Jan Photo

Jan deBeauclair

Her voice, her leadership, and her strength will be sorely missed and poignantly remembered….

 

It is with deep sadness that we inform you of our dear friend’s passing. Janet (Jan) deBeauclair was an inspiration to all who had the good fortune to know her. She never missed an opportunity to fight for a meaningful cause or champion a worthwhile endeavor. In 2010, Jan and her friend Jean Obrecht formed the Romeo Area Tea Party to offer a platform to us, the people, to discuss issues, analyze policies, and hold accountable our government. Growing from that first meeting of 40 people in Jean’s basement, the Romeo Area Tea Party has had the honor of hosting distinguished speakers like Ben Carson, Brigitte Gabriel, and Colonel Allen West with over 1300 people in attendance. It was Jan’s kind nature and sense of justice that drew people to her and led them to believe they could be part of a bigger cause. Her unfaltering willingness to help others gave us hope and courage to take on the challenges that surfaced when representing such a large, important group of patriots. It is with heavy hearts that we attempt to say goodbye to our friend, but we know she’s with us every time we speak the truth, every time we vote our conscience, every time we stand up for the underdog, every time we pursue liberty. We will continue to emulate this courageous woman and to be inspired by her legacy. We are better for having known her, and we are proud to carry on in her name.

official obituary and service times below:
( link to the funeral home)

Janet E. deBeauclair, age 77, a 40 year resident of Romeo and formerly from Ohio, passed away on Sunday, May 3, 2015 at her home. Jan was born May 5, 1937 in Chardon, Ohio, the daughter of Robert and Anne (Buschman) Fenwick. She graduated from Bowling Green University with a degree in Physical Education. In 1965 she married Ralph deBeauclair and moved to Michigan. They started their family in the Grosse Pointe area and later moved to Romeo. Janet was active with the Romeo Athletic Department, serving as the girl’s volleyball, basketball, assistant girl’s track coach, and volleyball referee for many years. She also was instrumental in starting the women’s volleyball program in Romeo. She loved just being around people, especially her family and grandchildren. Jan was a co-founder of the Romeo Area Tea Party. Janet is survived by her husband Ralph, children: Randall (Colleen) of Pinckney, Robert of Howell, and Kymberly, a Major in the US Army, currently stationed at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Grandchildren include Tyler, Luke, and Zachary. Janet is also survived by two sisters: Sally (Bob) Richmond of Malta, Ohio and Judy Irvin of Wooster, Ohio. Memorial services will take place on Friday, May 15th, 2015 from 2- 7 PM at the Henry M. Malburg Funeral Home of Romeo. Donations to the Romeo Area Tea Party, the Special Olympics of Michigan, or Holt International, would be appreciated. There will be a celebration of Jan’s life on Saturday May 16th from 12:30PM to 3:30PM at The Palazzo Grande Banquet Center, 54660 Van Dyke Avenue, Shelby Township, MI 48315.

Visitation:
Friday, May 15, 2015 2 – 7 PM Malburg Funeral Home
11280 32 Mile Road Romeo Michigan 48065
Services:
Friday, May 15, 2015 7 PM at Malburg Funeral Home

the-daily-signal-logo-black

Commentary By

In another midnight filing last week in the immigration lawsuit filed by 26 states against the Obama administration in the Southern District of Texas, the U.S. Justice Department admitted that the Department of Homeland Security had violated federal Judge Andrew Hanen’s Feb. 16 injunction against President Obama’s immigration amnesty plan.

This was not the first such admission by the government. It had previously filed an “Advisory” on March 3 informing Judge Hanen that between Nov. 20, 2014, when the president announced his immigration plan, and Feb. 16 when the injunction was issued, the Department of Homeland Security had begun implementing part of the president’s plan by issuing three-year deferrals to over 100,000 illegal aliens.

In other words, despite having told Judge Hanen both in court and in written pleadings that no part of the president’s plan was being implemented until late February at the earliest, government officials were doing exactly the opposite.

On April 7, Judge Hanen issued an order with a scathing analysis of the Justice Department’s misbehavior, finding that “attorneys for the government misrepresented the facts” to the court. He told the Justice Department that he expected all of the parties in the case, including the government, “to act in a forthright manner and not hide behind deceptive representations and half-truths.”

