Saturday, May 03, 2008

Guard Your Wallets

It requires that you read the next-to-last paragraph of this lengthy Richmond Times-Dispatch article to find out what our Democratic governor has in mind when he says there is "quite a bit" of consensus - even among House Republicans ("absolutely") - on the issue of road and bridge repair and on how to fund it:

Kaine sees possible road consensus
By Jim Nolan, Richmond Times-Dispatch

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine yesterday said evidence is emerging of a consensus on a fix for the state's $1 billion transportation gap.

"There is quite a bit," he told reporters yesterday morning, without specifying the areas of agreement.

Consensus even from House Republicans?

"Absolutely," he responded. "Absolutely."

Kaine said this week that he will roll out his plan to fix the funding gap within 10 days at the same time he announces a June special session of the legislature to act on a plan. (

Really? Is there something in the works that will make 2008 different from 2006 when the governor demanded a massive tax increase and Republicans (in the House) refused him? Don't count on it.

That next-to-last paragraph:

"Increases in the gas tax, the state sales tax and the auto titling tax are among the proposals that have been floated as ways to raise the revenue. Kaine noted that the current rates of all of those taxes are among the lowest in the nation."

How does that saying go about stupidity being characterized by an attempt to do the same things over and over again and expecting different results?

If "consensus" means caving in and doing things his way, I somehow doubt that we're close to consensus.

- - -

The editorial page, by the way, is a bit skeptical of the notion as well, writing in this morning's paper:
Bulletin: A new poll reports that 75 percent of voters in Hampton Roads oppose regional sales taxes for roads, and 83 percent reject a regional fuel tax. Moreover, 68 percent oppose an increase in state taxes on gasoline. The survey shows an even split on an increase in the state sales tax.

Hampton Roads suffers some of the state's worst congestion, or so drivers fortunate to live in Richmond hear. If our neighbors to the southeast oppose taxes by margins wider than the Chesapeake, then those pushing transportation taxes will have a hard sell. (link)
A hard sell indeed.

While The Governor Plots The Next Tax Increase ...

... workers in Martinsville and Danville continue to bleed:

Jobless rate sees modest rise
By Bernard Baker, The Danville Register & Bee

Unemployment in Danville rose slightly in March due mostly to furloughs and Easter layoffs, according to reports from the Virginia Employment Commission.

The Danville area’s jobless rate went up from 7.3 to 7.4 percent in March, William Mezger, the Virginia Employment Commission’s chief economist, said Wednesday. A year ago, the rate was 6.5 percent.

Danville saw unemployment rise from 8.6 percent in February to 9 percent in March. The number of unemployed in Danville was at 3,840 people. A year ago, the rate was 8.2 percent.

Unemployment in Martinsville improved slightly from February to March.

In March, the rate was 11.7 percent, compared to 12.1 percent in February. This time last year, the Martinsville unemployment rate was 7.4 percent. (link)

Would the governor of the commonwealth of Virginia be so cruel as to saddle the people of Southside and Southwest Virginia with higher taxes when they are already burdened economically beyond all reasonable expectations? Surely not.

Surely not.

The Obama Scandal Has Nothing On ...

... the town of Damascus, Virginia.

What to make of this?
Damascus Mayor Candidate Has Spotty Work History
By Debra McCown, Bristol Herald Courier

Damasus, Va. – Mayoral candidate Chad Byron was fired from the town sewer plant last year, and the town is not his only former employer with complaints.

At Damascus Old Mill, where Byron worked as a bartender for a short time last year, manager Betty Miller said he took a leave of absence and was not allowed to return. (link)
In my world, that "leave of absence" is called termination. But to each his own.

Anyway, things are heating up in Damascus. Expect a Reverend Wright moment to come out next. Exciting stuff.

More on The Coal Boom In SW Virginia

From our own Carl Kilo.

Breaking News!

Man killed in explosion ...

... in February.

Must be a slow news day.

If Either Hillary Or Barack Are Elected ...

... the economy is guaranteed to go from precarious to disastrous. Investor's Business Daily tells us why:
Like her rival, Barack Obama, [Hillary's] pushing a massive "windfall profit" tax on those "greedy" oil companies.

... we've tried windfall profits taxes before, in the early 1980s, and they were an utter failure. As the Congressional Research Service found, revenues produced for the government were nearly 75% below what was expected. Meanwhile, domestic oil output fell 8%, while oil imports surged 16%.

That's just poor policy, and even worse economics. (link)
And this needs to be pointed out again:
Remember: Oil companies don't really pay "windfall profit" taxes, anyway. You do. Some 50 million Americans today own oil company stock, either directly or through 401(k)s and mutual funds. Don't be suckered: "Windfall profits" taxes come right out of your retirement account, not out of the oil industry's business.
And the money quote:
This is how Clinton-style populism works. It starts with ignorance and ends with serious damage to our economy.
Unless we stop them before they can do great harm ...

Ya Think?

Why this figure isn't approaching 100% I'll never know:
58% Say Obama Denounced Wright for Political Convenience, not Outrage
Rasmussen Reports

A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that just 30% of the nation’s Likely Voters believe Barack Obama denounced his former Pastor, Jeremiah Wright, because he was outraged. Most—58%--say he denounced the Pastor for political convenience.

Wright held a mini-media tour last weekend capped by a press conference at the National Press Club on Monday. Only 33% of voters believe that Obama was surprised by the views Wright expressed at Monday’s press conference. (link)
That 33% probably wouldn't be convinced otherwise if Barack Obama were caught on tape writing Wright's National Press Club speech. That's how far off the cliff they are.

Out Of The Past

This sort of story got huge headlines many years ago. Now most of the people who were of the age are long gone. So it becomes a yawn:
Member of plot to kill Hitler dies at 90
The Associated Press

Berlin -- Philipp Freiherr von Boeselager, believed to be the last surviving member of the inner circle of plotters who attempted to kill Adolf Hitler in 1944, has died. He was 90.

The German military said Friday that the former army major died Thursday night. It did not give a cause of death.

Mr. Von Boeselager was part of a group of officers who tried to kill Hitler on July 20, 1944, supplying explosives for the operation led by Col. Claus Graf Schenk von Stauffenberg. (link)
It was only after the war had ended that this saga - including grisly details of torture and execution of those who plotted against the Hitler regime - became known to the outside world. It now slowly sinks into the history books.