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Proposal One: Can You Say Boondoggle?

boondoggle noun boon·dog·gle \ˈbün-ˌdä-gəl, -ˌd-\ 
an expensive and wasteful project usually paid for with public money

On May 5th, you will have an opportunity to go the polls and vote on
Proposal 15-1. Here is the language of that proposal:


PROPOSAL 15-1      A proposal to amend the State Constitution to increase
the sales/use tax from 6% to 7% to replace and supplement reduced revenue to
the School Aid Fund and local units of government caused by the elimination of
the sales/use tax on gasoline and diesel fuel for vehicles operating on public
roads, and to give effect to laws that provide additional money for roads and
other transportation purposes by increasing the gas tax and vehicle registration
\fees. The proposed constitutional amendment would:  
  • Eliminate sales/use taxes on gasoline/diesel fuel for vehicles on public
  • roads.
  • Increase portion of use tax dedicated to School Aid Fund (SAF).
  • Expand use of SAF to community colleges and career/technical
  • education, and prohibit use for 4-year colleges/universities.
  • Give effect to laws, including those that:
  • Increase sales/use tax to 7%, as authorized by constitutional
  • amendment, 
  • Increase gasoline/diesel fuel tax and adjust annually for inflation, 
  • Increase vehicle registration fees, and dedicate revenue for roads
  • and other transportation purposes, 
  • Expand competitive bidding and warranties for road projects, 
  • Increase earned income tax credit.

Should this proposal be adopted?   YES [ ] NO [ ]


Here is what the passage of this bill means for the hard working

taxpayers of the state of Michigan:  

  • It will permanently raise the sales tax rate in the state of Michigan to 7%
  • from the current 6%. This is a 17% increase in the rate and will cost
  • taxpayers nearly $1.5 billion. 
  • It will raise additional revenue from higher fuel taxes ($463 M), higher
  • vehicle registration fees ($10.9M), and commercial truck fees ($50M). 
  • Gasoline taxes will be raised from 19 cents to 41.7 cents per gallon.
  • Diesel taxes will increase from 15 cents to 46.4 cents per gallon. 

This will come to $200 per year for every man, woman and child in


Further, approval of this bill puts 10 additional laws in place that will

cost the Michigan taxpayer.  Many of these new laws were added as

sweeteners to garner democrat support:

  • $270M increase in the earned income tax credit (EITC) welfare handout
  • $290M increase in the school aid fund. 
  • $115M increase in "revenue sharing" funding to local governments
  • $274M to go to township and village road agencies. 
  • $116M for mass transit projects
  • $20M for the Michigan Conservation and Recreation Legacy Fund. 
  • $1.3B to pay off the debt in the State's Transportation Fund

Add that all up and you get nearly $2.4 billion that is being raised on

the backs of Michigan taxpayers, not one penny of which will pay for

new roads.


If you don't think this will be a huge tax increase, consider that in the

proposal language  the words "increase" or "expand" are used at least

nine times while the word "eliminate" appears only twice!


The outcome of this proposal is in the hands of the voters. The

legislature has empowered you to decide whether you want this enormous tax increase. 


Please vote on May 5th. Send a strong message to the legislature

that you will not accept this boondoggle.


For further, in-depth analysis of Proposal 1 from the Mackinac Center

for Public Policy, click here.


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Cast your educated vote for the "Sales/use Tax increase" for Road repairs...!!! on May 5th

Final ballot proposal language "is deceptive"

 The ballot language on May 5 will read

A proposal to amend the State Constitution to increase the sales/use tax

from 6% to 7% to replace reduced revenue to the School Aid Fund and local

units of government caused by the elimination of the sales/use tax on

gasoline and diesel fuel for vehicles operating on public roads, and to give

effect to laws that provide additional money for roads and other

transportation purposes by increasing the gas tax and vehicle

registration fees

The proposed constitutional amendment would:

§  Eliminate sales / use taxes on gasoline / diesel fuel for vehicles

on public roads.

§  Increase portion of use tax dedicated to School Aid Fund (SAF).

§  Expand use of SAF to community colleges and career / technical

education, and prohibit use for 4-year colleges / universities.

