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UPDATE: Dearborn Teachers Union OKs Proposed Contract

The members of the Dearborn Federation of Teachers approved a proposed contract that includes some pay cuts and higher health care costs for teachers.

Dearborn’s teachers will now have a clearer idea of what they will face on the wage and benefit front now that the members of Dearborn Federation of Teachers have voted in favor of a four-year collective bargaining agreement.

The agreement, which was approved by a vote of 877-84, will expire in 2013. Teachers have worked without a permanent agreement since 2009 under extensions of the previous contract and this contract will be retroactive to that year.

The contact will now go to a vote by the Dearborn Board of Education during their May 9 meeting.

Press Conference Brings Details to Light

At a press conference at Tuesday morning, representatives from Dearborn Schools and the DFT announced that teachers, depending on where they are in the schools' compensatory step program, will take a pay cut of 6 or 7 percent over the life of the four-year contract.

The “step system” used by the district will mean that members at the top of the pay scale will have to accept pay reductions. Other teachers may see small increases because they will still be able to advance a step, but not the increases they would have received under the last contract, Sipperley said.

Also, it was announced that the agreement will, for the first time ever, shift control of the teacher’s health care plan from the district to the union–a measure district officials hope will allow more focus to be placed on education.

Additionally, the school year schedule will remain intact and there will be no reductions in classroom stipends or preparation times, Sipperley said.

Supt. Brian Whiston said the pay concessions are a difficult pill to swallow for teachers, and that asking for such givebacks was personally difficult.

“Our teachers work hard, so it is very difficult,” he said. “But not doing so would have meant that I’d be cutting $22 million from the budget; now I only have to cut $3 million. And it would have meant the loss of about 300 jobs, changes to programs like athletics, the loss of other programs–it would have been disastrous for us as a district.”

With 18,600 students and 2,500 employees, Dearborn Schools is the fourth-largest public school district in terms of enrollment in Michigan. Teachers have not had a raise since 2008, and wages for 2009 and 2010 are essentially frozen under the new deal, said Whiston.

Health Care Changes

The new health care trust, which will take effect retroactively to 2009, will establish a health care plan that will be managed by the Michigan AFL-CIO Public Employee Trust. The trust an employee-based pool focused on the health of its members that is financed by a fixed contribution from the district.

For 2012-13, the district will contribute $997 per month, per employee for the plan. The following year, that contribution will increase by 7 percent.

District contributions will be subject to collective bargaining with the union.

Personnel electing to use Preferred Provider Organization health plan will, for the first time, pay monthly premiums of $218, versus the $625 that they district had proposed. Previously, teachers only had to pay for copays through the program.

Whiston said the plan will help the district cut itself off from unplanned health care increases.

“Health care costs are going up by 10 to 15 percent a year,” he said. “This way, we know what our contribution will be for the life of the contract.”

Cost issues, then, will be managed by the union, and cost savings will be decided by the membership. Sipperley said the main focus for the union is to get members enrolled.

“There will be someone at our office full-time to answer questions,” she said. “We will be educating our membership about what they do with their health, and how it affects the plan.”

Union Happy with Outcome

Chris Sipperley, the president of the Dearborn Federation of Teachers, said she’s happy an agreement was approved by her membership after a protracted and sometimes contentious bargaining period.

“I’m delighted that the contract was approved,” she said. “I was confident that it would be approved. There are some good things in it for the teachers.”

John Lenders, a German teacher at , said he voted in favor of the contract.

“It’s going to be hard to take a pay cut, but in my experience with the way collective bargaining works, it’s better to accept a proposed agreement because what comes after is usually worse,” he said. “There are a lot of things about the contract that are positive, though.”

There is a silver lining for teachers that has little do with the actual contract, said Sipperley.

The increasingly politicized environment faced by educators includes potential changes to teacher tenure rules and work rules that are favored by Republicans in the state legislature and by Gov. Rick Snyder. Though the contract negotiations, Dearborn teachers have learned to take an active role in deciding what their district needs.

“We’ve seen teachers take an increased interest in the issues we’re facing and I hope we can continue to see the level of involvement we’ve seen over the last few months,” she said. “(The state) is continuing to cut (funding for) schools, and there are more battles to face.”

