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

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

As Companies Leave Virginia In Droves ...

... the Roanoke Times advocates that we continue to do everything we can to drive them out:
Keep the corporate income tax
editorial

Virginia consistently ranks as one of the best states for business and has a modest corporate income tax rate. The anti-tax set thinks we can do even better. They take it as an article of faith that what is good for business is good for everyone else.

Don't worry that the commonwealth would lose $650 million or more when it already faces a $4 billion budget hole. The commonwealth would more than make it up in just a couple of years with greater economic activity, they claim.

That sort of thinking -- that the best way to raise tax revenue is to slash taxes -- doesn't work. Yet conservatives trot it out with disturbing regularity. Next they will ask Virginians to believe companies would pass along the full tax savings to their customers instead of padding profit margins and executive salaries.

"It's an innovative idea and something that we are looking at," Eric Finkbeiner, Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell's director of policy with the transition team, told The Richmond Times-Dispatch. We hope he was just being polite. [link]
Leaving aside the argument that reducing tax rates grows tax revenue dollars - which Newt Gingrich proved valid - there is the more important point:  Virginia corporate taxes are only "modest" in comparison to other U.S. states.  Compare them to a host of foreign countries and they're not modest at all.  They're confiscatory.

In addition, a simple look at the economic well-being of those states with the highest - and lowest - corporate tax rates tells a person all he needs to know about the how advantageous taxes are to economic growth.  Just look at New York, New Jersey, and California - basket cases all - and then compare them to low tax Texas - a veritable powerhouse.  "nuff said.

As for Virginia's successes, all of them - ALL OF THEM - can be attributed to the burgeoning government sector in our northern counties.  Businesses there - and only there - are thriving because of the billions of tax dollars that are being dumped on them by the federal government.  Southside and Southwest Virginia experience none of it.

Look around, fellas.  It ain't working.  So many jobs have left for China.

Doing more of what we've been doing is suicide. 

Wake up.

As If They Haven't Endured Enough

Bad news down south:
Haiti's capital shattered by powerful earthquake
By Jonathan M. Katz, Associated Press Writer

Port-au-Prince, Haiti – Dazed and injured Haitians sat on darkened streets pleading for help Wednesday and untold numbers were trapped in tons of rubble brought down by the strongest earthquake to hit this poor Caribbean nation in more than 200 years.

The extent of destruction from Tuesday afternoon's 7.0-magnitude tremor was far from clear — and estimating the number of casualties was impossible, save for the dead lying among thousands of collapsed buildings in Haiti's capital.

The ornate National Palace crumbled into itself, the headquarters of the U.N. peacekeeping mission collapsed, and swaths of rickety shacks lay in shambles. Clouds of dust thrown up by falling buildings choked Port-au-Prince for hours.

The United States and other nations began organizing relief efforts, alerting search teams and gathering supplies that will be badly needed in Haiti, the Western Hemisphere's poorest country. [link]
 Good God.

Like That Little Electric Doghouse You're Driving?

I hope you didn't really think it was ever going to save you money:
Study: Buyers unlikely to recoup extra cost of electric vehicles
By Alisa Priddle, Detroit News

Detroit -- As automakers aggressively pursue electric vehicles, a study released today shows the cost targets behind the plans are unlikely to be achieved, making it hard for consumers to recoup the extra cost of buying electric.

The study by Boston Consulting Group, released at an Automotive Press Association event in Detroit today, concludes the cost of electric vehicles is unlikely to drop to the $250 per kilowatt/hour threshold that is cited by many carmakers for these vehicles to be competitive in price. That benchmark is not possible without a major breakthrough in battery technology, and no such breakthrough is on the horizon, said Xavier Mosquet, the Detroit-based leader of BCG's automotive group.

As a result, the payback time for an all-electric vehicle in the U.S. is about 15 years, and for an extended-range vehicle such as the Chevrolet Volt it would be 19 years, the study finds. [link]
If you accept the fact that the average consumer keeps a new car for four to five years before selling it, you have an odd circumstance in which your trendy neighbor will be driving that trendy electric egg beater for three times that if he or she wants to gain back that which went into the hefty purchase price.  A fifteen-year-old car?  Hardly trendy, if you ask me.

Couple the fact that they will never recoup that cost differential with the fact that electric cars bring a mountain of additional poisonous lead into the marketplace and with the fact that electric cars actually pollute the atmosphere more than does your average Ford Focus and you have ... what?

A very costly, ugly, inefficient, non-user-friendly, polluting monstrosity on your hands.

What was the point again?

Why I Can Never Vote Democrat

It's simple.  They always seem to twist and bend in the wind.  A great example? They don't get more glaring than this:
In reversal, Harold Ford Jr. advocates for same-sex marriage
By Bartholomew Sullivan, Memphis Commercial Appeal

Washington - As a candidate for the U.S. Senate from Tennessee, Harold Ford Jr. advocated a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages. But as he eyes a run for the Senate from New York, he now advocates both civil unions and gay marriage.

Ford, who represented Memphis in Congress for five terms, was asked if he now favors gay marriage on Monday's "Today Show," and he said he did.

Ford lost his bid to represent Tennessee in the Senate to Bob Corker in 2006 and soon afterward moved to New York. He makes regular television appearances as a political expert. He also serves as chairman of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council, teaches a course on public policy at New York University and is a vice president at the investment banking firm Merrill Lynch. [link]
The examples of Democratic politicians who change their positions on key issues, changes based on the targeted voter, are many.  From Slick Willy Clinton one day advocating the HillaryCare takeover of the health care system to his subsequent declaration that the era of big government is over,  to Al Gore being pro-life, until it was more advantageous to be pro-choice, to Obama being radically anti-war except in Afghanistan, where he became pro-war.

So Harold Ford was conservative when he was whoring for votes in conservative Tennessee and now he's a New York liberal, with all that that implies.

Please, just get out of my life.  We've learned from their kind that, because they believe in nothing, they're willing at any time to believe anything.  And I don't have the patience for it.

I'll Believe It When I See It

I'm afraid there are a lot of conservatives who are going to wake up on Wednesday morning with a very bad case of the blues.  Unrealistic and dashed expectations will do that to a person.   To what am I referring?
Election 2010: Massachusetts Special Senate Election
Massachusetts Senate Election: Coakley (D) 49%, Brown (R) 47%
Rasmussen Reports

The Massachusetts’ special U.S. Senate election has gotten tighter, but the general dynamics remain the same.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in the state finds Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley attracting 49% of the vote while her Republican rival, state Senator Scott Brown, picks up 47%.

Three percent (3%) say they’ll vote for independent candidate Joe Kennedy, and two percent (2%) are undecided. The independent is no relation to the late Edward M. Kennedy, whose Senate seat the candidates are battling to fill in next Tuesday's election. [link]
I happened to catch a couple of YouTube snippets of the Monday debate between the two yesterday and found Brown to be more animated and focused than I had heard he was, and I found Coakley to be just as tedious and over-scripted as advertised.

But the numbers, it seems to me, are hard to overcome.  Massachusetts leans heavily Democratic.  And solid turnout or no, the margin of support for a Democrat - any Democrat - is too great to overcome.

Brown will have given them a heck of a scare, though.  And that was fun to watch.