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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Doing What He Does Best

Governor Kaine announced yesterday his intention to raise the titling tax on car sales.

Governor Kaine announced yesterday his intention to raise the car registration tax.

Governor Kaine announced yesterday his intention to raise the state sales tax (in norhtern Virginia and Hampton Roads).

Governor Kaine announced yesterday his intention to raise the grantors tax on home sales.

In return?

Bootlicking adulation from the press.

(source)

We Make Progress. Or Not.

The boys over at the Roanoke Times have come to the realization that a gas tax increase or a sales tax increase to fund road repairs will have calamitous effects on the (growing ranks of) working poor in Southwest Virginia. Still, they want their tax increase(s). How to reconcile the two?

They want their taxes targeted.

Hello?
Don't overtax the poor in any roads fix
editorial

Virginia needs some kind of statewide tax increase for transportation, and a gas tax increase makes a lot of sense. A small bump in the state sales tax might be necessary, too.

Both taxes are regressive, though, meaning they would put a disproportionate burden on the poor. If lawmakers pass one or both in the special session on transportation next month, they also should provide tax relief for low-income Virginians.

... the working poor must be able to afford to get to work. Any regressive tax plan should take into account how close some families live to their budgets' edge. (link)
This epiphany might have included the Times's enthusiastic call for an increase in cigarette taxes to pay for middle class health care coverage (a program known as SCHIP). There is no more regressive tax ever devised by man.

Uh, no. Not today.

But more importantly, I was interested in knowing how the Times proposes to mitigate the effects of these taxes on the poorest among us. Should the destitute be required to bring a copy of their 1040 form to Wal-Mart when they buy their groceries, in order to be exempt from sales taxes? Should we hire survey takers to stand at every gas pump in the state to screen out those who don't meet a certain income threshhold so that they can be excused from paying gas taxes?

The Times doesn't say how they'd accomplish this feat, separating out one class of humans from another. They'll probably want legislators to look at some form of tax rebate. To be offered to people who have already been relieved of the income tax burden and can be rebated nothing.

But it makes for a swell bleeding heart editorial.

Typical.

Today I Am A Brit

It was just a matter of time. The tide now turns in our favor. People are starting to see the scheming for what it really is. In this case, in Britain:
Green tax revolt: Britons 'will not foot bill to save planet'
By Colin Brown, Deputy Political Editor, The Independent

More than seven in 10 voters insist that they would not be willing to pay higher taxes in order to fund projects to combat climate change, according to a new poll.

The survey also reveals that most Britons believe "green" taxes on 4x4s, plastic bags and other consumer goods have been imposed to raise cash rather than change our behaviour, while two-thirds of Britons think the entire green agenda has been hijacked as a ploy to increase taxes.

The findings make depressing reading for green campaigners, who have spent recent months urging the Government to take far more radical action to reduce Britain's carbon footprint. (link)
Good. Let them be depressed. They've been playing on the fears of an unwitting public for the longest time. And for the most diabolical of reasons. A little payback is in order.

And While We're On The Subject ...

The London Daily Mail rates the stars on how well they heed their own advice when it comes to their global warming carbon footprint. First up, John Travolta:

What a hippy-crite.

Image courtesy of the London Daily Mail.

Quote of the Day

From the Washington Post:
The House did a good job of keeping pet projects out of its version of the [Iraq War spending bill]; the Senate proposes piling on another $9 billion, including such goodies as $200 million for the space shuttle, $400 million in extra funding for the National Institutes of Health and $50 million for scholarships at the National Science Foundation. If this counts as emergency spending, it's hard to imagine what budget-busting expenditures would not qualify.
"Not An Emergency," May 12, 2008

How Creative Is This?

In response to Harvard Law graduate Barack Obama's strange gaffe on Friday in which he declared there to be 57 states in the Union, a few more than most of us are aware of (see my post on the subject here), coupled with the fact that the man finds it unseemly to wear an American flag lapel pin in time of war, a blogger over at Suitably Flip has come up with a "suitable" lapel pin to commemorate the occasion:

Staring at those seven extra stars for a moment, the mind reels when one begins to wonder which countries the man intends to conquer in order to achieve that number 57 ...

GOP Adopts Obama Strategy

All hat, no cattle, as they say.
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So Republicans in Washington have come to the realization that America has gained this perception that the GOP has become a whole lot like the Democrats in recent years. Tax and spend. Regulate like hell. Beat up on corporations. Personal aggrandizement. Speaking out of both sides of their mouths. Earmarks. On and on.
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So what have they done about it?
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As sad as it is to say, they've adopted Barack Obama's empty slogans and have reached out with Democrat initiatives.
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For this we need a two-party system?

House GOP seizes on voters' call for change
By S.A. Miller and Sean Lengell, The Washington Times


House Republican leaders, facing a potentially disastrous election this fall, will introduce a campaign message today in which they promise voters "the change you deserve" while arguing that Democrats in Congress have dropped the ball, according to a leadership strategy memo to rank-and-file members.

"It starts with this: Washington is broken, the American people want it fixed, and Democrats in Washington have proven unable or unwilling to get the job done. Republicans will," says the memorandum, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Times.

A top Republican aide, who did not want to reveal too much, said the families agenda is a blueprint for addressing challenges confronting families and will seek to replace outdated laws to help women with children who work outside the home and families in which both parents work. These kinds of voters often lean Democratic. (link)

Give me a moment while I puke.
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There was a day, not long ago, when Republicans stood for real, honest change. Things like:
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• Requiring all laws that apply to the rest of the country to also apply equally to the Congress

• Selecting a major, independent auditing firm to conduct a comprehensive audit of Congress for waste, fraud or abuse

• Cutting the number of House committees, and cut committee staff by one-third

• Reducing the size of government

• Eliminating whole departments within the government - starting with the departments of energy and education

• Establishing a line-item veto

• Eliminating deficit spending

• Abolishing affirmative action in hiring
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Now we get horse shit like "Washington is broken, the American people want it fixed, and Democrats in Washington have proven unable or unwilling to get the job done. Republicans will."
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And Obama's favorite empty catch phrase: "the change you deserve."
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For this we can vote for Obama.
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We expect better from the GOP.
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How demoralizing.
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* Those first three bullet points came from Newt Gingrich's Contract With America, a wildly popular platform adopted at a time when Republicans ruled the world. A bygone day.
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** At least this has substance behind it: "McConnell: Democrats will 'turn us into France'"

Interesting

I've never hunted coyotes but there are a number of neighbors who do. This time of year, and particularly in the summer, you can hear the predators howling and doing their thing in the darkness each night. They're out there, and lots of 'em.

I remember years ago explaining to an incredulous wife that the reason men hunt coyotes is because the little critters are known to drag defenseless children off into the forest and eat them, therefore they need to be exterminated. The coyotes; not the children.

I was kidding.

Or thought I was:
Scientists Investigate Recent Coyote Attacks on Children in California
Fox News


Los Angeles — The coyote was limping as it approached a girl in a sand box at a public park -- but it was still dangerous. It snapped its jaws on the girl's buttocks and her nanny had to pry the toddler from the wild animal.

Less than a week later, a coyote in a mountain resort town some 35 miles away grabbed a girl by the head and tried to drag her from a front yard until her mother scared it away.

A spate of coyote attacks in the fast-growing suburbs east of Los Angeles have left parents on edge and puzzled wildlife officials. (link)
Let me make the pronouncement before Al Gore does. It's global warming.