Lee Jacobsen May 04, 2011 at 05:40 AM
That massive burden you mention can be easily rectified, let everyone pay for their own healthcare. Why are employers in the healthcare insurance business anyway? Employers don't pay for your home insurance, or car insurance. Why not? As an individual, for those services, you go out and get estimates, make choices, and pay for what you want and need. Is there some magical reason that states employers must pay for health insurance, and not any other insurance coverage? No? So, why are employers paying for heath insurance? That responsiblility should fall on the benefactor of the service, which is you, the individual, and not the employer, who must raise the cost of the items made to cover the cost of providing which is now, a very expensive perk, health care. As of now, there is no law that states a company has to provide health care to its employees. It is a practice that started after WWII to attract and retain workers, offer some health care perks, ie come work for us, our perks are better. Back then , it cost almost nothing to toss in health care as a perk. Now that practice has snowballed into an expectation. Time for a reality check. Try being self-employed for awhile. Then you will appreciate the generosity of your employers. If you think the cost of gas is high and wonder at the expense, try paying for 100% of your medical costs for awhile.
Frank Lee May 04, 2011 at 06:35 AM
If you believe that individuals should pay for their own health insurance and employer based benefits should be taxed as income, fine. That is your opinion. There is a reason why every single modern economy has universal coverage. It is because health care costs are best contained by preventive care, sick people spread disease and decrease GDP. Sick people will get care, if they are uninsured they will probably get treatment in an emergency room at greatly increased cost to the overall economy. How should we pay for care, because everyone will pay for universal health care one way or another. You either do it as many modern economies do with subsidies and tax incentives or through mandated socialized care. Simply saying everyone on their own is a childish and lazy argument unless you are willing to deny care for individuals without the resources to pay.
Lee Jacobsen May 04, 2011 at 03:23 PM
So it is ok to pay for your own car insurance, and home insurance, but for some reason, someone else has to pay for your health care insurance? Tell me, why the discrimination? When logic intervenes, does everything becomes childish to you? I offered a health savings plan. Employees loved it. I liked it as it cost me little. They liked it as they saved lots if they stayed healthy. Briefly, each of us toss in our share of a heathcare premium into an individual savings account & health needs are drawn from those funds. Break a finger, pay for it yourself out of the savings acct. Have a heart transplant, I take care of the catastropic coverage, which is still low cost with B/C . If you practice a healthy lifestyle, eventually the savings revert all to you. It was transferable. Why am I using the past tense? Obama has eliminated it. Not fair to the fast food junkies who don't care about their health. Society must look after them. Right! The old system worked pretty good. Hospitals never turned anyone away for lack of funds. Now we are expected to pay for 30 million illegals as well, .again, why can't we all pay for what we want? Too expensive? What about health Tort reform? When was the last time you even looked at a doctor's bill? Out of sight, out of mind. The average Joe doesn't care about healthcare costs when others are footing the bill. We should be doing preventive care, but who decides what is bad? We still have freedom of choice.
Frank Lee May 04, 2011 at 05:16 PM
Cars insurance is for cars and homeowners insurance is for a home. Health insurance is for human beings. Government is for the ordinance of reason for the common good. The common good is most efficiently advanced when persons are healthy and given the opportunity of our health system regardless of ability to pay. Our society is composed of people codependent and interrelated to each other, there is no excuse foe indifference. If you truly understood markets and incentives and their relationships to the health care cost curves. You would see the proposal you advocate is the least inefficient and most costly. Health care savings plans are capped, and the anti rejection therapy necessary for a heart transplant would be bankrupted in one month and the catastrophic plan would limit out after one year. Then what, you die? Hospitals, pharmacology interests, and the health care industrial complex have their privileges institutionalized into the public policy. These are the main cost drivers, yet the only solutions you advance are those that penalize individuals. If people are forced to choose between immediate needs and chronic care, guess what human nature chooses. Right now there are millions of people who work hard every day and yet have to make choices. Food or insulin. Human nature will choose food until they are driven into an emergency room and a maintenance issue becomes an acute crises costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. This cost is passed onto every consumer.
Lee Jacobsen May 04, 2011 at 05:57 PM
