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

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Another Day, Another Call For a Tax Increase

How many tax increase proposals can the Roanoke Times editorial staff float in one week?  We're finding out.

First see my related post from the other day - "Johnny One Note."

Then turn to today's editorial in which the boys there promote what they refer to as a "sneaky" tax increase proposal.  See "Raising taxes without raising the tax rate." It has to do with county government raising the declared value of everyone's vehicles so that those taxpayers can be charged higher assessments.  Just declare them to be of greater value.  And then tax the hell out of them.

That'll boost confidence in government, won't it?  The power of government would no longer be derived from the governed.  It would derive from the ability of government to hoodwink the governed.  That worked really well for Louis XVI.

I've seen a lot of weird suggestions come from this bunch, but to promote "sneaky" tax increases takes the cake.

Adverb Police!

I have one word for the copy editor(s) at the Roanoke Times:

DICTIONARY

You really are coming across wetly.

Headline, dated February 14:

"Robbing Peter -- literally"

There is no one in the attached editorial named Peter.

There is no one robbed.

Literally.

The header literally has nothing to do with the editorial.

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Literally
Adverb: literally lit'uralee
1. In a literal or strict sense.

Global Warming Fantasy

Here's what I was referring to yesterday (see "Quote of the Day") when I discussed those who take a perfectly legitimate theory and use it to bolster an argument that flies in the face of all known facts.  First the theory:

"Cooler ground temperatures or water temperatures collide with warmer atmospheric temperatures and ... voila! ... precipitation, in the winter in the form of snow.  Anyone who's ever been in Benton Harbor or Cleveland or Buffalo during a "white-out" will attest to the fact that the theory holds."

That, to granite-minded thinkers, explains all the snow we've gotten here on the East Coast this winter.  To wit:
Washington's snowstorms, brought to you by global warming
By Bill McKibben, writing in the Washington Post

[R]ising temperature is only one effect of climate change. Probably more crucially, warmer air holds more water vapor than cold air does. The increased evaporation from land and sea leads to more drought but also to more precipitation, since what goes up eventually comes down. The numbers aren't trivial -- global warming has added 4 percent more moisture to the atmosphere since 1970. That means that the number of "extreme events" such as downpours and floods has grown steadily; the most intense storms have increased by 20 percent across the United States in the past century.

So here's the thing: Despite global warming, it still gets cold enough to snow in the middle of winter. It even gets cold enough to snow in Texas and Georgia, as it did late last week. And the chances of what are technically called "big honking dumps" have increased. As Jeff Masters, the widely read weather blogger, pointed out last week, a record snowstorm requires a record amount of moisture in the air. "It is quite possible that the dice have been loaded in favor of more intense Nor'easters for the U.S. Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, thanks to the higher levels of moisture present in the air due to warmer global temperatures," he wrote. [link]
It all sounds so perfect, doesn't it?

As a working theory who could argue?

Only one problem.  A very significant problem: Global temperatures haven't risen at all this century.  So "higher levels of moisture present in the air" can't be "due to warmer global temperatures."  And temperatures in the eastern half of the country have been significantly below normal in recent months.

Say what?

Something else is causing the snow to fall.

My guess? (it's as good if not better than their guess.)

Weather.

But to my point, these guys get fixated on a theory, regardless whether it fits circumstances confronting them, and they make themselves look like fools.

"It's snowing. The snowing is caused by global warming."

"But the globe is cooling."

"Don't bother me with facts. I have my theory and I'm sticking to it."

For the love of God.

We're Going To Cap-n-Tax Why?

The whole premise for controlling carbon footprints and limiting greenhouse gases is built upon the theory that humans are causing the planet to warm in a manner never experienced before.  But now, faced with the fact that his career has been abruptly ended, the man who has been leading the fight to end global warming has decided to become ... honest:
Climategate U-turn as scientist at centre of row admits: There has been no global warming since 1995
By Jonathan Petre, London Daily Mail

The academic at the centre of the ‘Climategate’ affair, whose raw data is crucial to the theory of climate change, has admitted that he has trouble ‘keeping track’ of the information.

