A news service for the people of Michigan from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy

Anecdotes and snippets from the Americans for Prosperity "Defending the American Dream Summit" in Clarkston on Saturday.

Detroit News editor: Granholm is worst-ever Michigan governor

Nolan Finley, the Detroit News editorial page editor, called Jennifer Granholm "the worst governor in Michigan history." Finley said Granholm "has fiddled while our state is burning to the ground."

Taxpayers not at the table, but "on the menu"

Chris Horner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute told a crowd that instead of introducing the cap-and-trade bill and sending it to committee, Democrat Sen. Harry Reid will take over the drafting of the bill by meeting privately with special interest groups.

"You are not on the table," Horner said. "You are on the menu. ... This is about taxing you."

Horner gave an example of how Americans can lose their freedoms by citing overlooked quotes by President Barack Obama.

"'We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times ... and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK,'" President Obama said in 2009. 'That's not leadership. That's not going to happen.'"

"You want to take the wheel from me on where I set the thermostat?" asked Horner.

How would the president control thermostat settings?

Horner said it could be done through cap-and-trade and limiting the energy given to the utilities, who would then deny the customer the necessary energy to set their thermostats higher.

Next bailout: union pensions?

F. Vincent Vernuccio of the Competitive Enterprise Institute spoke about U.S. House and Senate bills that are looking to address what Moody's estimated was a $165 billion underfunding of large union pension plans.

Vernuccio mentioned the HR 3936 Preserve Benefits and Jobs Act that was introduced in 2009 to address what he called "massive underfunding" of union pensions.

"Let's get ready for another bailout," Vernuccio said.

A Gandhi quote becomes a Tea Party slogan

As Tim Phillips, director of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, was telling the Tea Party movement of their successes Saturday in Clarkston, he quoted Gandhi.

"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win," is the widely quoted comment by Gandhi.

Phillips said the media ignored the Tea Party meetings, then they mocked them, and now they are attacking them calling them "racists." Phillips brought up Sen. Harry Reid calling town hall protesters "evil-mongers."

"I'm not even sure it is a word," Phillips said about Reid's comment.

But Phillips isn't the first community organizer to reference Gandhi.

It was a similar quote that Wendy Day of Common Sense in Government brought up two weeks ago when discussing an Associated Press analysis that found the Tea Party movement would have little impact in the November elections.

St. Lawrence University economist Steven Horwitz discusses how the minimum wage was used to block immigrants from taking scarce jobs during the depression era. See more at "Raising the Minimum Wage, Lowering Opportunity."


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