Yes, health insurance is for human beings, and humans have a choice whether to have it or not, just like home insurance, or car insurance. If someone wants to become a druggie, or pig out and stroke out, let them do it on their dime, not on society's dime. Who decides what is best for the common good? What gives them the right? Indifference means you mind your business, and others mind theirs. Want to help? Volunteer. Contribute to charities. But do not take the freedom away to make those choices. Do not force me to buy an insurance policy if I choose not to participate. Our current system supports choice. Obama care does not. Why are health care plans capped? Who capped them? Why is the catastrophic insurance limited after one year? You can purchase your limits. You buy life insurance, but don't intend to die, right? Why buy one limit over another? It's your choice, not the govt's. As you say, life is a matter of cchoices, we all live or die by them. Again, that is 'freedom of Choice'.....a basic liberty Leave it alone. Govt used to be for the basics, such as defense of our liberties. In the 50s, 50% of our miniscule national budget went for defense, the cold war, etc. Now less than 20% is for defense. Medicare, SS, and Medicaid each cost more than our current defense budget. The Seals who took out Obama get $54,000 per year. No grumbling, no threat of strikes. Detroit teachers get more, plus a 3 month vacation, ask the teachers if they are happy.
Bruce May 05, 2011 at 06:35 AM
How can you even compare military pay to any public pay? First the servicemen deserve everything they get. Teachers don't get housing and meal benefits, first class health care, bonuses and special tax incentives. Although teachers do get the similar amount of vacation per year 30-60 days. Almost everything servicemen do or buy is it a huge discounted rate if they go through the base. There is also a COLA increase yearly and get pay increases the 1st and 2nd 9 months of service and again 6months after that, then yearly. http://www.navy.com/joining/benefits/pay.html The article states the teachers are taking a 6-7% cut over the contract with no cost of living increases. Teachers pay is based on 200 work days a year, 10 months not 9. So many are taking $5000-$7000 this year and it cares over to the future each year after that. The new starting pay for a college grad teacher is going to be $33,000, which is $3000 less then it was in 2002. Then it will take them 18+ years to get to the top pay.
Lee Jacobsen May 05, 2011 at 08:14 PM
I know teachers work just as hard, or harder , than the rest of us, but our current system is broken. We need to attend classes year round. There is a reason Europe is way ahead in smart kids, and that is one of the obvious. It also hurts to hear Rush say that Detroit has a poor educational achievement percentage, less than half of the residents of Detroit are literate, and that level is worsening as those that are still 'literate', are reading the 'writing on the wall' and leaving the city in record numbers, further reducing the remaining literate level pool of residents. I tried to give a Detroiter a job the other day, painting a building. He could not read the instructions on the can regarding thinning, temperatures , etc. That is pathetic. The govt is putting all kinds of warnings on cigarettes, are we to assume that those who smoke are 'illiterate'? Can't read the warnings? Is the govt now liable for their health care? I agree, servicemen deserve every benefit they receive. Unlike teachers however, there time is not their own. They serve at the pleasure of our government. They can't take 2-3 month 'trips' to the far reaches of the world, they can, but not where we would necessarily want to go. I believe you meant 300, not 200 days for teacher base pay. That is still 4 times the vacation time most of us get after many years on the job (3 weeks vacation vs 12 weeks summer plus Easter week, spring break, Christmas week , etc.
Frank Lee May 06, 2011 at 02:39 AM
Really, you had me at "Rush said". Who cares what a drug addicted, sexual deviant, who makes frequent comments about gay sex says. More people watch the Kardashian sisters than listen to his show . Rush is the definition of lazy self absorbed prideful glutton. From a CBS story: "Rush Limbaugh was detained for more than three hours Monday at Palm Beach International Airport after authorities said they found a bottle of Viagra in his possession without a prescription." He was reportedly returning from the Dominican Republic at the time which, as Terrance Heath notes, leaves a big, gaping hole in the story. What was Rush doing in the Dominican Republic? Why was he returning from a country known for its thriving sex trade, with a bottle of Viagra that didn’t have his name on it? From a 2001 Wired.com article: the Dominican Republic is one of the biggest sex tourism destinations in the world, thanks in part to Internet sites that extol the country as a "single man's paradise."
Lee Jacobsen May 06, 2011 at 06:30 AM
