Sunday, April 20, 2008


Marriage Matters: A $112 billion carrot in tax savings [s]


BY Terry Bankert 4/21/08 early edition
You are invited to join me at Face Book ___________________________
Full article at
Flint Talk __________________________

Family fragmentation, specifically divorce and unmarried childbearing, costs U.S. taxpayers more than $112 billion annually. That's the staggering outcome of research released ...(recently)..., to coincide with tax day.[s]

The misery and headache family dysfunctions cause cannot be measured. Here I will talk about an option to a final family fragmentation.[trb] The study was conducted by four policy and research groups, including Institute for American Values and Georgia Family Council.[s]

The report, "The Taxpayer Costs of Divorce and Unwed Childbearing: First-Ever Estimates for the Nation and All 50 States," breaks down the total by state.[s]

(These)...calculations were based on the assumption that households headed by a single female have relatively high poverty rates, leading to higher spending on welfare, health care, criminal justice and education for those raised in the disadvantaged homes. The $112 billion estimate includes the cost of federal, state and local government programs, and lost tax revenue at all levels of government. Reducing these costs, ... "is a legitimate concern of government, policymakers and legislators."[a]

MICHIGAN RANKED 8TH Michigan ranked eighth in the nation, with a $1.6 billion share of that $112 billion price tag.[s]

Researchers' estimates of the federal, state and local costs to taxpayers arising from family fragmentation include funds spent for the justice system, food stamps, housing assistance, Medicaid, child welfare, WIC, Head Start, and school lunch and breakfast programs.[s]

REAL SUFFERING "These numbers represent real people and real suffering," said Randy Hicks, president of Georgia Family Council, in the press release. "We fight problems like racism, poverty and domestic violence because we understand that the stakes are high."[s]

FAMILY FRAGMENTATION Those "stakes" are the real people hurt by family fragmentation, especially the women and children who fall into poverty as a result of divorce or unmarried childbearing.[s]

DIVORCE BRINGS POVERTY TO CHILDREN In Michigan, of the 469,000 children living in poverty, 316,000 of them live in a single-mother household.[s]

Potential risks to children raised in those families, in addition to poverty, include mental and physical illness, infant mortality, lower educational attainment, juvenile delinquency, conduct disorders, adult criminality, and early unwed parenthood.[s]

Sponsors say the study is the first of its kind and hope it will prompt lawmakers to invest more money in programs aimed at strengthening marriages. Two experts not connected to the study said such programs are of dubious merit and suggested that other investments — notably job creation — would be more effective in aiding all types of needy families.[A]

TRY A SEPARATE MAINTENANCE FIRST, GIVE THE MARRIAGE A CHANCE Divorce, that's grim. But there is hope, both from the economic standpoint as well as the social.[s]

According to the report, "even very small increases in stable marriage rates would result in very large returns to taxpayers. For example, a mere 1 percent reduction in rates of family fragmentation would save taxpayers $1.1 billion annually."[s]

Once way to save a MARRIAGE is to request a separate maintenance agreement to allow a cooling off period. This action is also used when the parties have a religious objection to divorce, or want to stay married so that both have continued health care coverage. An action for separate maintenance is filed in the same manner and on the same grounds as a divorce.[m]

When the matter is concluded, the parties are still technically married, but the marital property may be divided, and the court may order spousal support, child support, parenting time and custody.[m]

My observation is that the grass is not greener unless there has been long term absence of the traditional bonds of matrimony, or any incidents of domestic violence , substance abuse or criminality.[trb]

MEDIATION IS ALSO AN OPTION The mediation process can also be used to explore the options to a divorce or for the parties to decide that divorce is the only option. This process is private to the couple and conducted with dignity and respect.[trb]

LAWMAKERS SHOULD MAKE A SEPARATE MAINTENANCE MANDATORY BEFORE DIVORCE. Sponsors say the study is the first of its kind and hope it will prompt lawmakers to invest more money in programs aimed at strengthening marriages. [A]

Or just efforts to save existing marraiges.[trb]

Posted here by Terry Bankert ... Family Mediation and Divorce Practice.
Join my political party of preference,

—where did this stuff come from?