Hanen also gave the Justice Department lawyers a hard time over not having informed him immediately upon their discovery of this misrepresentation, saying that their claim that they took prompt, remedial action was “belied by the facts”—namely, that they waited over two weeks to tell the judge.

In the latest Advisory filed on May 7, the Justice Department informed Hanen that the Department of Homeland Security “sent three-year work authorizations after the Court had issued its injunction” to approximately 2,000 individuals. This time, the Justice Department lawyers assert they only found out about the violation of the injunction order the day before the filing.

They also say that Department of Homeland Security is in the process of converting “these three-year terms into two-year terms” and that Secretary Jeh Johnson has asked the “DHS Inspector General to investigate the issuance of these three-year [Employment Authorization Documents].”

In a separate, supplemental three-page order issued on May 8, Judge Hanen cites additional evidence to support his finding that the states have standing to challenge Obama’s immigration plan. In his Feb. 16 injunction order, Hanen referenced statements by Obama that there would be consequences for any Homeland Security employee who did not follow the requirements of the Nov. 20 amnesty plan. The Justice Department had tried to downplay the president’s statements.

However, Judge Hanen notes that while testifying on April 14—after the injunction was issued—before the House Judiciary Committee, Sarah Saldana, the director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, “reiterated that any officer or agent who did not follow the dictates of the 2014 DHS Directive would face the entire gamut of possible employee sanctions, including termination.”

Hanen said that “the president’s statements have now been reaffirmed under oath by the very person in charge of immigration enforcement.”

Thus, according to Hanen, the government “has announced, and has now confirmed under oath, that it is pursuing a policy of mandatory non-compliance (with the [Immigration and Nationality Act]), and that any agent who seeks to enforce the duly-enacted immigration laws will face sanctions—which could include the loss of his or her job.”

It is this “clear abdication of the law by the government—a law that is only enforceable by the government and outside the province of the states” that gives the states standing to bring suit.

The latest actions by the government may make it even harder for Justice Department lawyers to convince the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn Judge Hanen’s injunction.

the-daily-signal-logo-black

Transportation funding could hit a dead-end at the end of the month. On May 31, the Highway Trust Fund’s authorization to pay for the nation’s highway and mass transit projects will expire.

Even worse, the fund is running a $13 billion cash flow deficit this year and is expected to exhaust all its money sometime in July unless lawmakers take action.

Here’s a snapshot from Heritage’s latest Backgrounder on what you need to know about the Highway Trust Fund:

What is the Highway Trust Fund?

The Highway Trust Fund was established in 1956 to pay for the construction of the Interstate Highway System. Although it was intended to be temporary, it is now the primary federal mechanism to finance transportation projects across the country.

The fund is financed mostly by the gas tax—an 18.3 cent tax on gasoline and a 24.3 cent tax on diesel fuels. It spends over $50 billion every year on roads and mass transit, which includes rail, buses, streetcars and other forms of public transportation.

What’s the problem?

Like most federal programs, the Highway Trust Fund consistently spends more than it receives in revenues. Congress has constantly had to bailout the fund with money from the Treasury in order to keep its balance in the black, and has spent $62 billion covering the fund’s shortfalls since 2008.

This year, the Congressional Budget Office projected the Highway Trust Fund’s spending will top its revenues by $13 billion.

Why is the fund in such bad shape? 

Unable to relinquish the taxing and spending authority that should have expired when the Interstate Highway System was completed in the 1980s, Congress has expanded the Highway Trust Fund far beyond its intended scope.

The fund now spends more than ever and diverts billions from roadways to projects that should be left to states and localities. These boondoggles not only include unnecessary mass transit projects, but things like sidewalks, roadside landscaping and bike paths.

And spending increases have vastly outpaced fuel tax revenues, which have flattened as cars have become more fuel efficient. The result is a meandering, unsustainable fund that is plagued by special interests and unreliable for state transportation planning.

What should Congress do about it?

Some members of Congress are saying that they should just provide more money to the trust fund, either through a bailout or a gas tax hike, so that it can continue its profligate spending.

This is the wrong approach.

