Getting rid of euphamisms in government

Updated: Friday, January 18 2013, 12:10 AM EST
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KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Whatever else Governor Snyder said in his State of the State message on Wednesday night, the speech is already being remembered mostly as a pitch for more money for better roads.

But the Governor went to every length to avoid saying "new tax."

In tonight's Tom's corner, Tom Van Howe says he's grown weary of euphamisms, and hopes we have too.


I can handle what happened in the late stages of the lame duck legislative session last yearfrom right-to-work to the thinly veiled effort to close down abortion clinics in Michigan.

Simply put, that's what you can do when you have a Republican House, a Republican Senate, a Republican Attorney General, a Republican Secretary of State, a Republican Lt. Governor and a Republican Governor.

It's the ultimate political hand and it was played for all it was worth. In your face politics. I said I could handle it.

Not that I liked it.

I thought it was all too gleefully heavy-handed. And the constantly grinning face of House Speaker Jase Bolger, who I think ought to be raising a defense fund for his effort to defraud the system, was difficult for me. But that's politics.

But what I found particularly irksome last night was the Governor's request for a user feenot a tax, but a user feeso Michigan can build some new roads to the tune of a billion dollars a year.

I'm not irked that he wants to build new roads. To the contrary, I support him.

We need new roads all over the place. How incongruous can it be for the automotive state to have among the worst roads in the country? Our roads can damage cars. You travel at your own risk. Last summer the horribly defective northbound Ford Freeway between Saugatuck and Holland was completely redone. It was inconvenient. I didn't care. It is now one of the little joys of my life to make that trip. It's wonderful. And it ought to be that way all over the state.

But in a day when even the thought of a new taxes has become a Norquistian sin, the governor's so called user fee, which  we'd likely pay at the pump and when  re-registering our cars, is likely to go down in flames.

Because the "Republican everything" doesn't want to be associated with a new tax.

Ironically, Democrats in Lansing may well see the value in it all. They may even want to say yes. But they probably won't because you can only have things shoved down your throat for so long before you lose your sense of cooperation.

But however that goes, it would be nice if "his nerdiness" would treat everyone like grownups and discontinue his use of the term user fee.

We are in desperate need of new roads. We need a new tax to get the job done. And a tax by any other name is still a tax.

Let's deal with it.

In this corner, I'm Tom Van Howe.
Getting rid of euphamisms in government
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Last Update on April 17, 2014 17:08 GMT


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The Labor Department says that the four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, fell 4,750 to 312,000. That is the lowest four-week average since October 2007, just two months before the Great Recession started. The average has fallen by 53,500 applications over the past 12 months.

Applications are a proxy for layoffs. The current level of claims suggests that employers are holding on their workers with the expectation of stronger economic growth ahead.

Employers added 192,000 jobs in March and 197,000 in February, the Labor Department reported. Hiring has picked up after a slowdown caused by severe winter weather.


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Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate for the 30-year loan fell to 4.27 percent from 4.34 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage eased to 3.33 percent from 3.38 percent.

Mortgage rates have risen about a full percentage point since hitting record lows about a year ago.

Many analysts have been expecting an improving economy to lift the housing market, which has been recovering over the past two years. But housing has struggled to maintain momentum. Rising home prices and higher mortgage rates have held back some potential home buyers. Others have had trouble qualifying for mortgages.


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The bank earned $1.9 billion in the quarter, down 11 percent from the same period a year earlier when it made $2.2 billion.

The earnings were equivalent to $4.02 a share. Analysts polled by FactSet had predicted earnings of $3.49 a share.

Revenue totaled $9.3 billion, down 8 percent from a year earlier, when the bank generated revenue of $10.1 billion. The latest quarterly revenue beat analysts' expectations of $8.7 billion.

Goldman's stock rose $2.78, or 1.8 percent, to $160 in pre-market trading.


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In its closely watched North American beverage unit, PepsiCo Inc. says volume was even. Growth in other drinks offset a 1 percent decline in sodas.

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A year ago, it earned $1.08 billion, or 69 cents per share.

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EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) -- Toy maker Mattel says weak sales of Barbie and markdowns to clear out excess inventory left over from a sluggish holiday season led to an unexpected first-quarter loss.

Toy makers are facing a weak environment globally due to the uncertain economy and popularity of electronic gadgets.

The largest U.S. toy maker says its net loss for the three months ended March 31 totaled $11.2 million, or 3 cents per share. That compares with net income of $38.5 million, or 11 cents per share last year. Analysts expected earnings of 7 cents per share.

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Washington Times