Posts Tagged ‘Economics’
Once again the U.S. House of Representatives will draft, debate and pass legislation in an effort to Right the Sinking Economic Ship called the United States of America. And, once again the Senate will pass nothing but Gas. The House votes on two pieces of legislation Thursday to avoid the fiscal cliff. “If the fiscal cliff does happen for a moment before it is rectified, it will be a blame game between the president and the Republicans in the House.”
The latest polling shows that if the country falls over the cliff, 48 percent of Americans will blame GOP leader John Boehner. Only 37 percent said they would blame the president.
Obviously, one party is better at crafting legislation and the other is better at assigning blame. The good news is that neither party seems to be worried about the Mayan Calendar predicting the End-of-the-World.
In an ironic sort of way, the priority focus of President Obama and the democratically held congress, when Obama-Care was passed, is sort of like a Trojan Horse delivered unto the people. Only this Trojan Horse is filled with new taxes for everyone, especially those making less than $250,000 per year.
Nearly 26 million households will find themselves in the cross-hairs of the of the “Alternative Minimum Tax”, which is expected to increase taxpayers’ bills by $3700 for the current tax year. Because most people have never paid the Alternative Minimum Tax (or AMT,) they have no idea they are under attack.
Among the other laws set to change at midnight on December 31, 2012, are the end of last year’s temporary payroll tax cuts (resulting in a 2% tax increase for workers), the end of certain tax breaks for businesses, the end of the tax cuts from 2001-2003, and the beginning of new taxes related to Obama-care. At the same time, the spending cuts agreed upon as part of the debt ceiling deal of 2011 will begin to go into effect. More than 1,000 government programs including Medicare and the defense budget will be drastically cut by the failure of the federal government to control its spending, in the past.
The elected leaders seated here have kicked the can all the way down the road, right up to the very Fiscal Cliff they have created. Now these same leaders are charged with solving the same problem in just a few short “lame duck” months.
Revor Loudon is a well recognized face, for those who have seen the “Agenda” documentary. He was one one the main persons interviewed in the film. Our T.E.A. Party friends at the SEMich 912 will be hosting Trevor at a local venue, on October 27th.
Hosted by the SE Michigan 912 Tea Party
Saturday October 27, 2012
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Life Christian Church
3193 Rochester Rd.
Troy, MI 48083
The SEMICH 912 Tea Party will be sponsoring this event. Mr. Loudon, from Christ church, New Zealand, has appeared in the recent documentary “Agenda”. Loudon is a renowned expert on Mr. Obama’s past history. He is doing an American tour and draws his material from his research on his book, “Barack Obama and the Enemies Within”. Join us for this exciting event! Doors open at 6 PM and event starts at 7 PM.
Monday, August 20th @ 7pm
The Romeo Area T.E.A. Party will host a “Washington Update” with guest keynote speaker U.S. Congresswoman Candice Miller. Additional speakers to include Barbara VanSyckel, Macomb County Republican Party Executive Committee Chairperson and Victoria Czapski, Macomb Victory Center Director. The RATP monthly meeting will be held at The Palazzo Grande, 54660 Van Dyke, Shelby, Michigan.
Here is a Glass of Water
Now you owe me $117.75
Must everything come down to money? This week Matt December at the Advisor Source Newspapers wrote a well researched front page piece for the Source, “Bruce Officials Fire Back”. In a nutshell, Bruce Township has a contract with the Macomb County Sheriff for Police services. In last month’s primary election, there was a ballot proposal to add funding for the Romeo Police department. The voters rejected that proposal.
Now, the Romeo Police Chief Greg Paduch wants to charge Bruce Township $117.75 (per call) to assist the Macomb County Sheriff in Bruce Township. The Bruce Township supervisor Jim Tignanelli says “no, we won’t pay”. We didn’t call you and we have not contracted for your services.
Certainly, it would appear that the people of Bruce Township have made a choice, of which police department they wish to be serviced by.
But, if you decide to enter Romeo by coming down Gates Road, where the speed limit changes from 35mph to 25mph to 30mph in three short city blocks… you better have your foot on the brake, or the Romeo Police department will surely find a way to self fund their services.
A smart meter is an electrical device that records consumption of energy in intervals of an hour or less and transmits the data (at least daily) back to the utility. Smart meters enable two-way communication between the meter and the central system.
Traditionally your electric meter counts the number of kilowatt hours you consume in electricity supplied by Detroit Edison every month. As you know, the meter reader comes out to your house and reads the value on the meter and you are billed accordingly. “Smart meters” are replacements for those meters. What is different about them is that they have a digital display and a 1 watt transmitter that sends your energy consumption record through the airwaves to a collector meter in your neighborhood which in turn transmits the collected information to Detroit Edison. It sounds like an efficient upgrade in their way of doing business. If that is all there is to it, than there is no need to be concerned unless you are a soon to be unemployed meter reader.