[S] The Sturgis Journal [trb] Comments of Terry Bankert and CAP headlines.

[m] Michigan Family Law Bench Book ICLE 2006 [A] AP


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Caucus aftermath! Is the Democratic party weaker or stronger? __________________________
BY Terry Bankert 4/20//08
You are invited to join me at Face Book ___________________________
Full article at
Flint Talk __________________________

CLINTON & OBAMA :WHOSES DELEGATES ARE THEY? Young Democrats did not succeed in sending a delegate to the national convention. Obama delegates are Clinton shills. The worst are the Clacks out of Genesee County[trb] “I’m madder than hell,” said Gwen Taylor, of Farmington Hills. “They tried to pull the wool over our eyes Hello, the UAW is for Hillary.”[FC]

ITS MESSY WHEN THERE IS AN ACTIVE MINORITY Churchill would have told you that democratic rule is not only messy and inconvenient but a very poor form of government. The problem, he would have continued, is that it is better than any other. [g]

UNITY IN FIGHT OVER CLINTON VS OBAMA DELEGATES..AN AGREEMENT TO DISAGREE FOR TODAY AND UNITE FOR TOMORROW. Disunity within ranks as delegates fight over choosing Clinton versus Obama [fc] But the caucus for the uncommitted delegates lasted for more than two hours as tensions evolved between solid supporters of Sen. Barack Obama and union-backed candidates who declined to say who they would vote for at the convention.[fc] But as in other Southeast Michigan districts, there also was a group, apparently made up mostly of union members and centered on a group from Monroe County that argued uncommitted delegates should remain uncommitted. The divide mirrored some of the geographic and demographic splits that marked the hotly contested Democratic primary in the district in 2002, when Dingell defeated fellow Democratic Rep. Lynn Rivers after congressional redistricting put the two incumbents in the same district.[dn]

BREWER DELUSIONAL AS USUAL "It appears that there's been good turnout at all the conventions around the state," Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer said Saturday afternoon. "Nobody has called with anything out of the ordinary."[AP2].....EXCEPT HIS HEAD!.....[TRB]

With the race for the nomination still undecided, the caucuses carry a weight not seen in decades. 1980 was the last time Democrats went into the convention with a serious competition, and 1952 was the last time a Democratic nominee was chosen by delegates at the party convention. The last truly brokered convention, when the nomination is not settled after the first two rounds of voting, was 1952, when Adlai Stevenson emerged as the winner.[AJC2] The hitch: The winners still have no assurance they will get inside the Denver event [grp].

SOLIDARITY WITH THE LABOR CAUCUS ....FOREVER! Calls for Democratic unity Saturday morning in Pontiac went largely unheeded as shouting matches broke out as Democrats from Oakland County's 9th Congressional District convened to pick delegates to the party's national convention this summer in Denver.[f] For some of the political newcomers who caught Obama or Clinton fever, today could provide a crash course in hardcore politics. In some cases, it's not just average voter versus average voter. In District 5, for example, where 45 women are competing for three spots on Obama's team, Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin is one of those 45[AJC2] Labor has a right to recruit and cause to be elected enough precinct delegate to be a controlling force in Michigan Democratic politics. This exercise of control on key occassions seems odd to new democrats. People dissatisfied can build their own coalitions its their right. Another option is to build some votes and negotiate. We all need each others help in a general election. What is hard to cause is a meaningful process of party building when the first contact with a party at convention is a labor steam roller. Labor has no obligation to compete less just because unorganized new democrats who do not carry a union card want a stronger voice. On the other hand labor should not look at these new people or active democrats without a union card as the enemy. What is needed is a balance. Those who have earned the right ,through election of precinct delegates and backing democrats who become elected, to remain in control. But control of how much. Granted their are key votes and issues. For instance I want organized labor to be a significant deciding vote at a brokered national democratic convention.Loyal delegates that can be controlled are fundamental to that happening. Causing to be elected uncommitted delegates who will say they are for Obama today but will shift on cue to Clinton say on the third ballot is necessary. Additionally organized labor has a real stake to protect its members from legislation or controlling appellate decisions . It does this by endorsing candidates to the State legislatures ,Congress and the Michigan Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. When labor protects their members interests they are also protecting mine. But these key issue are relatively few when compared the tremendous number of issues and problems confronting our state and nation. Coalitions are necessary. A strong party is necessary. To build a strong party there has to be room for new people, new voices, and new causes to take root. Labor when it dominates must have the vision to back off a little. Put the velvet glove over the iron fist. Recognize that is is important to have allies out side of labor to make this a better society. What we need is a stronger democratic party. ONLY THE DOMINATE FORCES (ORGANIZED LABOR IN MICHGIAN)CAN CAUSE THIS TO HAPPEN BY OPENING THE DOOR A CRACK FOR OTHERS TO JOIN.[trb]