Unfortunately, Detroit is delplorable as far as reading goes. Rush pointed that out. What he does with his personal life is his business, just like Obama can play 'cutsie' with his birth certificate, or have a 'crazy minister who seems to 'hate' America as his religious mentor for 20 plus years. We have spent two trillion dollars on 'stimulating' the economy. The only thing it has stimulated is our debt. Chicago is known for its 'politics'. How much did Obama's senate seat go for? Where does 95% of the union dues go to with respect to party donations? Guess what ? The unions that contributed are now exempt from Obama Care taxes. Obama and his team are still trying to figure out the 'correct' story to feed us about Bin Laden. Which version will our teachers convey to their students in Poly Sci? The ones that are still awake in class. Why don't the teachers toss the sleeping students out the door? At Dearborn High orientation, I learned that sleeping in class is permitted, no wonder students don't learn much, if anything. Yet Dearborn kids are much more literate than Detroit kids, most of the Dearborn kids can at least read their diploma when they graduate. Not so in Detroit. Imagine the chaos that must exist in the Detroit school system. With Charter schools proliferating, and parents choosing for a change, and getting involved, that may change around. Time will tell. Don't toss any more money at education. Give'em a pillow.
Bruce May 06, 2011 at 12:46 PM
The reason that the Public school system doesn't kick them out is because they CAN'T. They unlike Charter schools are not allowed to. The public education system MUST take and educate EVERYONE. If you are expelled from any other system and apply for admission to a Public school you WILL BE EDUCATED by that system and count towards all their test results, even if you are homebound schooled or alternatively schooled. The Charter schools just tell the parts that if they don't do x, y, or z they are expelled or retained. In the Public system if the teachers feel you are not ready for the next level and the parents disagree they are promoted, until the high school level. Also ALL students are expected to go to college unlike other countries, even if you are special education. These are the things wrong with the current system.
Frank Lee May 06, 2011 at 02:46 PM
Your ideology, is the pitiful gasp of a degenerate, drug addled, fat man who engages in sex tourism with underage girls. No wonder your disconnected lazy and childish rhetoric descends down a rabbit hole of conspiratorial garbage of birth certificates, and Bin Laden photos. Union dues, are documented and their spending is monitred and enforced by the Labor-Management Reporting Act 1959, and Exectuive Order 13201 passed in 2001 by President Bush. Secondly why is Obama's pastor crazy, and Bush confidant Pastor John Hagee, who refers to the Catholic Church as "The whore of Babylon" , or Ralph Reed who engaged in fraudulent direct mail order schemes and Indian reservation casino racketeering not mentioned? Furthermore why are the documented political activities of unions underhanded, and the undocumented political activities of the Mackinaw Center, the Christian Coalition, and Hoover Institute tax deductible and legitimate?
Lee Jacobsen May 06, 2011 at 08:28 PM
Bruce, the current system needs to be corrected. I agree there are things wrong.....Not all students are college material, nor want to attend. However, all students must eventually graduate and blend in with society and follow its rules, such as getting a job, shelter, family, goals in life etc. I understood a student could leave once reaching 16 years of age, how do other countries handle the ones that don't want 'higher' education?
Lee Jacobsen May 06, 2011 at 08:45 PM
Frank, We all know crooks don't bother following the law, ie "Wait", you can't shoot me, it's illegal for you to have that gun!" Same holds true for union donations, there are so many loopholes, anyone can circumvent the Reporting act, and most do. As to why the political activities of unions is underhanded, union folk in MI have no choice or right not to belong to a union. Their dues are taken and used as the union bosses see fit. With the Mackinaw Center, the money I give goes for policies that I support. I have a choice. When MI becomes a 'right to work state' (not if), then workers will have a choice. If the union is 'one-sided', they can choose not to join. If the union makes sense, then by all means join. Right now there is no choice regarding unions in MI. That will change. Regarding Rev Wright, Obama's minister for 20 years, the rev who presided at his marriage, who Obama respects and idolizes from when he was a kid, listen to him and tell me he is not 'crazy'. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hPR5jnjtLo Rush has his faults, and remember, much of what he says is 'tongue-in-cheek" . Obama created his own 'issues'.
Frank Lee May 07, 2011 at 11:43 AM
So a man who ha been divorced three times, avoided and dodged the Vietnam draft because of a bogus cyst, engages in illegal sex tourism, abuses drugs to the point he lost his hearing, and frequently references homosexual sex acts on the radio is simply a flawed individual? Why is Engaging in direct mail fraud and Indian casino racketeering acceptable if the Christian Coalition does it, why can pastors affiliated with the Republican party disparage the Roman Catholic Church as Republican party operative John Hagee did. Your posts are the definition of double standards. It is obvious that all of your information comes from reactionary right wing and neo liberal .
Lee Jacobsen May 07, 2011 at 05:27 PM