Congress needs to examine the inherent flaws in the way the nation invests in transportation infrastructure. The current system of taxing drivers and then redistributing their money through the federal government to projects unrelated to highways no longer makes sense.

Instead, Congress should end the top-down approach that breeds inefficiency and special interest handouts at the expense of prudent infrastructure investment.

The right approach would be to let states and localities—which are more in touch with the needs of their citizens—make their own decisions on transportation. Allowing them to tax and spend on infrastructure as they see fit without the interference of Washington would inject a much-needed degree of accountability and reliability into transportation investment.

For more information on the Highway Trust Fund and the upcoming deadline, see Highway Trust Fund Basics: A Primer on Federal Surface Transportation Spending.

ratplogo

Join us for dinner on Mon May 11th 2015, with James Carafano. Doors open at 6PM. James will present a National Security & Foreign Policy Update

COST: $25

you can mail a check to Romeo Area Tea Party PO Box 88 Romeo MI 48065.    
You can also purchase tickets by credit card here

The Heritage Foundation is granted the right to reproduce this photograph in print and electronic formats, including reproduction by 3rd parties, excluding use in paid advertising space and book covers. Use in paid advertising space and book covers available by separate licensing agreement. Photograph © David Hills. All other rights reserved.

James Carafano

Jim Carafano is a leading expert in national security and foreign policy challenges, is The Heritage Foundation’s Vice President, Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, E. W. Richardson Fellow, and Director of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies.

Carafano is an accomplished historian and teacher as well as a prolific writer and researcher whose most recent book is “Wiki at War: Conflict in a Socially Networked World” (Texas A&M University Press, 2012), a survey of the revolutionary impact of the Internet age on national security. He was selected from thousands to speak on cyber warfare at the 2014 South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Conference in Austin, Texas, the nation’s premier tech and social media conference.

Before assuming responsibility for Heritage’s entire defense and foreign policy team in December 2012, Carafano had served as deputy director of the Davis Institute as well as director of its Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies since 2009.

His recent research has focused on developing the national security required to secure the long-term interests of the United States — protecting the public, providing for economic growth and preserving civil liberties. (Many of his writings for Heritage appear below.)

He is editor of a book series, The Changing Face of War, which examines how emerging political, social, economic and cultural trends will affect the nature of armed conflict. From 2012 to 2014, he served on the Homeland Security Advisory Council convened by the secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Carafano, a 25-year Army veteran with a master’s and doctorate from Georgetown University, joined Heritage in 2003 as a senior research fellow in homeland security and missile defense. He worked with Kim R. Holmes, his predecessor as vice president and director of Davis Institute, to produce Heritage’s groundbreaking documentary film “33 Minutes: Protecting America in the New Missile Age.”

Carafano now directs Heritage’s team of foreign and defense policy experts in four centers on the front lines of international affairs: the Allison Center, the Asian Studies Center, the Center for Trade and Economics and the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom. The Davis Institute also includes the Washington Roundtable for the Asia-Pacific Press (WRAPP).

Carafano also is president of a nonprofit organization, Esprit de Corps, which educates the public about veteran affairs. In this capacity he co-produced and co-wrote the documentary “Veteran Nation,” an official selection of the 2013 G.I. Film Festival.

Before coming to Heritage, Carafano was a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a Washington policy institute dedicated to defense issues.

In his Army career, Carafano rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel. He served in Europe, Korea and the United States. His assignments included head speechwriter for the Army Chief of Staff, the service’s highest-ranking officer. Before retiring, Carafano was executive editor of Joint Force Quarterly, the Defense Department’s premiere professional military journal.

A graduate of West Point, Carafano holds a master’s degree and a doctorate from Georgetown University as well as a master’s degree in strategy from the U.S. Army War College.

He is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and the Institute of World Politics and has served as a visiting professor at National Defense University. He previously served as an assistant professor at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., and as director of military studies at the Army’s Center of Military History. He taught at Mount Saint Mary College in New York and was a fleet professor at the U.S. Naval War College.

He is the co-author with Paul Rosenzweig of Winning the Long War: Lessons from the Cold War for Defeating Terrorism and Preserving Freedom (2005). The authors, first to coin the term “the long war,” argued that a successful strategy requires a balance of prudent military and security measures, continued economic growth, zealous protection of civil liberties and prevailing in the “war of ideas” against terrorist ideologies.

