D.C. gaming, restaurant tipping and Aragon rebuttal – Macomb Daily

Servers at establishments like National Coney Island on Garfield Road in Clinton Township rely on tips for much of their income. (MITCH HOTS — THE MACOMB DAILY)

Stop the DC political games

I am writing regarding the terrible record of the current House of Representatives in the District of Columbia. They only managed to pass 22 bills this year; 2 of which were just renaming something and one was to dedicate a coin. We need a House that will work on fully funding our government in addition to other very important issues.
Instead, they are wasting time in impeachment attempts. Even one Republican said they were relying on an imaginary story to do this. I just wish they would do a real job.
How about getting our representative, Lisa McClain, to work on the real issues we sent her to Washington on – the hard stuff, not the political games that so many of them are involved in.

Joan Donahue

Chesterfield Twp.

Eliminating the tip credit could doom the industry

In the restaurant industry, I’ve done just about every job you can do, from cooking to serving to managing. And now, after almost a decade in the business, I choose to be a server. This is because of the flexibility, satisfaction and money it provides. Now I’m worried that will change soon due to a lawsuit.

There is much discussion about eliminating the tipped wage credit, forcing waiters and bartenders to settle for the standard minimum wage rate set for every other industry. The intention may be to give me more money, but instead I will make less.

Through my hard work and relationships with my clients, I can earn at least $20 an hour with tips, even on the slowest days. It’s often north of $30 an hour. Once the tip is taken away and customers see us as standard minimum wage workers, they will be less likely to tip more than their normal amount, knowing that I make more than my salary.

Not to mention their food and beverage costs will skyrocket. A restaurant already operating at minimal profits will have to cover these new labor costs somehow. This will be seen in higher menu prices, service charges or even job cuts. There are no other options.

Many mom-and-pop shops have barely survived the pandemic. They can barely keep up with inflationary price increases for every product they have to buy. How will they handle doubling or tripling labor costs? For many, they cannot and will simply close their doors.

Take it from people like me who work in this industry every day. If the court rules against the tipped wage system, it will kill the service industry here in Michigan. It would do the opposite of what it claims, causing our incomes to decrease – if we manage to keep our jobs at all.

Ashley Greco

Harrison Twp.

Rhetoric, but no decisions in opinion

“When people tell you who they are, believe them” – Rep. Joe Aragona, Macomb Daily Dec. 10 (“Ghost green jobs not only lack credibility, they’re dangerous”). There is another famous quote: “You can’t complain about a problem if you don’t have a solution.” Republicans seem to like to complain about what others are doing to solve problems and have no policy of their own.

Congressman Aragona vigorously lamented Governor Whitmer’s actions to help curb climate change and energy costs. Nowhere in his diatribe did he offer any solutions.

In neighboring St. Clair County, a new natural gas-fired power plant was built to replace the coal-fired plant that had operated there for years, reducing greenhouse gases and lowering energy costs. Building new factories costs money, they are an investment in our future. Building anything today is cheaper than it will be in years to come. Another example is the Palisades Nuclear Plant in South Haven, which is slated to reopen, giving us more clean energy and more jobs.

DTE has converted 11 of its 17 coal plants to natural gas and renewable energy so far this year. Consumers Energy plans to be coal-free by 2025. The goal is clean, cheaper energy. Will this change the world stage for limiting climate change? On this small scale, no, but as a nation with every country involved, the answer is yes. The state of Wyoming is planning a 600-turbine wind farm that will sell excess energy to California. I look across Lake St. Clair and see wind turbines on the Canadian coast. What did Rep. Aragon suggest? Do nothing because China is building more coal plants?

America has always been a world leader; we should be leading the way in trying to learn new technologies, not bending the knee to the fossil fuel industry. New technology means more jobs here in Michigan. We are building new EV and battery plants with our universities and entrepreneurs working on hydrogen technology. These are real factory and construction jobs for our communities.

Instead of berating the other side for trying something, come up with a plan to help us achieve cleaner energy at a lower cost.

Dennis Marentet

St. Clair Shores

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