Frank, My information comes from common sense, we both know what is 'right' and act appropriately. What Rush does beyond his radio show is his affair, and, since America is still a land of 'choice', he can make choices. Not the choices you or I would necessarily make, but we also have the choice to ignore him or comment about him as we are now. Rush is not an elected official. He speaks for himself. Regarding the Church, and political conflict....how many hundreds of years has that been going on, nothing new there. Rev Wright, Obama's lifelong Pastor, expresses some rather radical views in my opinion, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hPR5jnjtLo raising concerns that our President , who admires this man, may share something in common with Rev. Wright's views of America. Wouldn't you be concerned? We are not talking about minor petty officials such as John Hagee, we are defining the views of the highest elected official of the land, the President of the United States. Yet, Obama is not endeared by all. You joke about Obama's birth certificate, but even after showing it, more that 25% of American still question it, unheard of with past presidents..... Never saw reactionary right wing and neo liberal used in the same sentence for anyone, must balance out as common sense, normal, and 'middle-of-the -road'. I'll go along with that assessment..... The teacher's unions support Obama. We have a contract. Let's see some unity and move on..
Frank Lee May 08, 2011 at 05:43 PM
Nothing you say is either common or sensical. This constant birth certificate, William Ayers, Rev Wright, drivel is the result of passion superseding reason. It is growing old and exposes your ideas as angry, resentful, and entitlement driven. Every time a person drives on a road, flushes a toilet, drinks out of a tap, attends public school, calls the fire department, or needs the police theses are services delivered by government cost effectively. The computer, Internet, vaccinations, jet aircraft, GPS, were not invented by the private sector. These were all government programs dependent upon public funding for their very existence . Industries like air travel, healthcare, trucking, rail, agriculture, and energy are dependent upon government subsidies, resources, and research for their operation and growth. Markets do not exist in a vacuum, we live in a global, post industrial, and interconnected world were 18 century economic principles no longer apply. Markets are not free, they must be maintained and their cost is applied via taxes. I know it is easier to call Obama a socialist than read a political theory novel, or turn on am radio than read the current issue of the Economist but don't bombard us with you childish swill. The world will not stop changing. It is growing hotter, browner, and more crowded every day. Espousing nationalist, antidemocratic, conspiratorial groupthink will not change this reality.
Lee Jacobsen May 08, 2011 at 11:51 PM
Frank, You need to read the novel 'When Atlas Shrugged. Govt has its place, but efficient, not its strength. Rev Wright isn't going to go away....the Rev made his own messes, and expressed his own ideas. I just pointed them out to you. Eff. govt Services? No way! 80% of the fire depts in the country are volunteer, including big towns like Troy. Many Detroit areas have their own police patrols, the city govt certainly isn't responsive. Inventions? When the large phone companies were broken up, small companies brought in innovations, ever hear of the 'I-phone? Not a govt invention. The govt is so 'slow', it takes folk like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs to bring technology to the masses. Air travel has always been in the private sector, what airline does the Govt run? Ditto for trucking, rail, farming. All the govt does is put controls on them to take in $$. Oil companies do all the exploration, refining, transport, and make 6% profit. The govt does zip, but takes 19% in taxes at the pump. Then the state gets a share. On top of all that is sales tax, so we have triple taxation. What are the costs of a market? Supply and demand of course. Go to a Kroger's , basic food supply and demand. The govt has no say beyond checking the quality once in awhile, and they even mess that up. Well, there is hope. I read the Economist, perhaps you do as well. Most of the other published stuff is drivel. News? The WSJ is somewhat factual. Do you concur.?
Mark May 09, 2011 at 01:19 AM
“Two novels can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other involves orcs.” -- John Rogers
Lee Jacobsen May 09, 2011 at 06:23 AM
Mark, Are you telling us that these two books influenced you in this way? Emotionally stunted, socially crippled, etc, unable to deal with the real world?? Both 'Lord of the Rings ', http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lord_of_the_Rings and 'When Atlas Shrugged 'http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlas_Shrugged are a little deep for a 14 yr old, especially 'Atlas Shrugged', even a 'bookish' one as the concept of profits, govt, etc , are on the boring side unless the 14 yr old had a paper route or other business and grasped the concept. Lord of the Rings is just fantasy....held in esteem by some, not by others. Too scary for you...read Twilight instead........ The scary part about 'When Atlas Shrugged' , is that it is happening with our current US federal govt. Suing AZ govt for passing a law , a law almost word for word the same as the Fed Law, allowing police to ask for ID when one is stopped for an infraction and thus apprehend illegals in the process, is scary. The govt needs to balance its budget, just like Dbn. Two ways come to mind, increase taxes or reduce spending. Since 45% of americans don't pay any income taxes, that leaves the other 55% to tax. At the curent rate of Govt spending, if you raise taxes 100%, it still won't raise enough $$. We need to reduce govt spending, and yes, that means stopping the free govt handouts to able bodied folk who just can't 'seem' to find the right job. Right or wrong job, get working and off the dole.
