Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Monday, May 03, 2010

Why the $550M DRIC Free Lunch Will Cost Michigan Taxpayers Dearly

Pssssst. Hey buddy, want to buy a bridge?

Canada does as the Prime Minister's secret mandate letter demonstrates but it will cost Michigan taxpayers dearly. Just watch how the sleight of hand works.

MDOT's Captain Kirk is the Michigan magician who will make it happen with his Canadian counterparts. He knows all about it and is participating in it given the lessons from his teachers in Australia and Ottawa. Heck, he presented it and told us how it was going to be done and we did not see him do it. What a prestidigitator he has become. No Legislator or Governor can complain down the road. It was right there in front of everyone's eyes. He hid nothing.

What an act of legerdemain. One hurdle passed so far of no Legislative oversight

Transport Canada Minister Baird did it too if you listen closely to his interview. He is real slick. He still has a lot to teach MDOT:

Canada is good. How much have we put up so far to get the Governor and House Committee Democrats onside to screw Michigan taxpayers. Watch Minister Baird's face at around the 1:58 mark. Even he cannot keep a straight face and cannot help but laugh out loud at the Michigan rubes.

The answer: Not a bloody cent!

All it cost was a two-page letter that ex-Governor Blanchard has been working on with Canada for months in secret meetings at how much per hour? Is it over $600 as someone in the media claimed? Nice work if you can get it.

And it is just to get them over hurdle one too: the committee. Imagine what else they have been working on.

Wow, a FOUR-page letter increasing the amount might get the entire House Democrats onside for the final House vote. I can hardly wait to see Governor Granholm again in the Senate. How will she top her House breathless performance. Falling on a sword for Canada or swallowing her pride again?

After all, months of due diligence will be needed to put that letter into agreement form if it ever does but Canada will have achieved its objective with offering nothing.

Oh my, I am sooooo cynical. Let's assume Baird really means it. How much will Canada offer. Not necessarily $550M....UP TO $550M. Wow, sounds like a sale price on a commercial I saw advertised on Detroit TV..."Sign up now and get UP TO 80% off the cost of building a road!"

I did not remembering hearing the "up to" mentioned in Michigan but just to Canadians. And don't worry, we probably won't have to pay that much anyway. We are nothing more than a credit facility to sucker the US feds into thinking Michigan actually has money so they can get toll credits. The amount is probably $100-150M or so really because this is nothing more than a clever ploy to leverage the US Feds to get the money out of them! Baird's terms not mine. The $550M is a mere upper cap if the Feds do not buy into the Michigan/Canada shenanigans.

Now I suspect why Windsor got so much money for Brighton Beach---$34M for property worth $5M. It was done so Windsor would have money so that it could leverage Fed and Provincial infrastructure money. Gee Windsor is a test-bed for all of these sleight of hand tricks. I wonder if Canada's or Ontario's Auditor General will look into that to see if I am right or not. Or perhaps the Opposition.

I have to tell you that the so-called toll payments to pay off this $550M are another sleight of hand. What will happen is that this money will all be "rolled up" into the financial arrangement so some P3 operator will have to pay Canada back. You truly cannot believe that Canada would trust a virtually bankrupt State like Michigan to be able to pay back a half a billion dollars do you. That is exactly why Michigan and more importantly Canada needs the a private investor can pay off the credit facility and roll up this money into the financing.

If you remember, Captian Kirk told us about this roll-up when he talked about the $100M in the first hearing. Now that Baird really explained what it means, you know who taught the Captain. Hurrumpf...the Michigan media missed that one

So some smarties amongst my readers may now think I have backed myself into a corner. Canada will get paid back, Michigan has no real risk and therefore it is all borne by the P3 operator. The tolls will pay off everything.

And that dear reader is the biggest whopper of them all as you shall learn in the final BLOG of the series.