Date: March 28, 2011 8:40:33 AM EST
We‘ve been duped
Last November the voters of this state, and the nation, voted to change
our political world by voting in folks promising lower taxes and less
government. That sounded good on the surface, but now as these tea
baggers start to make their changes, I see where this is taking us.
Everything we have spent decades building to make our society so great --
our very way of life -- is threatened. Unbridled government cuts will
have a negative impact on the things we most need and cherish. Our
schools, our safety, our roads, culture, safety nets for the less
fortunate, our national defense, are all at risk. As we lose more fire
fighters, teachers, cops, government services and road maintenance, we
will all suffer. And as we decimate funding for libraries, public
broadcasting, mental health services, medical research, arts, education,
recreation, regulatory watchdogs and so much more, we will soon find
ourselves in a different world. A pronounced step backwards from
civilization, towards a jungle existence, with no spirit of community or
Governments are necessary, primarily to provide services that people need,
but cant provide individually, It is always good to eliminate waste and
overlap, but we still need many of the things we get by banding together.
Budget squeezes are tough, but it makes no sense why the burden falls so
heavily on the middle class and those in the bottom strata. Yet the new
wave seems determined to continue to give huge tax cuts to the rich and
the hugely profitable corporations. I think we were duped into believing
all these changes would help us, when really they further widen the gap
between the wealthy and the rest of us. I think we could still maintain
our quality of life if we just got those who have most profited from our
economy to pay a fair share.
Now we get the attack on unions, who have always fought for the working
class, union or not. The powerful and rich have divided us so they can
further conquer us. Its scary that so many dont see that.
I for one, will not be voting for the party of the wealthy next time.
Robert H. Smith Cheboygan
A friend of Jake‘s
I am writing this in response to the article you guys have written about
Jacob Cabinaw (3/21). Ken and his wife were the only two people outside
of Jake‘s family that spent more time with him than me. I saw him almost
every weekend and he was in the middle of fixing my vehicle when he
I find it odd that I have not once been contacted by the detective,
especially since I left town the week the investigation started. Also, I
want to know what morons believe he left town because he smoked pot?
Going AWOL is way worse than a failed drug test.
Jake was no dummy. He loved his kids, his family, his friends and the
military and is one of the few who wanted to go fight in our two wars. He
does not fit the profile of someone trying to run from his problems.
Anyone that thinks it was anything but foul play is a dumbass and should
think rationally and outside of the ignorance box.
Im glad you guys ran the article and put it on the front page but this
investigation was done poorly by the police. No one runs from their
entire life over a minor marijuana smoking.
George Nemetz via email
An unfair budget
Leave it to Governor Snyder to solve Michigans financial problems on
the backs of seniors and the working poor.
In order to support an 86% tax cut for businesses in Michigan, Snyders
budget proposes a tax on pensions. This tax will have untold negative
consequences for tens of thousands of retirees and those approaching
However, the most egregious aspect of Snyders budget is the proposed
elimination of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). This credit provides
state income tax relief for thousands of Michigans working poor. The
Michigan League of Human Services estimates that approximately 25,000
Michiganders including 14,000 children would be pushed into poverty if
the EITC is repealed. Furthermore, repealing the EITC makes poor business
sense. According to the Anderson Economic Group, every $1.00 of EITC
benefit received results in $1.67 put back into local economies.
All of this adds up to a 32% tax increase for individuals, hitting
Michigans poorest households the hardest. Instead of proposing a change
to Michigans regressive tax structure a fair, sensible move that would
generate billions in new revenue and prevent devastating cuts - the
Governor is asking those who can least afford it to sacrifice more.
Cam McCord Williamsburg
The phony crisis
Loved The Phony Budget Crisis story (Ted Rall, 3/14).
I would just like for you to know how much I agree with and am glad to see
in print, the article on the budget crisis. Finally someone has expressed
exactly how I feel and what I believe to be true with intelligence and
Thank you for taking this risk in Republican territory.
Cindy Akans Gaylord
A better way for economy
After reading American Tsunami (Random Thoughts, 3/21), I think that
maybe Bob Downes had slept through the last two decades. While I share his
frustration with this down economy, I believe that there is a formula that
must be adhered to. I believe an economy needs to be fed a constant stream
of good news, low business taxes, reasonable regulations, controlled
government spending, a balanced budget, low gas prices, and more.
Somehow Mr Downes left out Bill Clintons signing of NAFTA and WTO when
relaying his Republican-led formula for economic disaster. That you blame
Bush is no surprise, but those plant closings he speaks of were preceded
by NAFTA and most have reopened in foreign countries. Your Keynesian
thoughts of endless government spending of Chinese backed dollars to
stimulate the economy is laughable.
As for wages, I spent most of my working life in automotive. When you send
millions of American jobs to Mexico and allow millions of illegal aliens
to enter and offer sub-minimum wage costs to employers, that is simple
supply and demand wage reduction and not racism as your readers like to
extol. As an ex auto worker I like many of my neighbors who have managed
to hang onto our homes make less than half our old wages and we pay half
for everything in life including taxes.
So to the teachers and other government workers, sorry but as you didnt
support us we can no longer afford you.
Bob, you used a firm called Macroeconomists Forecasters to give a chicken
little call for more spending or suffer 500,000 more job losses, their
name by definition requires government intervention (spending) in our
economy. Clinton gave the economy a stream of good news, low taxes, ending
welfare as we knew it, massive cuts in federal government, a balanced
budget and more; this president was raised a Keynesian and rules in a
laissez faire world.
John McDonald Interlochen
Cheers for the Indians
Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the Indians in Winter article
in the March 14 Northern Express. To answer your question, yes -- I have
wondered how the Indians of Northern Michigan lived through the cruel,
cold winter months just a few generations ago.
Most articles Ive come across related to the subject were weak or boring.
Yours was neither. It was the first one that had all the information I
wanted to know. It was succinct and gave information that I have been
seeking, like how the winter made travel possible on soft ground and
animal tracking easier, and the effects of lodge living on the health of
the residents. You paced the article just right.
Ive been reading the Express for many years and this article is probably
my favorite of all time. Even my roommate, who doesnt read the Express,
picked up a copy for herself because of the interest this article
generated when she read the cover.
Elizabeth Winter via email
Mike Estes denouncing of onerous regulations reminded me of his
hypersensitivity to environmental pollution in 2002 when he was
campaigning against conservative Republican Jason Allen for the senate
seat in the 37th district.
At that time he refused to use yard signs because he thought of them as
pollution. I imagine his definition of pollution has softened since that
time, since many of the regulations that he now rails against are the very
ones that protect Michigans air, land and waters. Along with his
enthusiasm for shifting tax monies from pensioners to corporations, this
is a remarkable turnaround for the once Democratic candidate.
Ann Krantz TC
No sharing in proposal
I read with interest the recent letter written by Michael Estes praising
the budget proposals of Governor Rick Snyder. As a retired teacher, I
dont object to having my pension taxed in order to help balance the state
budget. However, I do not want to see this revenue shifted to provide yet
more tax breaks for business.
Mr. Estes speaks of shared burdens. I see no sharing in this proposal. I
see more giving -- to business -- at the expense of retired people.
I urge you to write Governor Snyder opposing his tax shift.
Lynn M. Larson TC
(Look for a follow-up from Michael Estes in next week‘s Express. - ed.)