Carafano also co-authored a textbook, Homeland Security (McGraw-Hill, second edition 2012), designed as a practical introduction to everyday life in the era of terrorism. The textbook addresses such key details as the roles of first responders and volunteers, family preparedness techniques and in-depth looks at weapons of mass destruction.

As an expert on foreign affairs, defense, intelligence and homeland security issues, Carafano has testified many times before Congress.

He is a regular guest analyst for the major U.S. network and cable television news organizations, from ABC to Fox to MSNBC to PBS, as well as such outlets as National Public Radio, Pajamas TV, Voice of America and the History Channel. From SkyNews to Al Jazeera, he also has appeared on TV news programs originating in Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Estonia, France, Great Britain, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Iran, Japan, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden and Vietnam.

Carafano’s op-ed columns and commentary are published widely, including the Baltimore Sun, Boston Globe, New York Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, USA Today and Washington Times in addition to the Washington Examiner.

CAPCON LOGO

Fix Disparities in Public University Funding in Michigan

The way the state spends $1.5 billion on higher education is unfair

By Jarrett Skorup

Editor’s Note: This article first ran in Bridge Magazine.

There has been a lot of talk recently about closing the foundation allowance gap between K-12 school districts in Michigan. This gap effectively ranges from $7,251 to $8,099 per pupil.

But what about closing the funding disparity among Michigan public universities? The gap is huge: Funding for the state’s 15 public universities ranges from $2,747 to $11,561 per student.

The bulk of federal funding universities in Michigan receive is in the form of Pell Grants, which are awarded to students based on their financial need which they use for the school that they wish. Other federal funding comes via grants that universities have to apply and compete for.

The state, on the other hand, largely funds universities through an appropriation process that is largely arbitrary. And this is real money: Gov. Snyder’s budget calls for spending more than $1.5 billion on public universities next fiscal year.

Beginning in fiscal year 2012-13, the state did finally begin to consider some important factors when deciding how to allocate university spending. But much more needs to be done.

In 2013-14, universities received 50 percent of the appropriation based on what they’ve historically been given — which means half of state funding isn’t based on anything important. Of the remaining, 11 percent is based on graduating students in areas of “critical skills” (a wide range of areas). Roughly 6 percent of funding is for “research and development expenditures” (which leaves out eight public universities).

The remaining 33 percent of the state funding appropriated is based on four areas where Michigan universities are judged against their national peers. This includes the six-year graduation rate, total number of degrees, administrative efficiency, and the total number of Pell grant students.

While this is better than the totally random way funding was given out in the past, there are still problems. The formula is flawed, basing only a small percentage of state funding on things that actually matter.

Grand Valley State University scores second-highest on the state’s “performance funding” measurements and Wayne State University scores the lowest. By most objective measures, the former is doing a better job than the latter — but WSU still gets far more money from taxpayers.

Consider that Wayne State (20,108) and Grand Valley (20,825) have nearly the same number of resident full-time students — but the former receives more than three times as much money ($191.1 million compared to $64.4 million).

The six-year graduation rate at GVSU is 66 percent compared to 28 percent at WSU. The average student tuition paid per degree awarded at GVSU is $63,722 while Wayne State takes in over $108,000 in tuition per bachelor’s degree.

When the university the state says is doing the second-best in providing value to students is receiving among the least amount of funding per student, there’s something wrong with the formula.

The state currently does a poor job in determining how much money each university should get. A better path would be to simply give each Michigan student attending a public university a set amount of money to attend where they wish. This would be a much fairer system — each student, no matter which public university they choose to attend, will have the exact same level of taxpayer support. Attaching a performance kicker — a bonus if a student actually graduates — would be even better.

The college receiving the median amount from the state is Ferris State University which gets $4,121 per pupil in taxpayer funds. If Michigan funded its other public universities at this rate per students, it would save more than $600 million.

Universities always push back when the Legislature wants to base more of higher education on real performance measures. But when taxpayers are spending over $1.5 billion, there should be metrics in place that ensure it is being spent efficiently. The state has failed in this and it is time for a change.

