cheers to you

Earlier this year, when Gwen Ifill and Jose Fernandez were still alive, the Department of Labor issued new overtime rules. The government slated these rules to go into effect right about NOW. Some four million salaried employees making between $22,000 and $47,476 stood to benefit from the regulations until the Obama Administration was hoisted on its petard by (BHO-appointed) U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant.

Two weeks ago, Mazzant issued a temporary, nationwide injunction blocking the rule. Like Scrooge without the fuzzy ending, these workers will not enjoy their slight windfall. Others will remain jobless, as hiring multiple straight time workers to avoid paying overtime rates, now doesn't seem like such a great idea when a Corporate Person can squeeze all of the uncapped hours from salaried employees.

However, TJX, owner of TJ Maxx and Marshalls, decided to comply with the proposed rules as planned. Reasonably treating working class employees? Slow down, comrades. While some employers likely complied due to administrative ease, it's important to note there's no indication these rules hamstring Corporate Persons as their lobbyists would have you believe.

Because the court ruling came just days before the rule was to take effect, many businesses had already made the changes to comply with the regulations. They had a few options for doing so: Raising workers’ salaries above $47,476 so they do not require overtime pay; keeping employees at their current salaries and starting to pay them time-and-a-half when they work more than 40 hours; or capping their weekly schedules at 40 hours to avoid paying overtime.

The court still must determine whether to pledge fealty to lobbyists and a gaggle of GOP governors and block the rules in full. In the meantime, the Labor Department appealed the ruling. However, regardless of the outcome, the incoming administration will be able to scrap the rule if it so desires. Luckily, Populist Hero Donald Guthrie Trump will make all affected workers wealthy with his winning smile and pantloads of corporate giveaways.

Michigan Will Drop Pretense, Just Let Corporate Persons Keep Your Tax Dollars

The Rust Belt, where Democrats inexplicably staying home during 2010 midterms continues to be the shift that keeps on giving. Michigan's lame duck session is upon us. Here are some of the best and brightest ideas Michigan's morally bankrupt legislature could deliver for the holidays:

1) A bill that prohibits local communities from banning or imposing fees on plastic bags in their community. Finally something to protect the precious bags carrying all of the 'Party Of Local Control' bumper stickers.

2) What's the standard 'Droit du jour' for a GOP-laden legislative body? Voter suppression, of course! Following the lead of the cheesefuckers in Walkeristan, a series of bills implementing unnecessary voter ID with tons of unnecessary administrative hoops that I'm sure will be administered with cheerful precision. Because your constitutional right is important.

3) A Senate panel voted to close school pensions to new teachers. This DeVos-inspired bill passed the Senate despite testimony from DeVos-funded Gov. Snyder's administration. (He'll sign it anyway...)

4) And what's an elimination of a pension benefit without a little sandpaper reach-around on the flip side? New legislation would eliminate retiree health care benefits for new local government employees. But don't worry, current workers and retirees. The GOP didn't forget about you. You'll have to pick up a bigger chunk of your health costs as well, even if lower costs were previously negotiated in a collective bargaining agreement. "Sanctity of the contract," right guys? Right? Are you there? Say what you want about Trump's GOP, they're putting people back to work. Specifically, retired people.

With all of these cuts, the financial outlook must be pretty bleak for the Mitten. Every revenue dollar must be treated with the utmost care. Yet new legislation would allow 15 companies to "keep up to $250 million in state taxes they withhold from employees' paychecks rather than turn it over to the Michigan Treasury Department." A move that will directly shortchange Michigan's already underfunded education system.

Steve Arwood, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., said that the $250-million "withholding abatement" program represents the first state incentive program designed to attract major employers, creating 250 to 500 or more high-wage jobs, since Gov. Rick Snyder successfully pushed for elimination of the MEGA tax abatement credits.

Sounds like a great R.O.I, plutocrats! (That stands for "Robbing Our Idiots" for all you art history majors out there.) Michigan isn't the first state to institute this scheme and the state had a similar program back in the '80s -- a gross decade to which some wish to return. You may say a corporate tax giveaway is the same regardless of its structure. But there's something perverse about companies directly pocketing their workers' tax dollars and likely doing so without the workers' knowledge.

Maybe some day there will be a box to check so that Michigan workers can direct their fucking tax dollars straight to Flint since its water still isn't safe to drink. Crazy idea, we know.


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