The BIG Three… (Teacher Pensions, ObamaCare Exchanges, & Personal Property Taxes)

James Carville, campaign strategist for Bill Clinton, once hung a reminder in the office for those working on the 1992 Clinton campaign with three points:

  1. Change vs. more of the same.
  2. The economy, stupid.
  3. Don’t forget health care.

Ironically, state lawmakers in Michigan will be heading back to Lansing on Wednesday, August 15th with a similar list.  Three issues top the list:

  1. Teacher Retirement Reform (Change vs. more of the same),
  2. Personal Property Tax Elimination (The economy, stupid), and
  3. ObamaCare Exchanges (Don’t forget health care).

Don’t forget to TAKE ACTION – if not you, then who? – on these important issues. Let your state lawmakers know you want free market, limited government solutions by clicking the links below each item.

ObamaCare Exchanges
“Don’t forget health care.”

Under the new national health care law, commonly referred to as ObamaCare, states have the option to establish health care exchanges, which are not the same as free market exchanges. If not, then the federal government will do so. Governor Snyder is pushing strongly for the legislature to approve Senate Bill 693, which would create the exchanges.

Three things. First, the idea of flexibility for state-run exchanges is false. State-run exchanges established under ObamaCare are subject to all of the same coverage mandates and rules as the federally-run exchanges. Clearing the hurdles of crafting an exchange that complies with the 600 plus pages of the federal exchange regulations will result in wasted state resources and higher premiums.

Second, resisting the implementation of the exchanges is good for hiring and investment. Sounds counterintuitive but here’s why. The law’s employer mandate assesses penalties – up to $3,000 per employee – only to businesses who don’t satisfy federally-approved standards and receive “premium assistance” through state-run exchanges. The IRS recently finalized a regulation that it has no authority to do and contradicts what the law explicitly says. States that have federally-run exchanges will not have the $3,000 tax/penalty on businesses.

Finally by refusing to create an exchange, you will assist Congress in repealing this centralized government approach to health care and move the discussion towards more free market solutions because they are the only solutions that will result in more affordability and accessibility.

Click HERE to let your representative know that you OPPOSE the implementation of ObamaCare in all forms including the state-run exchanges.

Teacher Retirement Reform
“Change vs. more of the same.” 

Another heated discussion will be teacher retirement reform. The basic takeaway here is the fact that unfunded pension liabilities, currently $22 billion, are unsustainable.

The private sector, no surprise here, has long since adjusted to a system that promotes ownership and portability in one’s retirement through 401(k) plans, or defined contribution systems. The Michigan Senate has already passed Senate Bill 1040, which would require new employees to have a 401(k) account ending the continued underfunding of pensions.

The Republican controlled House and Governor have become weak in the knees on this issue and are pushing for a hybrid plan that does little to solve the actual problem. They complain of transition costs instead of seeing the big picture of solving a very important problem affecting our state.

Click HERE to let your representative know that you SUPPORT a defined contribution system for new all new employees and want issues solved not pushed down the road for future generations and politicians.

Personal Property Tax Elimination
“The economy, stupid.”

This is one of those major reforms that would improve the business climate in the state dramatically. An eight-bill package in the state legislature that would phase-out the personal property tax on business tools and equipment is key reform that would bring life to employment and businesses in Michigan.

When businesses decide to invest in new equipment, their personal property tax increases. So effectively, businesses are penalized for doing the exact things that are required to grow Michigan’s economy and create jobs. It is time that this ineffective, anti-job tax was repealed to make Michigan more competitive with other states.

Click HERE to let your state lawmakers know that you SUPPORT the repeal of this unfriendly business tax and want Michigan to be more competitive with other states and countries.

Write to Greg George at

This post can also be found at the Hillsdale Daily News and The Daily Reporter.