Colleagues say that the reason Professor Phil Jones has refused Freedom of Information requests is that he may have actually lost the relevant papers.

Professor Jones told the BBC yesterday there was truth in the observations of colleagues that he lacked organisational skills, that his office was swamped with piles of paper and that his record keeping is ‘not as good as it should be’.

The data is crucial to the famous ‘hockey stick graph’ used by climate change advocates to support the theory.

Professor Jones also conceded the possibility that the world was warmer in medieval times than now – suggesting global warming may not be a man-made phenomenon.

And he said that for the past 15 years there has been no ‘statistically significant’ warming.

The admissions will be seized on by sceptics as fresh evidence that there are serious flaws at the heart of the science of climate change and the orthodoxy that recent rises in temperature are largely man-made. [link]
Bottom line: The planet isn't warming (and won't until it once again does).  So the hysteria over carbon gets straitjacketed.  So there's no need for carbon sequestration (a preposterous notion anyway) and there's no need for our government to tax us into the Stone Age.  Nor is there any reason whatsoever for the EPA to declare CO2 to be a pollutant.

It's time to pull the brake lever on this train that's been hurtling down the track.  Global warming is dead.  Long live rational thought and sound, legitimate empirical probability.

- - -

For additional reading on the subject, see "Polynomial Cointegration Tests of the Anthropogenic Theory of Global Warming," a study conducted by researchers Michael Beenstock and Yaniv Reingewertz.  It's conclusion: "Therefore, previous claims that carbon emissions permanently increase global temperature are false."

Thank God For The GOP Controlled House Of Delegates

Otherwise, had Virginia's Democrats - and more than a few traitorous Republican senators - had their way, we'd be New Jersey:
Escape From New Jersey
Wall Street Journal editorial

The Garden State was blooming. Then the trend reversed. From 2004-2008, author John Havens found "a large decline in the number of wealthy households entering New Jersey" as well as "a moderate increase in the outflow of wealthy households leaving." The result: a net decline of $70 billion in household wealth while the "expected giving" became a net outflow of $1.132 billion.

So what happened in 2004? The study doesn't purport to explain what caused the wealth movements. But the state's most notable economic policy event that year was an increase in its top income tax rate to 8.97% from 6.37%, on incomes starting at $500,000. That's a 40% increase.

The state Chamber of Commerce commissioned the study with the Community Foundation, and Chamber Chairman Dennis Bone says it is "crystal clear that the state's tax policies are resulting in a significant decline in the state's wealth." New Jersey's estate tax, which kicks in at 2.5% on assets of as little as $675,000, goes up to 16% on assets over $10 million.

The nearby table [excluded] shows the upward march in taxation in New Jersey, which was once a fast-growing state but has now joined California and New York as high-tax, high-debt states with budget crises. As Jim Hughes, dean of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers, told NJ.com recently, until the tax picture is improved, "we'll probably see a continuation of the trend, until there are no more high-wealth individuals left."

Last year, Democrats raised the top rate for one year to 10.75%. This year New Jerseyans elected Chris Christie. [link]
Liberals, like those who suck up oxygen in the editorial boardroom at the Roanoke Times, remind me of the cavemen of old, sitting around the pile of elephant bones, saying, "Food good."

"Tax increase good."

But in their paleolithic minds they never contemplate the consequences of actions taken.  Raise taxes significantly and taxpayers move somewhere else.  Like Florida.  And Texas.  To hang onto the money they rightfully consider theirs.

So.  I've said it many times before and I'll say it again:

Thank God for the Republicans in the Virginia House of Delegates who stood up to the powers in this state - in the Senate, in the mainstream press, in certain government-dependent business environments - who wanted to make Virginia New Jersey. 

Times are tough.  They could have been a whole lot tougher.