Frank Lee May 09, 2011 at 06:15 PM
First off the majority of American citizens live in concentrated urban cores, with concentric rings of declining population concentrations. These highly industrialized, commercial and populated cores are entirely staffed by full time public safety professionals. Volunteer firefighters are not trained or capable of providing safe, efficient, and reliable service to the vast majority of people living in cities. Troy is not a big city. The I phone is not an invention it is an innovation, two completely different things. Every time you flush your toilet it flushes, therefore efficient services. Secondly air travel is virtually completely subsidized by the federal and state governments. The majority of commercial passenger pilots are trained by the military, the airports, airport security, air traffic control, and runway construction paid for by uncle Sam. Virtually all middle east oil is transported through the Persian Gulf under the watchful eye of the US navy. Authoritarian regimes supported by the US state department enforce the oil companies oil mandates. Not to mention the no cost oil leases on public lands. These are trillion dollar commitments to Exxon and the like paid for by the US taxpayer. Every truck that transports goods does so on roads built, maintained, and patrolled by the government. Farming is dependent on USDA research, grants, and subsides. Not to mention federal maintenance of the irrigation for the Imperial Valley
Frank Lee May 09, 2011 at 06:19 PM
"The majority of Americans who do not pay federal income taxes don’t make enough money to qualify for even the lowest tax bracket, a problem made worse by the economic recession. That includes retired Americans, who don’t pay income taxes because they earn very little income, if they earn any at all. And while many low-income Americans don’t pay income taxes, they do pay taxes. Because of payroll and sales taxes -- a large proportion of which are paid by low- and middle-income Americans -- less than a quarter of the nation’s households don’t contribute to federal tax receipts -- and the majority of the non-contributors are students, the elderly, or the unemployed.” The top 400 taxpayers -- who have more wealth than half of all Americans combined -- are paying lower taxes than they have in a generation, as their tax responsibilities have slowly collapsed since the New Deal era.” Meantime, working families have been asked to pay more and more.
Lee Jacobsen May 11, 2011 at 12:17 AM
Large cities and efficiency in govt is a poor mix. Why do you think Detroit lost 25% of its population in just 10 years? Govt services , fire, police, and especially education are woefully inadequate despite high taxes, and city administration, well, fraud, corruption, cronyism, was common, perhaps the new folk can turn it around with Bing and friends..... Residents voted with their feet, and the ones who could still read, saw the writing on the wall, and left. Many would love to leave the efficient style of Detroit govt services but can't. Commercial pilots are not trained by the military, they are recruited by airlines from the military due to prospects having some experience with aircraft. Those hired are trained to fly specific aircraft by private companies, and work their way up to be qualified or 'rated' to fly a certain aircraft via 'hours' etc. Have you been a pilot Frank? Been there, done that. Airports are funded primarily by private sources.. The feds help, but uncle sam is not the primary $$ contributor. See #24 from this link . http://www.metroairport.com/programs/DTWMasterPlan/Frequently_Asked_Questions.pdf Payroll taxes by 45% of americans become tax refunds. That leaves 55% of us to support the Federal govt , the rest are getting a free ride, wanting to or not. Want to be fair with all on taxes? Here is a FAQ for you. Makes more sense that what we have now http://www.fairtax.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_faq_answers
Frank Lee May 11, 2011 at 05:29 AM
What don't you understand about the Wayne county airport authority being a government agency.Do you even understand what payroll taxes are? The health care industrial complex, transportation, agriculture, and energy industries are subsidized and supported everyday with tax dollars paid for by working class Americans. The Mackinaw center supports redistributing wealth from the middle class to the highest earners in this country, why do working class Americans have to support GE, Exxon, and Walmart. As soon as the Mackinaw Center supports ending agricultural subsidies that primarily benefit ADM and Cargill, cuts to the Department of Defense that support outdated and redundant weapon systems and troop deployments, elimination of subsidized oil leases, and foreign aid to authoritarian regimes, that is when they will be honest about cutting spending. Not one of their hair brained schemes eliminates any spending, but social security, Medicare, Medicade, and whatever benefits working people.