Why Have Smart Meters?
According to a Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) report:
The United States Department of Energy (DOE) was charged under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007) with modernizing the nations aging electric grid. This legislation supported electric infrastructure improvements commonly referred to as “smart grid.” In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provided $4.5B in Smart Grid Investment Grants (SGIG) for select utilities to develop and demonstrate Smart Grid systems. Numerous utilities nationwide have begun rolling out custom configurations of vendor products to execute their Smart Grid vision.1
Detroit Edison was selected as one of the utility companies to develop and test the “smart grid” improvements. Part of the infrastructure improvement scheme includes updating the meters on every house and business. By the way, did you notice the name of the act that funds this program? Yes, it is stimulus money.
How Do They Work?
“Smart meters” are essentially a mini broadcasting station mounted on the outside of your house. They transmit your electric usage at regular intervals to a collector meter. Instead of a once per month data point which is a summation of your energy consumption, there will now be a record of minute by minute usage. This, in conjunction with computer chips built into modern appliances in the home, has the potential to leave a detailed record of all of your electric usage patterns as well as a record of any abnormal usage of electricity that may occur in your home. It is even conceivable that “smart meters” could recognize which appliances are being used and for how long. This raises the question about two-way communication. Could Detroit Edison control your appliances? Take a look at another interesting report from the MPSC which states:
Certain applications can be identified as deferrable which means to run later in the day, after the peak. These applications may be different among locations, but common loads include residential electric hot-water heaters, central air conditioners, pool pumps, crop-irrigation pumps, etc. With direct load control, these devices are outfitted with communicating controllers that can run a program that limits the duty cycle of the equipment under control. The utility only exercises the option when necessary. During periods of particularly heavy use of electricity, the utility will send a radio signal to the building in its service territory with this controller and turn off the HVAC for a certain period. This type of control has historically involved residential consumers. As utilities implement advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) as part of their Smart Grid programs, the expectation is that utilities will be able to substantially increase the number of residential customers participating in direct load control programs and also expand participation of commercial and industrial customers. Note that direct load control does not include interruptible load, which remains under the control of the customer who can choose to ignore or override the utility’s instructions (usually under financial penalty).2
Is There A Reason To Be Concerned?
The use of “smart meters” raises 4th amendment concerns. The 4th amendment to the Constitution of the United States says:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
In other words, we as citizens have the right to be secure in our privacy within our own homes. There are many people and organizations which have raised strong objections and concerns that “smart meters” violate the 4th amendment. Is it possible that our private activities can become public knowledge? Can this detailed data be used to incriminate ourselves in a “cap and trade” world if it is deemed that our appliances or habits are outside of their standards?
What Can We As Citizens Do About This?
That is a very good question. Some will say that you can refuse to accept the “smart meter” by putting a sign on you meter refusing the upgrade. Others state that a certified registered letter to Detroit Edison refusing the upgrade can prevent it. Again, there is not a shortage of groups and individuals who are determined to stop “smart meter” installations in their communities and homes. The only advice which can be offered here is to get educated about the issue and talk with you city or township to find out about the plans for deployment in your community. These meters are being installed daily in our area.
1&2 For this and other information, go to the Michigan Attorney General home page and type in “smart meter” in the search area at: http://www.michigan.gov/ag/
Important questions on the topic include:
1) Who pays for the device and installation of a Smart Meter?
2) Who benefits from the installation of a Smart Meter?
Be sure to read the insightful article written by Crain’s Detroit Business, for more current information on the topic.
When the consumer and the service provider agree to implement a strategy to improve services and/or reduce costs, it is a powerful example of free market “capitalism”. However, when our government dictates the services that must be provided by an industry and/or purchased by consumers, that government has clearly taken steps not yet ceded to it by the people who grant it authority. The question is:
How long will the people of this country continue to permit its government to chip away at personal rights?
Note: This editorial post was a collaborative effort by several RATP members. The final edit was completed by Rock Kuchenmeister.
“The Rise and Fall of Great Empires”
Guest Speaker Harry C. Veryser
Tossed Garden Salad (served with Italian dressing)
Penne with Tomato Sauce (penne pasta topped with Francesco’s homemade tomato sauce)
Breaded Chicken Medallions (breaded chicken medallions topped with white wine lemon butter sauce and mushrooms)
Italian Whipped potatoes
Assistant Professor of Economics & Coordinator, UDM Graduate Program in Economics at Macomb University Center.
- B.A., Philosophy, University of Detroit
- B.A., Economics, University of Detroit
- M.A., Economics, University of Detroit
- M.A., Religious Studies, University of Detroit
Monday, January 23, 2012
at our new venue:
The Palazzo Grande, 54660 Van Dyke, Shelby Township, Michigan 48315
Doors Open 6pm, Dinner Served 6:45pm
$20 per person