And you thought looters only targeted vacant property...

Cross-posted on Right Michigan at www.RightMichigan.com.

They often say that houses tell stories.  They witness families, growth, birth, death, drama, joy, sorrow, you name it.  They weather storms, they provide comfort, they alternately offer financial risk and security and they’re where the heart is… awwwww.  A home, though, is not, necessarily, where the kitchen sink is.  At least not if that home is in the Motor City.  The Detroit News runs a story this morning describing the conditions and circumstances leading to the sale of a single-family house for the price of a McChicken sandwich.  

The fence is gone.  The plumbing (including that proverbial kitchen sink), looted.  The doors, stolen.  The windows, smashed.  The boards used to close up the house, “borrowed” by some neighbors and now adorning a similarly afflicted piece of real estate down the street.  And this property– you’d better believe it is telling a story… and it is one heck of a cautionary tale.

The fact that a home on the city’s east side was listed for $1 recently shows how depressed the real estate market has become in one of America’s poorest big cities.

And it still took 19 days to find a buyer.

Better yet, the bank, in covering unpaid taxes, wiping out an old water bill, assuming some of the closing costs and handling sundry other bills is expected to spend about $10,000 just to get the thing off their books.

This is an extreme example, to be certain, but offers a look at the dystopic future Michigan’s Democrat leadership continues plotting on a daily basis.  As Republicans continue to insist to the rest of the nation, if you want to know what a Barack Obama administration’s effects on an economy would look like just look at Michigan.  He’s only proposing what Jennifer Granholm and the House of Representatives have already done.  

Similarly, if you want to look where the current crop of vagabonds got their start, cast your eyes to Wayne County and the city of Detroit, where cronyism, corruption and machine politics rule the day and the tax roles with an iron fist.  No one in their right mind would wish Detroit’s afflictions on themselves and yet here we are, with Democrats across the state pushing the same failed ideologies and policies that lead to one-dollar real estate.  On the state level the extremist Reform Michigan Government Now ballot scheme is winding it’s way back to the front of the public policy radar while Macomb County Democrats stare down neighboring Detroit and proclaim in one loud, unified voice, `we want THAT!  Oh, and we’re willing to raise taxes by 25% (!!!!!!!!!) to make it happen!’

Read on…

First RMGN.  The Associated Press reports on discussions yesterday before the finally complete Board of State Canvassers.

A lawyer for Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution told the Board of State Canvassers that the constitutional rewrite can’t be fairly and accurately described in 100 words. The group led by the Michigan Chamber of Commerce has sued to block the issue from the ballot, saying the changes are too broad and can only be done at a constitutional convention.

Democrats and unions support the measure as a way to redraw legislative districts to favor Democrats after the 2010 census by lessening the influence of Republican-controlled appellate courts that typically review redistricting plans. The measure could be made more attractive to voters by including pay cuts and new ethical requirements for elected officials.

The lawsuit will be heard next week, but the elections panel is continuing with procedural matters such as drafting a summary of the proposal to be released next week. The board also will decide next week if Reform Michigan Government Now and two other petition drives collected enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.

A challenge on those signatures may very well be coming.  But before that, it’ll be interesting to see precisely how these folks plan to sum up thirty-six specific Constitutional changes in 100 words or less.  Will they include a sentence about firing the only minority on the Michigan Supreme Court because of his political ideology?  Will they include a sentence about dramatically reducing elected representation for the cities of Detroit, Flint, Pontiac, Grand Rapids, Muskegon and Benton Harbor?  Will they include a sentence about how as many as fifty percent of the Circuit Court judges in the state of Michigan could be forced to retire, thrusting onto the state a judicial backlog of a magnitude never seen in recorded Michigan history?

I’ve got a sneaking suspicion those changes won’t make the cut.  But they’re very real and they very clearly exist, specifically and often explicitly in the eight page, eleven column, small print laden, Big Labor backed extremist RMGN stealth ballot proposal.  (Phwew, that’s a lot of adjectives.)

Meanwhile, a hop skip and a jump over the highway in Macomb County the local government is facing itself a mammoth budget deficit in the face of continued (and often accelerated) layoffs, foreclosures and outbound moving vans in the wake of last year’s massive $1.5 billion Democrat tax hike.  The answer, according to Macomb County Democrats?  Raise taxes even MORE!  The Ivory Tower reports:

Macomb County commissioners are considering a tax increase — up to 25% — on all property owners to help absorb a record-breaking budget deficit…

The proposal by Democratic commissioners Tuesday was a significant departure from at least the past 35 years — the last time the county raised taxes. The adamant refusal for a tax hike has kept Macomb with one of the lowest tax rates in the state. The current tax rate is 4.2 mills — the same as Oakland County’s. In Wayne County, the rate is 7.8 mills.

Hmm… Oakland County, one of the most affluent in the United States of America.  Wayne County, the home of $1 real estate.  Wait!  That’s it!  I don’t know why they didn’t think of this in Detroit…

Macomb County Democrats are joining Jennifer Granholm, John Cherry, Kwame Kilpatrick, Mark Schauer, Andy Dillon and the House Democrats in claiming that the only way out of a problem situation is through a massive tax hike.  Crummy realtors… they had it all wrong.  Clearly, the next time there’s a piece of real estate in Detroit that won’t sell for $1 all they have to do is increase the tax burden!  

Charge prospective homeowners and investors MORE and they’ll FLOCK to each gutted Devil’s Night target in the city.  Problem solved.