Lee Jacobsen May 11, 2011 at 07:52 PM
Frank, your comment about the airport was that it was funded by the Govt. That is incorrect for the most part, as I pointed out per #24. The Wayne County Airport Authority is the agency that runs it, not pays for it. Payroll taxes are paid by most of us, but 45% of us get it all back, except for SS of course. The other 55% pay for the govt. Healthcare, transportation, agriculture, and energy industries would dearly love to have govt out of their hair. The govt does not bill you for electrical power, Detroit Edison does. If anything, the govt uses these industries to siphon money off of all of us thru various taxes, and levies. My water bill is $127. Only $13 is for water. The rest is levies and taxes dictated by various govt agencies who feel they know better how to spend my money. The fair tax proposal would do away with all of this involuntary taxing, taxes we did not vote for. http://www.fairtax.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_faq_answers The Mackinaw Center supports reduced govt spending and taxes. They want to save all of us money by reducing inefficiencies in govt. Back up your accusations with some links, otherwise, who knows what outdated weapons you are talking about, and troop deployments, what oil leases, Obama stopped most of the drilling anyway?. Working people want to keep more money in their pocket, and out of uncle Sam's. aka Mackinaw Center. Are you 'working people' Frank? Don't you want to save money?
Frank Lee May 11, 2011 at 09:04 PM
First off transnational corporations love the federal government. They love the infrastructure that the federal government provides. What transnational corporations don't want is government taxing them to support this infrastructure. The Wayne County airport was built on county land, constructed by county tax monies, exists tax free and is managed by a government authority. The entire airport operations from internal security, air traffic controllers, the snow plow drivers and deputy sheriffs are employed by the government. The airport fees, only pay for operational expenses.This is a massive subsidy to the Airline industry. Payroll taxes are not given back and not subject to tax refunds. Payroll taxes constitute 46% of government revenue and with current tax policies it will exceed income tax revenue in 20 years. People who pay no income tax and get a tax refund are individuals who work and qualify for the earned income tax credit, this was a Republican idea and is a massive subsidy to the service industry. As for your water bill if you are so simple that you can't figure out that water must be transported and sewage treated and this requires a massive costly infrastructure you are obtuse. If you think that 46% of our government revenue should be spent on supporting a military that is still in Germany 60 years after ww2 is not redundant you are simple. If you think we should still be protecting Korea 50 years after that war you are simple.
Lee Jacobsen May 11, 2011 at 10:34 PM
Give us a link showing this love of corporations for the federal government. You mention airport fees only pay for operational expenses. Those expenses are security, employees, snow plow drivers, and utility costs etc all needed for the airport to function. Again, us taxpayers are footing the bill for govt to function via the airport fees which the govt takes. Whether the Fed Govt spends it wisely is another questionable matter. Regarding payroll taxes, why do you think the govt is withholding money from your check? If you were self employed, taxes would be paid either quarterly or once a year. depends on if you have a profit or not. Everyone gets SS (FICA) withheld. Do you think you will see any of it? Don't qualify for the lowest income bracket? You get money back by filing your tax return, asking for a refund. Here is a link: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/payroll-taxes-explained.html Regarding the water bill, my point was that the intent of the water bill is not about water anymore, it supports anything connected to it, inane county levies, etc , and is arbitrary in cost. What infrastructure is there when you have a septic system? Why should someone get a bill for infrastructure when they own and control it? Support your 46% statement. Actually defense is 28% of collected revenue. Medicare, SS, and Gen Dispersment are all larger . see link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_budget_of_the_United_States Is N. Korea friendly?
Frank Lee May 12, 2011 at 02:10 AM