§  Give effect to laws, including those that:

  • Increase sales / use tax to 7%, as authorized by
  • constitutional amendment.
  • Increase gasoline / diesel fuel tax and adjust annually for
  • inflation, 
  • increase vehicle registration fees, and dedicate revenue for
  • roads and other transportation purposes.
  • Expand competitive bidding and warranties for road
  • projects.
  • Increase earned income tax credit.



The “fix” is in. Many in Lansing would have you believe that the

only solution to our crumbling roads is to raise taxes.

They promote statistics like “Michigan ranks last among the

50 states in per capita road expenditures”. These headlines are

designed to lead citizens to the conclusion that we simply don’t

pay enough in taxes.

Funny thing about the per capita road spending statistic… only the mafia

prices out pavement contracts based on the number of bodies. Road

construction projects are typically priced out according to the number of

miles to be paved. Guess where Michigan ranks when it comes to how many

dollars per mile we spend on our roads? 13th. In fact, Michigan spends 53%

more per mile than the national average (SOURCE: Reason Foundation, ). This

information would tend to lead citizens to a much different conclusion.

Perhaps we have a problem with how we are spending the $3.3B already

allocated to transportation?

In support of this assertion, we should note that Indiana spends roughly

the same amount per mile on their roads. Do you know where they ranked

in pavement condition? #1. Do you know where Michigan ranked in the

same analysis? 43rd. Clearly, the solution to our transportation infrastructure

woes needs to look at much more than tax revenue.

If the recent “road solution” would have passed as proposed, we would have

been paying $0.44/gallon more at the pump and that assumes that the price

of gas itself remained constant. For every dollar increase in the price of gas,

the tax on gas would have increased another $0.07/gallon. If it would have

passed we would have been treated to one of the largest tax increases in

Michigan history.

Furthermore, the increase in the diesel tax from $0.15/gallon to $0.19/gallon

would have not only increased the price of fuel for truckers, it would have

further increased the price of the goods they transport on our behalf such as


The backup plan to this approach was to put a 1% sales tax increase on the

ballot for voters to decide. Once again, the focus was on a tax increase as the


Should this proposal be adopted?


As you can see, the proposal scurrilously lists repealing gas taxes at the top of

the list while burying the fact them replaces it with similar taxes way down in

the list, and without mentioning that the replacement taxes are higher!

Concerned Taxpayers of Michigan made news when we were the first

(and only) group to urge the Director of Elections "don't lie to voters." 

We got ballot language that is less deceptive than the language proposed

last year by the lawmakers that put the issue on the ballot.  
But that is not saying much.  

Voters are not going to be given the whole truth, not on the ballot.

Cast your educated vote on May 5th.


Political Correctness is Evil

President Ronald Reagan and Pope St. John Paul II combined forces to set the stage for the collapse of the iron curtain and freedom for millions. The iron curtain collapsed but communist ideology survived and it learned what it needed to ultimately prevail.

The legal and moral foundation of America, like most of western civilization, is based on Judea/ Christian principles firmly rooted in the Ten Commandments. This is the source of the American sense of fair play and empathy for the less fortunate. The forces of evil have mounted an all out campaign, under the guise of political correctness, to undermine and dilute our moral foundation. As Thomas Jefferson warned “Even under the best form of government, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny”. Tyranny is coming our way at light speed.

By using the camouflage of political correctness, the forces of tyranny have removed discussion of religion and thus removed morality from public life under the guise of separation of church and state. It is that removal that is the source of the deterioration of the way of life our forefathers passed to your care. Political correctness has made it illegal for preachers to preach moral issues, redefined by them as political issues, from the pulpit. Unfortunately, most of the religious powers have, out of convenience, surrendered their right to preach and educate their congregations on how political issues and specific politicians align with the Christian foundation of the Ten Commandments. To quote Martin Luther King Jr. “Powerless Pulpits Produce Nations in Bondage”. Truer words were never spoken.