Disunity within ranks as delegates fight over choosing Clinton versus Obama [fc]

OAKLAND COUNTY DEMOCRATS By the time it was over, Sen. Hillary Clinton was awarded three delegates and three others were elected as uncommitted delegates, although two of them promised to support Sen. Barack Obama at the convention. The outcome left a bitter taste for many Obama supporters, including some who said they couldn't vote for Clinton if she becomes the party's nominee.[f]

STATE WIDE DEMOCRATS WITHHOLD VOTE TALLY Similar Democratic meetings occurred in all 15 Michigan congressional districts Saturday, though the outcomes won't be announced by party officials until Monday. A total of 83 delegates and 15 alternates were elected Saturday. [F]

THE GEORGIA 5TH water, sandwiches and doughnuts. They implored, cajoled and quite nearly begged.[AJC] Frankly, this wasn't what David L. Reeves expected when he agreed to attend the 5th District Democratic Party caucus Saturday and cast a vote for his friend.[AJC] But at the Teamsters Hall and in the other districts, the energy of the day was centered squarely on the fight for Obama seats. His overwhelming victory in the Feb. 5 Georgia presidential primary assured him of the lion's share of the state's delegates.[ajc] In the 5th District, for example, five delegate seats were up for grabs, and more than 80 Democrats vied for the spots Saturday. Three of the seats were designated for women, and two for men.[ajc]

THE MICHIGAN 5TH The Union organized Unity Slate was distributed recommending who the Obama Delegates should be. I presume these are people who will listen closely to the Labor Unity Slate at the National democratic Convention when they are politely asked to abandon Obama on the possibly 3rd ballot.[trb] The Benedict Arnolds of Genesee County are the Clack family Floyd and State representative Brenda Clack.[trb] Obama's campaign has had little formal role in Michigan, leaving it to the Michiganders for Obama activists to try to organize the state. Montague said that Obama staffers told her this week that if Obama captures the nomination, he will use his substantial influence as the party's standard bearer to block any Clinton supporters from being seated as uncommitted delegates. [dn]

THE POWER BROKERS BEHIND THE SUPER DELEGATES GET THEIR’S ..SOON! Another 45 (delegates) will be picked May 17 by the party's central committee. In addition, Michigan has 28 superdelegates, mostly major current and past elected officials and party leaders.[f] Delegates in the congressional districts were apportioned based on the voting in Michigan's Jan. 15 presidential primary within each district. Based on those votes, Clinton was to receive 47 delegates and uncommitted 36, but the big question Saturday across the state was the same as in the 9th District: Would Obama be able to lay claim to all the uncommitted delegates?[f]

MANY IN MICHGAN AND AROUND THE COUNTRY WHO HAD GIVEN NOTICE THEY WANTED TO BE OBAMA DELEGATES WITHDREW Lakewood, a buzz circulated through the room when it was announced Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin had removed her name from the candidates' list.[ajc] She and other elected officials and party leaders have other paths to Denver available to them, as the state party has 32 at-large delegate slots to award at its annual convention in May.[ajc] The state broke party rules when it held its primary Jan. 15, even though the DNC warned it would strip the state of its 156 delegates if it did so. The DNC followed through on its threat.[grp]


Clinton was on the Michigan primary ballot, but Obama and three other major candidates at the time withdrew their names because the national party had said Michigan's vote wouldn't count. The state violated national party rules by scheduling the primary too early.[f]

PONTIAC DEMOCRAT In Pontiac on Saturday, the Clinton caucus picked its delegates in 15 minutes without controversy.[f]

