Detroit’s Big Fix: An Open Letter to the Honorable Gary Brown

Detroit’s Big Fix: An Open Letter to the Honorable Gary Brown

Commentary, Opinion
  Dear Mr. Chief Compliance Officer: Detroiters really want the basics. They want their trash picked up, their street lights on in the evening, and; a cop when they need one. Easy, right?  Well, we all know it’s just a bit more complicated than that, and I sincerely hope that the now former Council President Pro Tem is up to the challenge of reshaping and remaking government in a city we all love and call home. Here’s some practical unsolicited advice: Get the DDOT and SMART merger done.  The City of Detroit is our nation’s only municipality which funds their department of transportation out of its General Fund.  For the past ten years, we’ve spent anywhere between $59 million to upwards of $85 million to fund public transit. Key to…
Read More

Make EITC Payments Automatic: A Plea to President Obama On Behalf of Working Families

Finance, Opinion
For years now, I’ve been advocating the need to make Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) payments to Poor & Working Families automatic. President Bush did this a few years ago when practically every American got a check in the mail for $600 as the first round of economic stimulus. This time, President Obama should target only those U.S. families with an income under $42,000 per year and are deemed eligible for EITC (go to www.irs.gov/eitc for more info).  The federal budget for EITC is about $40 billion per year, so this is revenue neutral---no new money is needed to fund this benefit. Typically, seven million Americans leave over $7 billion on the table because they do not file for EITC. Be the blessing and remind all of your relatives and…
Read More