The federal government puts military spending at 17-20% of the budget. If you include the hidden spending not included in official statistics that include the funding for the Iraq and Afghanastan wars, veteran's benefits, the war portion of the Department of Energy (once 90% of funds went to nuclear weapons), and the undisclosed funds for departments including the CIA, NSA and the increasing myriad of other similar "national security" departments could be as high as 56%. Your 20% of the budget is a distortion of the federal budgeting process. Not all DOD spending is budgeted as defense. The 2009 U.S. military budget is almost as much as the rest of the world's defense spending combined. The capital costs of building new water delivery and sewage systems, maintenance of old infrastructure, labor and operational expenses are not capricious levies. Nobody in Wayne County has a septic system. South Korea, Japan, and Germany are incredibly wealthy countries that are tremendous exporters and should provide for their own defense. It is hard for me to understand why you cannot understand that the US market has incredible infrastructure and protections that are publicly funded and add tremendous value to the free enterprise system. Corporations love the protection of the US Government. According to the WTO Boeing received 6 billion dollars in Federal and state subsidies between 1989 and 2006, with future funding exceeding 4 billion. One example of a company that loves uncle Sam.
Lee Jacobsen May 12, 2011 at 08:34 PM
We can all play the 'if' game. If countries paid back their debts to the good ole USA, our national debt would not be a problem. I agree we should not be the police of the world, but who would do a better job? The UN? Better the bombs drop on their soil than ours... Regarding sewage, the little extra levies are not obvious. Many are service charges . ie water usage, water service charge, Sewage disposal, sewage service charge, drainage service charge, IWC charge. Most charges are more than the cost of the water. Folk do have residences outside of Wayne county ..and septic systems. What are these incredible govt infrastructures, besides the obvious such as roads and defense, that add such value to the free enterprise system? If Corporations love the US govt, why are we outsourcing like crazy, why do we have one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world? See link http://dailycaller.com/2011/03/16/america-to-have-the-highest-corporate-tax-rate-in-april/ Interesting example with Boeing. The US govt now is considering action to stop them from expanding in NC. Not moving, just expanding. Why is it any of the govt's business? The Union does not like it as NC is right to work. They squawk, and the govt moves. Regarding subsidies, Boeing's are minor compared to what Airbus got, (ten times more),and WTO seems to overlook this minor fact in its findings. How convenient. Without the massive European subsidies, Boeing would not need any help at all....
Frank Lee May 13, 2011 at 02:58 AM
Look the US corporate tax rate is third highest in the industrialized world, because of tax loopholes it's tax capture is 27 out of thirty it simply is a Byzantine tax code. Corporate tax rates are the lowest they have been since before the depression and it's share of Federal revenue has been declining the 1980's. The govt infrastructure that create the markets industry needs includes the worlds best public university system, a world class space system that improves and maintains the worlds best satellite program, the worlds strongest and most aggressive intellectual property protection and enforcement, extremely liberal limited liability protection, efficient legal dispute resolutions, I could go into government investment into medical research, computer research, on and on. Companies outsource because they receive massive foreign subsidies, virtually free labor, and can pollute at will and still receive the protection of the US. Boeing, Cargill, ADM, Haliburton, Exxon, Goldman Sachs etc etc exist because of extremely egregious market distortions, such as massive cash subsidies, monopoly, asymmetrical information, and corruption. Yet the Mackinaw Center never brings these instances of market distortions. Boeing didn't even invent the jet engine that was fully financed and managed by the army air corps, yet they benefit off innovations that was created via socialism. The Mackinaw Center has no problem with socialism as long as it benefits their supporters.
Lee Jacobsen May 15, 2011 at 03:35 AM
At the end of May, Japan will lower its corporate tax rate, and the USA will have the highest corporate tax rate in the world. Read about it here..http://dailycaller.com/2011/03/16/america-to-have-the-highest-corporate-tax-rate-in-april/ You make it sound like USA companies are the only ones who take advantage of loopholes. It is not illegal to use loopholes is it? An example of a loophole is with the MI SBT. The tax applies only to sales in MI. If companies concentrate on sales outside of MI , they avoid the tax. Gov Snyder took that 'loophole' away. Now it's 6% for everyone on profits. Regarding universities, private ones still are considered the best. Regarding having the best space program, it will end this year. Russia then will have the best. Regarding the best intellectual property protection and enforcement, you've got to be kidding! My patents are open to the world, China copies at will as they don't recognize patents. I could shoot down medical , computers, on and on, all hindered by the govt. Ask them. Companies outsource because the goal is to produce a product for the best price, and that is very hard to do in the USA. Now most shirts are sewn in China. Govt has so many restrictions on companies, the only option left is to outsource. Boeing builds airplanes, not jet engines, They are outsourced. Socialism didn't create engines, read this..http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/bljetengine.htm Fly straight and save.

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