If this country is to be turned from tyranny, it will take someone with extremely strong moral character firmly rooted in the Ten Commandments, along with the firm, vocal, and unwavering support of the Christian’s community. So, as we approach this next election, I plead with voters to ignore all the political noise and vote for the candidate with a track record firmly demonstrated to align with the Ten Commandments.

Ben Di Ponio - Tea Party Patriots of West Oakland County 

Lou Holtz nails it! .. Told As Only A Coach, An Old Coach, Can!!!

 The Democrats are right, there are two Americas. The America that works, and
the America that doesn't. The America that contributes, and the America that
doesn't. It's not the haves and the have nots, it's the dos and the don'ts.
Some people do their duty as Americans, obey the law, support themselves,
contribute to society, and others don't. That's the divide in America.

It's not about income inequality, it's about civic irresponsibility. It's
about a political party that preaches hatred, greed and victimization in
order to win elective office. It's about a political party that loves power
more than it loves its country.

That's not invective, that's truth, and it's about time someone said it.
The politics of envy was on proud display a couple weeks ago when President
Obama pledged the rest of his term to fighting "income inequality." He noted
that some people make more than other people, that some people have higher
incomes than others, and he says that's not just. That is the rationale of

The other guy has it, you want it, Obama will take it for you. Vote
Democrat. That is the philosophy that produced Detroit .

It is the electoral philosophy that is destroying America . It conceals a
fundamental deviation from American values and common sense because it ends
up not benefiting the people who support it, but a betrayal.

The Democrats have not empowered their followers, they have enslaved them in
a culture of dependence and entitlement, of victim-hood and anger instead of
ability and hope. The president's premise - that you reduce income
inequality by debasing the successful-seeks to deny the successful the
consequences of their choices and spare the unsuccessful the consequences of
their choices. Because, by and large, income variations in society is a
result of different choices leading to different consequences. Those who
choose wisely and responsibly have a far greater likelihood of success,
while those who choose foolishly and irresponsibly have a far greater
likelihood of failure. Success and failure usually manifest themselves in
personal and family income. You choose to drop out of high school or to skip
college - and you are apt to have a different outcome than someone who gets
a diploma and pushes on with purposeful education. You have your children
out of wedlock and life is apt to take one course; you have them within a
marriage and life is apt to take another course. Most often in life our
destination is determined by the course we take.

My doctor, for example, makes far more than I do. There is significant
income inequality between us. Our lives have had an inequality of outcome,
but, our lives also have had an in equality of effort. While my doctor went
to college and then devoted his young adulthood to medical school and
residency, I got a job in a restaurant. He made a choice, I made a choice,
and our choices led us to different outcomes. His outcome pays a lot better
than mine. Does that mean he cheated and Barack Obama needs to take away his
wealth? No, it means we are both free men in a free society where free
choices lead to different outcomes.

It is not inequality Barack Obama intends to take away, it is freedom. The
freedom to succeed, and the freedom to fail. There is no true option for
success if there is no true option for failure. The pursuit of happiness
means a whole lot less when you face the punitive hand of government if your
pursuit brings you more happiness than the other guy. Even if the other guy
sat on his arse and did nothing. Even if the other guy made a lifetime's
worth of asinine and short sighted decisions.

Barack Obama and the Democrats preach equality of outcome as a right, while
completely ignoring inequality of effort.

The simple Law of the Harvest - as ye sow, so shall ye reap - is sometimes
applied as, "The harder you work, the more you get."

Obama would turn that upside down. Those who achieve are to be punished as
enemies of society and those who fail are to be rewarded as wards of
society. Entitlement will replace effort as the key to upward mobility in
American society if Barack Obama gets his way. He seeks a lowest common
denominator society in which the government besieges the successful and
productive to foster equality through mediocrity. He and his party speak of
two Americas , and their grip on power is based on using the votes of one to
sap the productivity of the other. America is not divided by the differences
in our outcomes, it is divided by the differences in our efforts.

It is a false philosophy to say one man's success comes about unavoidably as
the result of another man's victimization.

What Obama offered was not a solution, but separatism.  He fomented division
and strife, pitted one set of Americans against another for his own
political benefit. That's what socialists offer. Marxist class warfare
wrapped up with a bow. Two Americas , coming closer each day to proving the
truth to Lincoln's maxim that a house divided against itself cannot stand.
"Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond
to it."