Michigan_University_Per_Pupil

CAPCON LOGO

Cost may be much more expensive than originally assumed

By JACK MCHUGH

The Foundation for Government Accountability has just published areport on state enrollments under the Obamacare Medicaid expansion. Here’s what the authors say about Michigan:

When Republican Governor Rick Snyder lobbied the Michigan legislature to adopt his Obamacare Medicaid expansion plan, he too sold it on the promise of low and predictable enrollment. His office predicted no more than 477,000 able-bodied adults would ever sign up, with 323,000 signing up in the first year.

But more able-bodied adults enrolled in ObamaCare expansion in the first three months than the state thought would sign up during the entire year. Despite the fact that Michigan did not expand Medicaid eligibility until April, nearly 508,000 adults signed up by the end of 2014, far more than the state thought would ever enroll. Enrollment continues to climb, with nearly 582,000 able-bodied adults signing up by April 2015.

Like Michigan, many states accepted the Medicaid expansion because lawmakers were afraid to stand between their local hospital cartels and hundreds of millions of dollars in “free” federal money (statewide more than $3 billion annually for Michigan).

But starting in 2020 Michigan will have to pick up 10 percent of the total cost. The newly compiled figures suggest that this may cost a lot more than members of the House and Senate anticipated when they voted to take the money.

In 2013 the Senate Fiscal Agency, using similar assumptions to those of the Snyder administration, projected that the state would have to come up with $385 million in 2021 to cover its share. Supposedly this would be partially offset by savings realized from offloading some mental health and prisoner health care costs onto the federal budget, but given the actual enrollment figures reported by FGA, those plans may need to be revised.

CAPCON LOGO

U.S. has had a record 27 million people working 35 or fewer hours a week the past five years

By TOM GANTERT

Part-time employment in the U.S. has remained steady at a record-level 27 million jobs for the last five years, raising questions about how much of a role Obamacare has played in the rise of part-time workers.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, was signed into law March 23, 2010 by President Barack Obama. The employer mandate portion of the act states that businesses have to offer health insurance to anyone working 30 or more hours a week.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) considers part-time work to be 35 hours or less.

From 1994 to 2002, the number of part-time jobs (35 hours or less) in the U.S. stayed relatively flat at about 23 million-plus. From 2003 to 2007, the number of part-time jobs hovered in the 24 million-plus range. The number of part-time jobs went up from roughly 25 million at the start of 2008 until it reached 27.5 million by the end of 2010, a number that has held steady since then.

However, the full implementation of the Obamacare employer mandate has been delayed. The employer mandate only takes effect this year, and even then, only for businesses with 100 or more employees. Those employers need to offer coverage to 70 percent of their full-time employees in 2015 and 95 percent of their full-time employees in 2016. The mandate goes into effect for employers with 50 to 99 employees in 2016.

In January 2015, the National Federation of Independent Business called for legislation to repeal the Obamacare 30-hour-work-week provision.

“One of the more easily foreseeable consequences of the Affordable Care Act is the pressure it imposes on small firms to reduce or avoid adding full-time positions,” said NFIB President and CEO Dan Danner in a news release.

Mike Tanner, a senior fellow for the Cato Institute who has written two books about Obamacare, said there was no proof that Obamacare was sparking the increase in part-time hires, especially since the full implementation of the employer mandate has been delayed until 2016.

“But surveys and anecdotal evidence do suggest that employers have shifted workers from full to part time or hired more part-time workers, to escape the Obamacare mandate,” Tanner said in an email. “Employers may be making hiring decisions in anticipation of its future impact, but we should be careful about overstating current impact.”

Don Grimes, a University of Michigan economist, said since the start of 2010, the number of part-time workers has remained flat and the number of full-time workers has grown. Grimes said he didn’t think Obamacare had much to do with the rise of part-time work.

“This is similar to the path that you see at the end of the 1991 and 2001 recessions,” Grimes said in an email. “What I find most interesting is that there never seems to be a decline in the number of part-time workers, it is either growing, most pronounced during the recent recession, or flat — while the number of full-time workers moves with the business cycle. The long-term trend seems to be toward a greater reliance on part-time work, which is probably not a good thing for most workers.”