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As one of his first official acts, Governor Snyder picked the pockets of Michigan retirees by taxing their pensions and retirement savings. He then lined the pockets of his corporate backers by reducing business taxes.
As they say, a leopard can’t change his spots -- and Snyder is at it again. Thanks to his hand-picked emergency manager, the pensions of Detroit retirees are now before the federal bankruptcy court.
Can you guess who stands to benefit if Detroiters’ pensions are reduced by the bankruptcy court? That’s right, the Wall Street investment bankers who own Detroit’s other debt stand to get a bit more of their money back if the Detroit retirees’ pensions are slashed.
Another instance of Governor Snyder picking the pockets of Michigan retirees in order to line the pockets of his corporate backers? You be the judge!
Jay S. Johnson • Empire
Food stamp cuts
Yes, that would be the real “Hunger Games” (I’ll credit the movie for my title to avoid a Rand Paul plagiarism charge).
Dr. multi-millionaire Dan Benishek is one of the reasons the house will not bring a vote for the Farm Bill to the floor. Why are they not bringing it to the floor? Dr. Dan, along with his fellow Teapublicans, want to cut $40 billion-plus dollars from the SNAP (food stamps) program as a condition of passing the Farm Bill.
His Michigan Congressional District 1 is not exactly a hotbed of economic development due to high unemployment and low-paying jobs (except his). Some 90,000 of his constituents are dependent on the SNAP program. Does he not care how this reduction in food supply will affect them? He would present us with the new Northern Michigan version of the “Hunger Games”. Can’t wait to hear his appeal for votes next year.
To continue his war on the poor and vulnerable in his district the good doctor is appearing in television ads promising to get rid us of the ACA/Obamacare Law. His replacement plan is to offer “nothing” but a return to the market-based system that failed so many of us. Benishek would return to pre-existing conditions, policy cancellations, and maximum pay outs, no young adults on parents’ policies, no covered preventative care such as colonoscopies, mammograms, diabetes care, and a host of other benefits.
Obamacare will be successful, but look for Dr. Dan the obstructionist, to somehow have an epiphany and take some kind of credit. Please ask yourself: do the UP and Northern Michigan need this kind of representation?
Warren D. Bushey • Elmwood Township
The Indian River Racetrack issue has unfortunately very much divided our community, literally pitting neighbor against neighbor.
I have been a full-time resident of Indian River since 1977. My wife and I have dedicated our working lives to this community, I as a school counselor and college instructor, and my wife as a public health nurse. Our kids were raised in this community, both graduating from Inland Lakes High School. For many years, I have donated hundreds of hours of my time to the Indian River Summer Fest, in order to create and maintain the Kayak Bike Biathlon. This event has raised thousands of dollars to groom our local cross country ski trails and to build new bike paths. Clearly, I care deeply about the economic prosperity of our community.
So where do I stand, when it comes to building a racetrack in Indian River? If some members of our community want a race-track, and developer Mark Hall wants to build it, then so be it.
However, common sense and historic precedence dictate that racetracks should not be built in residential areas. Racetracks are generally built on the outskirts of towns, away from homes, and away from people. Griswold Mountain (which is within one mile of over 700 individual residential properties) obviously does not meet these criteria.
So what’s the solution? Mark Hall would not have to look very far to find an alternative site for his racetrack. There are 1,000 acres of state land east of I-75 and south of M-68 that would make a far better location for a racetrack. The state is willing to part with this land.
Officials from the DNR have indicated that a land swap with Griswold Mountain is feasible. The Little Traverse Conservancy has said that they could help facilitate such a land swap. Since land swaps generally do not involve buildings, Mark Hall could conceivably keep his mansion on the hill, while building his racetrack in a different location.
This is a win-win situation. Indian River could end up with both a racetrack east of I-75 and a land-preserve on Griswold Mountain. The town would benefit from the added commerce of thousands of spectators at racing events, while minimizing the impact of noise and traffic. As an added benefit, there could be an additional park on Griswold Mountain that would attract even more visitors for hiking, mountain biking, snow-shoeing, and other “Pure Michigan” recreational activities. If Mark Hall truly wants to “give back to the community,” then he could be instrumental in making all of this happen.
Jess Miller • Indian River
(See this week's story in the Express for more on the Indian River motocross issue -- ed.)