OBAMA SUPPORTS VS UNION BACKED DELEGATES But it took about two hours to pick the three uncommitted delegates as more than 100 Obama supporters sparred with mostly union-backed delegates.[f] Catherine Martin, a UAW member seeking an uncommitted delegate slot, told the group she planned to remain uncommitted because her union hadn't endorsed a candidate. But Obama supporters weren't buying it, suggesting the union clearly supports Clinton.[f] "I'm madder than hell," said Gwen Taylor of Farmington Hills. "They tried to pull the wool over our eyes. Hello, the UAW is for Hillary."[f] Taylor said she won't vote for Clinton if she becomes the Democratic nominee.[f] "At some point, these backroom shenanigans have got to stop," she said. "If she's the nominee, I would have to consider voting for John McCain."[f] Joseph Person, an Obama supporter from West Bloomfield, also said he would have a hard time voting for Clinton.[f] "There is serious resentment on the part of African Americans because" former President Bill "Clinton played the race card in South Carolina," Person said.[f]

R.E.S.P..E.C.T......THAT’S WHAT WE NEED "To try and disrespect us now and then expect us to carry you to victory in November is dishonest."[f] Still, he added, he would take his "marching orders from Barack, because any Democrat is better than the same old, same old."[f]

GET A GRIP...WE WILL ALL WORK TOGETHER IN THE END Linda Varonich, a Clinton supporter from Pontiac, said it won't be hard to work for either candidate.[f] "I still want Hillary to win so badly," she said. "But I'll go door-to-door in my neighborhood for Obama if he's the nominee, because I just want my country back."[f] Deborah Goldberg, chairman of the 9th Congressional District Democrats, said she sees hope in Saturday's events even if there was dissension.[f] On Friday, Democratic candidate Barack Obama criticized McCain for comments he made in a television interview saying there had been "great progress economically" in the period since Bush became president. McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said the Arizona senator's remarks had been taken out of context, noting McCain went on to say the economic improvements were "no comfort to families now that are facing these tremendous economic challenges."[A] In the radio address, Dean said: "If you want to see more of this Bush economy, if you want to see our troops in Iraq for a long period of time, we can stay the course with Senator McCain. But the Democrats have a different vision for America's future. Both of our candidates for president have a plan to get us out of Iraq responsibly so that we can invest in the American people and American jobs."[A]

LABOR HAS A RIGHT TO DIRECT THE PRECINCT DELEGATES IT RECRUITED. HAVE AN OBJECTION!..GO GET YOUR OWN PRECINCT DELEGATES.....GOOD IDEA! "Somebody from each segment of the party got elected today, so that shows we're going to come together in the end," she said. "We're just going to have to gear ourselves toward bringing all these people together."[f]

MARK BREWER SCREWED UP THIS ELECTION AND HE SHOULD GO! Still, the Michigan delegates' role in Denver remains unclear because there has been no resolution on seating representatives from Michigan or Florida, which also broke the party's rules with an early primary.[f] What the state doesn’t have yet is an invitation to the national convention. The Democratic National Committee stripped Michigan of its delegates when it moved its primary to Jan. 15 in violation of party rules. While both campaigns and the DNC have said that Michigan should have a delegation at the convention, a solution on how to seat those delegates has not been reached.[FC]

IN NOVEMBER THERE WILL BE DEMOCRATIC UNITY, THIS SPRING IS JUST A FAMILY SPAT! In summary, things today were a bit competitive, but once the conventions are over and we can fully concentrate on November... we will be unstoppable. We have no other choice. The future of our country, and the world, is in our hands. America can no longer afford a government of, by and for the Corporations. Obama, as a constitutional scholar and a national inspiration, could not be more needed than at this time. [G]

Posted here by Terry Bankert ...
Join my political party of preference,

—where did this stuff come from?
[f] Detroit Free Press
[A] ap [m] Muskegon Chronicle [trb] Comments of Terry Bankert to include block headlines [fc] FREEP.COM [DN] Detroit News .com [GRP] Grand Rapids Press [AJC] AJC.COM [g] Gather [AP2] AP [AJC2] AJC.COM 50167


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