The more I thought about it, the more I began to realize that not only are thousands of people calling on U-Haul to help them escape to more opportune environs - like Northern Virginia - they have to pay dearly for it.
Since more and more area residents will be taking advantage of the system as time goes by, and since the state is in the business of promoting mass transit to alleviate traffic congestion (the plan is working marvelously in Smyth County, by the way - ain't no traffic congestion there anymore), I call on Senator Phil Puckett to introduce legislation that will provide funding for Southwest Virginia's mass transit system. We want our U-Haul rentals subsidized.
There was something else that prompted my idea. I read this in the Wall Street Journal:
Meathead EconomicsSound familiar? High taxes are driving away employers.
It takes hard work to drive anyone away from California's sunshine and scenic vistas, but politicians in Sacramento have been up to the task.
The latest Census Bureau data indicate that, in 2005, 239,416 more native-born Americans left the state than moved in. California is also on pace to lose domestic population (not counting immigrants) this year. The outmigration is such that the cost to rent a U-Haul trailer to move from Los Angeles to Boise, Idaho, is $2,090 -- or some eight times more than the cost of moving in the opposite direction.
What's gone wrong? A big part of the story is a tax and regulatory culture that treats the most productive businesses and workers as if they were ATM machines. The cost to businesses of complying with California's rules, regulations and paperwork is more than twice as high as in other Western states.
But the worst growth killer may well be California's tax system. The business tax rate of 8.8% is the highest in the West, and its steeply "progressive" personal income tax has an effective top marginal rate of 10.3%, or second highest in the nation. (link requires subscription)
But to keep to the point, our mass transit system here in Southwest Virginia deserves the same level of funding as does that of the well-to-do taxpayers up north.
Let's start the chant:
No U-Haul, no peace!
No U-Haul, no peace!
No U-Haul, ...