You know the tide is turning when the court jester is laughing at the king.
“The Daily Show’s” very funny Jon Stewart has been a consistent comfort to the Obama administration, brutally satirizing its Republican opponents while providing a comfortable interview seat for administration officials shopping their wares on national TV. Stewart even held a pro-Obama rally in D.C. just a week before the 2012 presidential election to counter Glenn Beck’s own anti-Obama tea party-palooza on the national mall.
So imagine the White House’s horror when the jokesmith turned his yuks on the royal court this week with a scathing review of Obamacare’s health exchange rollout.
“Less than 10 percent. How bad is that?” said Stewart in mocking the “success rate” of the federal website sign-up. “Twenty percent is the number of dentists who recommend sugared gum.” Ouch.
Unions wrong to block student teachers
Next time you hear that teachers unions are all about doing what’s best for teachers and students, remember this incident. The unions at six Washtenaw County public school districts are backing a boycott of the student teachers coming from Eastern Michigan University.
And it’s not because the student teachers are inept. It’s political. The university’s involvement with Michigan’s statewide reform district for the lowest-performing schools has the unions up in arms. The Education Achievement Authority was formed in 2011 with an interlocal agreement between Detroit Public Schools and Eastern Michigan.
The authority took over 15 of the worst schools in Detroit last year, and appears to be slowly turning those schools around. Legislation that passed the House earlier this year to codify the EAA caps expansion to 50 schools. So it’s not like the authority is going to take over a wide swath of schools.
Teachers at EAA schools aren’t unionized, however, and that’s no doubt the root of the problem. Hurting young teachers who want to get into the profession seems a counterproductive tactic.
Michigan scores another tax break
The Michigan Legislature has passed a bill that gives new car and recreational vehicle buyers a break on sales tax.
The legislation phases out a requirement that buyers pay sales tax on the full price of a vehicle without subtracting the value of their trade-in. The House bill, sponsored by Rep. Andrea LaFontaine, R-Columbus Township, passed with bipartisan support and brings Michigan in line with most other states.
Once signed into law, for sales tax purposes, vehicle buyers will be able to subtract the value of their trade-ins from the price they paid for new vehicles.
Gov. Rick Snyder wholeheartedly endorses the legislation, saying it is fiscally responsible. Although the state will lose about $200 million a year in revenue with the change, it should keep more vehicle sales in Michigan, as residents won’t be tempted to shop in neighboring states that offer to deduct the trade-in value. And people deserve the tax break.