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I have taken pride in the past of being a fiercely independent voter, casting my ballot for example, for Carter (once), Reagan (twice), both Bushes and Obama (twice).
I am not a fan of the social agenda of the Democratic Party, as I view some of their policies as morally repugnant and counterproductive to a healthy society. That being said, I find myself in a sad position of giving up my status as an independent and becoming a member of the Democratic Party. Here are the reasons why.
1. Economic: Recently, due to the effects of Senate Bill 10, my pension check of $84.10 was replaced by a monthly bill of over $47. The effect was the same as a tax of over 156% on my pension check.
When I tried to discuss the disproportionate effect of this on small pensions, one of my local state politicians told me he considered this to be fair, even though it was done long after my decision to retire.
Tax cuts for the wealthiest of Michigan have been paid for by tax increases on seniors and citizens with lower incomes. Stephen Tuttle wrote an excellent and insightful commentary about this in a recent edition of the Northern Express.
2. Education: Policies of the party in power have broken the Michigan promise, in effect saying to our college students, “times are hard, our promises are only good during prosperity.” If our leaders don’t keep their word, they should fully expect that to be reflected in society.
And by attacking teacher benefits the quality of education given to the children of Michigan will suffer immensely long-term, as the quality of teachers will suffer.
Telling new teachers that they are considered so worthless that they do not even deserve health insurance when they retire will reduce the quality of teachers. You get what you pay for, and the current politicians are not willing to pay for quality.
Also, it is my opinion that provisions of the emergency manager law which allow seizure of property are in violation of the due process clause of the U.S. Constitution.
3. (And most important) Philosophical: The Republican Party has abridged the rights of the people to petition by attaching non-relevant appropriation items to bills they expect a substantial portion of the people to try to override by exercising their right to petition. I find this technique to be heinously un-American.
Members of the Republican Party have proposed changing the system of delegates to allow disproportionate weight to Republican voters. Under their proposal, Mr. Romney would have received more electors than Mr. Obama, even though he lost the state by over 450,000 votes!
Gerrymandered districts, which I consider to be “legalized corruption,” designed to keep people in power who may not receive the majority of votes, are a reflection of this attitude.
A report from the Republican State Leadership Committee stated that by gerrymandering (controlling redistricting) at the state level, they were able to retain control of the U.S. House of Representatives, thus undermining the will of the people.
This has nothing to do with fairness and everything to do with preserving political power. I would feel the same if it was the Democratic Party, Green Party -- it is corrupt rigging of the game - it is politics at its worst and antagonistic to democracy.
To sum it all up, Harry Truman said it best when he stated, “The Democratic Party works to help people who need help. That other party works to help people who don’t need help.” Sadly, this has been true at the state level in Michigan for at least the last two years.
Bruce Cozad • TC
Seniors mugged by GOP
Just had my 2012 taxes completed; I suspect most people would agree that it is a relief to have it out of the way. What is not a relief however, is losing the over-65 age exemption, and due to the evaluation of my home, losing my property tax credit. The two biggest breaks seniors previously have enjoyed.
Tax deductions for contributions to my favorite organizations are now all but extinct; so much for the incentive to give!
I can live with all this, but what about low income, single parents losing earned income credits and educational credits? No help for improving the quality of their lives, is there? Perhaps we can all agree that the unfortunate situation in which they find themselves is their own fault because they didn’t tug hard enough on their own “bootstraps” as the conservative mantra expounds.
As to the “mugged” metaphor, I feel that our Governor and Republican legislature each have grabbed one of my legs, turned me upside down, and shook at least $1,200 out of my pockets! All this to give a $1.6 billion tax break to Michigan businesses.
And, if that isn’t enough, you can look for an increase in fuel taxes and license fees. Small wonder Forbes and AARP magazines listed Michigan at the bottom of the 50 states for seniors!
If you have not done your taxes yet, just wait for your “gift” from your “Red State” government. Remember this when you cast your 2014 ballot!
W.D. Bushey • Elmwood Twp.
I have to agree with Bob Ross’s letter in the Feb. 11-17 issue of your paper about the Catholic churches shielding priests guilty of sex crimes against children. His statement that the church should show the same care for postnatals as they do to pre-natals could apply to the Democratic Party in general as well.
While the Dems are almost always crying that this program or that one is “for the children,” they continue to support the extermination of thousands of ‘children’ every day due to abortion.
It seems to me that sometimes children are no more than a matter of convenience to Democrats if it pushes their agenda forward. One has to look no further than our president, who recently used children more or less for stage props during a speech about gun control; yet when the ‘good’ president was a state senator, he sponsored a bill that would require one doctor to terminate any fetus that had survived an abortion attempt by another doctor.
If the Democrats are so concerned about children, then maybe THEY should be as concerned about the pre-natals, as well as the post-natals.
Kelly M. Croff • Alanson
Frog for dinner, anyone?
If you put a frog in a pan of cool water, then put the pan over a fire and heat it to boiling, the frog will set in the pan until it is cooked and never try to escape the hot water.
If we continue to burn fossil fuel, we will heat up the planet (like the pan of water) until like the frog we will be cooked. And like the frog, we are doing nothing to prevent being cooked.
Randy Bond • Beulah