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Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Port Huron Times Herald Part 2

Part 2. (Part 1)

It didn't take very long today to come across an example of a newspaper reporter manipulating the English language to avoid saying something that is very plain, easy to understand, and controversial. Or, not. I will not disparage the motives or the absence of motives for a word choice that is not just merely clever, but sincerely clever. But, nonetheless, still controversial.

Karen Bouffard, a Detroit News journalist, reported to Michiganders that the Michigan House of Representatives passed a bill that grants businesses nearly $1.8 billion in tax cuts "and levies for pensions". The use of the word "levies" could be viewed in a couple of ways. Liberals, like myself, will complain that Ms. Bouffard didn't say "tax increase" or "new taxes" but instead used a chickenshit word like levies to camouflage the truth about a genuine honest-to-God tax increase on Michigan's senor citizens and retirees. We, Liberals, will remind everybody that Republicans always promise not to raise your taxes. Remember, Folks, they do that mostly in election years. So, this Liberal, did suspect, at first read, a less than honest and truthful motive in the choices of words in Ms. Bouffard's news article.

My inner Liberal screamed, "Why didn't she just say that there is a new tax on pensions. Simple. Succinct. But, oh no, she is trying to hide/soften/Karl Rove the truth."

I suspected commentary and opinion had replaced a factual account of the news. She did fail to mention that programs and services for the deaf were cut. Clothing allowances for orphans are being cut. Tax credits for the poor are being cut. School spending is being cut. And, on and on................. The poor, the disabled, and the elderly are getting the safety net we promised them pulled out from under them by the Republican Party. The education and the health of Michigan's children and their families are at risk because we must give $1.8 billion dollars to the rich!


After writing my first couple of angry paragraphs, I did the right thing. I used a dictionary to properly understand the words levy and levies.

I startled a few cats when I roared.

A levy is a compulsory government measure that takes money in order to pay off a tax liability. (Emphasis mine)

Michigan should not have a $1.8 billion tax liability. This CRISIS was created by giving away tax revenues belonging to the People of Michigan. Governor Snyder and his Republican Corporatist just passed a government measure to give the People's money to the rich by taking it away from the folks that most need it. There is no shared sacrifice when bleeding only the poor and powerless.

Yes, it's a levy of sorts, Ms. Bouffard. The State House passed a compulsory government measure that takes money from retired folks and the poor in order to pay off a tax liability their corporate sponsors.

And, this overt transfer of wealth is based on the lie that jobs will come to Michigan. That scheme has been refuted by economists. Do your research, Ms. Bouffard! That lie persists because of lazy reporters and malicious lying politicians. Do your research on trickle down economics and you will soon realize what has been trickling down on us for all these long years. Read some Paul Krugman from the NYT while you're at it. He's kinda smart and he even got an award for knowing what the hell he talks about. Do your research.

And, don't be a patsy for the pols. Please.

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