisting those in need or enjoying the company
of their friends and family in their retirements. As a senior I’m offended
by the misinformation from the media about the Governor’s tax proposal.
It’s equally sad to hear the pathetic response by wimp Legislators fearful
for their re-election all because some AARP members and some union
employees can support nothing other than their selfish interests. This
mentality is doing nothing to move Michigan forward.
Let’s get real. The Snyder proposal to tax pensions won’t impact the poor.
Seniors will pay the same tax rate that their 21-year-old grandchildren
pay.
Young people and all employed persons pay a percentage of their incomes to
the State; so why should seniors constitute a privileged tax class?
The proposed changes will tax pensions which are income that has never
been taxed just like wages, dividends and interest and other forms of
income. Those seniors with two Social Security checks, two or more
pensions, plus investment income will definitely pay more in Michigan
taxes. They rightfully should. These same pension benefits are already
taxed by Uncle Sam and most states.
Additionally, seniors receive special tax benefits for their age from both
the State and the Federal government that are unavailable to our youth and
other workers.
My father’s legacy was to leave me a world better than the one he was born
into, to pay his debts and to not burden me with his liabilities. My
generation of seniors is on a path of leaving our offspring with their
monumental debts and little opportunity for the young to pay those debts.
The national debt is $14 trillion and growing. In Michigan, to pay
unemployment benefits, we’ve borrowed $3.4 billion from the fed without a
plan for repayment. Presently, 67 cities in Michigan are on the watch
list of serious financial trouble with the Treasury. Meanwhile, 90% of
governmental pension plans are underfunded, meaning billions are owed in
the future. Flint needs $20 million just to stay afloat and it’s unlikely
that public education will survive in Detroit. Unemployment rates are
highest for our youngest citizens, yet we expect them to pay our debts.
Additionally with our support, our young assumed large amounts of their
own debt to finance their college educations with little chance of
recouping that expenditure.
Governor Snyder’s tax package is not without pain, but it’s exactly what
Michigan needs. We need to pay as we go and we can no longer apply
Band-aids to difficult financial decisions. We need to create a business
environment and a taxation policy in Michigan that encourages new hiring.
That’s the only way that the youth of Michigan can pay their education
liabilities, purchase the houses we will one day wish to sell, and
otherwise contribute to our common good. It’s time for my fellow seniors
to tune out the media fear-mongering and the rants of Lansing protesters
and make their fair share contribution to a solution for Michigan.
Do it for your grandchildren and for those who are yet to come!

Michael Estes is a former mayor of Traverse City.

 
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