Monday, May 12, 2008
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.
Bootlicking adulation from the press.
They want their taxes targeted.
Don't overtax the poor in any roads fixThis 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.
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)
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.
Green tax revolt: Britons 'will not foot bill to save planet'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.
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)
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
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 ...
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)
• 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
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 CaliforniaLet me make the pronouncement before Al Gore does. It's global warming.
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)