Lou Holtz

Leo "Lou" Holtz (born January 6, 1937) is a retired American football coach,
and active sportscaster, author, and motivational speaker.




Urgent Education Issues 2013

Why Fight the Common Core Initiative? 

1) Michigan, local school & parents lose control 

2) The standards are unproven

     The assessments are not yet written

3) These standards are not Best Practice, and cause

     teachers to use bad practice

4) More cost to states (taxpayers)

     Hundreds of millions $$

5) Michigan will lose ground on school choice

6) Federally directed education is unconstitutional



What can YOU do to Stop Common Core? 

1.  Call or write Governor Rick Snyder & Legislators

repeal and rescind Common Core Standards & Assessment

2. Advocate with friends, family & teachers

3. Sign the petition at Team Ben Common Core

         Learn more: Americans For Prosperity

         The Heritage Foundation – Education Issues

         American Principles Project

         Stop Common Core in Michigan


What should we do instead?

  • Improve standards thru evidence of best practice
  • Continue to expand school choice
  • Use the MEAP
  • Develop assessments that “advise instruction”
  • Build the teaching “profession”

Melanie Kurdys



Thank you to patriot candidates who had the courage to stand up for we the people against the politics of special interests. Thank you, Matt Maddock, Deb O'Hagan, Jim Runestad, and Russ Tierney.
On the surface it looks like the Republican establishment candidates were the winners in yesterday's primary. They may have won a few battles but they may well be losing the war. A war the Republican party declared on it's own base.
The Kowall vs. Maddock race: Mike Kowall, the incumbent with a five fold funding advantage and the backing and funding of the entire Republican party apparatus did not get even 50% of the vote. Matt Maddock a complete unknown, with no experience at running for political office, and no special interest funding received 43%. Another candidate who did not even campaign received 7.5% for a total of over 50%. Another words, an incumbent with all of his huge special interest campaign fund advantage and the backing and spending of the Republican party received less than 50% of the vote. 
Jim Runestad won the 44'th district race. He and Russ Tierney, both Tea Party candidates, received 59% of the vote. Liz Fessler Smith, even with the full backing of the Republican party establishment, received only 33% of the vote.
The incumbent, Klint Kesto, may have won with 55% but again, it took the full weight of the Republican party apparatus to make that happen. Deb O'Hagan, who like Matt Maddock, had no experience or special interest funding received 40% of the vote.
If I was the Republican party, I would be very, very concerned about what these numbers mean for the future, given the results and the demographic changes occurring in Oakland County.
Ben Di Ponio - Tea Party Patriots of West Oakland County






Obamacare Number of the Day: $621,000,000,000


In addition, the report by the CMS actuaries debunked the notion that Obamacare helped cause the recent slowdown in health spending—or that the slowdown is likely to continue:

Annual national health spending growth is projected to remain near 4 percent through 2013, primarily as a result of the recent recession and modest recovery. This projection is consistent with the historical relationship between health spending and economic cycles….

Continued slower health spending growth after the recent economic downturn has raised the question of whether a more fundamental change is occurring in the health sector. However, econometric and actuarial analysis by the CMS Office of the Actuary of the past fifty years of National Health Expenditure Accounts data…suggests that health spending growth is likely to accelerate once economic conditions improve significantly.

Instead, the actuaries conclude, the recession and anemic economic recovery bear the bulk of the “credit” for the current slowdown in health spending growth.

Finally, the actuarial report analyzes the sources of some of the increased health spending due to Obamacare. And, as Exhibit 4 (below) notes, one of the fastest sources of growth in the health sector will be “government administration.” Spending on government administration—which includes salaries for federal, state, and local bureaucrats, as well as computer and other overhead costs for government programs—will more than double, rising from $31.1 billion in 2010 (the year Obamacare passed) to $70.4 billion in 2022.


So even as Obamacare is raising overall health spending, despite the lingering effects of the economic recession, more of that spending will pay the salaries of government bureaucrats and regulators. That’s not the kind of change Americans can believe in


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