Biggie-size my tax increase, please
been a week to remember.
no doubt that Virginia politicians are rewriting the book about breaking
promises not to raise state taxes, first with the governor and now the
leading Republican in the Senate. It's like an infection or worse, a
maybe there is a medical explanation?
it is that taxing strain of influenza. The experts say it all may have
started in California a few years back with a heavy rash - of spending.
week, Sen. John Chichester, R-Stafford, unveiled a plan that would raise
the sales tax, gas tax and cigarette tax. Believe it or not, the
conservative's tax increases are two times the size of Gov. Mark Warner's
increases are a whopping $2.5 billion!
like Chichester might be the latest tax-influenza victim, indeed.
same day, Sen. Russ Potts, R-Winchester, fell ill after requesting a
dollar increase with the cigarette tax while endorsing Chichester's tax
increases. Potts is a former anti-tax-pledge signer who is now a
born-again tax-and-spend follower.
style of politics is like the weather - or latest sports' line - in that
advise the two new GOP patients to seek treatment at the supply-side
isolation ward of the Ronald Reagan Memorial Hospital, where they can join
fellow GOP General Assembly members Sen. Emmett Hanger, R-Mount Solon,
Del. Allen Louderback, R-Luray, and Del. Harry Parrish, R-Manassas, who
are all suffering from the dreaded Mad Elephant's Disease.
M-A-D, as in the mutually assured destruction of their party's philosophy.
take a trip down memory lane: Because Chichester's evolution into a
tax-and-spend politician has been truly remarkable.
Oct. 9, 1985, then-lieutenant governor candidate Chichester was singing
another tune at an Arlington fund-raising luncheon for the GOP
gubernatorial candidate slate.
the day when Reagan endorsed Chichester for lieutenant governor, Buster
O'Brien for attorney general and Wyatt Durrette for governor.
said in his speech, "I've said it before, and I'll keep on saying it
as many times as it takes: No matter how it's disguised or packaged, if
Congress sends me a tax hike, I'll send it right back with a big veto
written across it. And for those who are trying to torpedo tax fairness,
let's remind them exactly what's on the line."
reminded Chichester that day, "Any (tax) plan that is less
pro-growth, any plan that is less pro-family, will be robbing America of
the jobs and prosperity that are rightfully theirs."
you think "The Gipper" would say about the recent Chichester
tax-increase proposals? You know, this would have been a classic 15-second
sound bite about the $2.5 billion in new taxes!
(Richmond) Times-Dispatch recently, former Democratic Party of
Virginia chairman Paul Goldman said, "All I can say is that in the
last 20 years, he's gotten another $2.5 billion out of touch with the
people of Virginia."
Goldman ran L. Douglas Wilder's successful campaign against Chichester in
1985 for lieutenant governor.
conservative Virginia Democrat, I have to admit that I am somewhat
enjoying the implosion of the opposition that is happening only a few
short years after becoming the majority party in Richmond. If I had
predicted that conservative Virginia Republicans would be advocating tax
increases several years ago, most folks would have laughed.
in the state sales, gas and cigarette taxes are unbelievable motivational
tools for modern-day conservatives. Add the likes of Hanger's Internet
E-commerce tax and Louderback's service-sales tax, and we are now talking
about a group of Republicans that are completely out-of-control.
was probably a time when the moderate GOP politicians actually believed in
their party's philosophy of lower taxes and limited government. They
probably understood that people mattered first, and that promises were a
spring primary against an anti-tax candidate, Chichester has been touting
a tax-increase mantra. His only concern is that of the special interests
and big business, obviously not the citizens of his district. But you
thought he was a conservative?
can be said about Potts, Hanger, Louderback and Parrish.
time, the GOP was monolithic with message and issues. But recently, the
Virginia Republicans are looking more and more like the often-confused
Democrats, who live to feud and fight about issues. There is a leadership
void when the state party chair and leading state senator are not talking
from the same script.
history can be ironic, wouldn't you agree?
reality in this twisted blue dog tale is that the current batch of
Virginia Democratic Party leaders and elected officials are first in line
with a major tax increase.
Democrats have never quite understood that the working class pays the bulk
of the taxes. But Mr. Reagan understood that to stay in elected office.
workers and union members and small-business owners voted for Reagan
religiously due to his stand against new and higher taxes. He changed
the '80s, we called those folks Reagan Democrats.
It was a
Reagan political revolution.
Democrats left the party because the party left them when it became the
party of higher taxes. That's why we have airports, buildings, schools,
aircraft carriers and possibly a new face on the dime replacing Roosevelt
with Ronald Reagan.
political lesson to be learned is simply this: Lower- to middle-income
workers will not tolerate higher taxes in bad economic times, nor will
they put up with badly mismanaged government.
guess what, fellow Democrats?
why we have a Republican majority.
Lemmings jumping off a cliff
see if I have this right.
old tired Democratic elected politicians that voted for the car tax in
1998 are now advocating the Warner tax increases. These elected Democrats
knew the damage the car tax would have on the state budget back then, yet
they have voted to increase state spending every year since.
bunch of hypocrites! Cut the tax, spend more money and then request a tax
increase - how about those rotten apples?
fairness, we should probably include many GOP members with that bunch of
hypocrites as well. Apparently, they all fall from the same apple tree.
1998, the Senate voted 35-0, and the House 99-0, for the Personal Property
Tax Relief bill. The Democrats hand delivered Big Jim "Deficit"
Gilmore's campaign promise with little to no protection for the state
budget and funding for Virginia's education system.
Lemmings, they voted for the car-tax repeal.
most part, these Democratic politicians were afraid the car tax would be
used against them during re-election. And now they dare to call
anti-tax-pledge signers hypocrites.
like the Democrats are doomed to repeat car-tax history.
thanks to the Democratic Party of Virginia. Mr. Gilmore's campaign promise
can be fulfilled this year when Warner's tax increases set in motion the
car-tax repeal to the full 100 percent. That's when the bottom drops out
of the state's general fund, and education funding drops to zero.
whom the public will blame for this financial mess? How about those
budget buster. It's a sham. Its double-digit property-tax increases for
those unfunded mandates that are coming back to you two- to threefold.
This will be a Democratic tax initiative that started the whole mess with
a little help from moderate Republicans.
Warner's tax reform numbers do not fully fund education (and he readily admits that), and teachers will not receive their cost-of-living raises until 2005. But Warner does manage to pay off the remaining car tax and eliminates a good portion of death tax and food sales tax as well.
three years without a cost-of-living raise, I'm wondering how Virginia
teachers and state union members can justify that? Because in the end,
Virginia educational funding will be the bridesmaid again - and not the
But don't worry about minor details like a state pay raise or educational funding.
politicians can always increase your taxes - again.
all, the public keeps electing these politicians with empty promises.
Union workers will soon learn that blind loyalty and support will only get
them so far on this political gravy train.
Banjos, sort of
about those dueling tax reports?
haven't seen this much paperwork floating around since the Pentagon Papers
in the '70s.
Virginia Republican Party hired ex-Reagan appointee and former budget
director James Miller to investigate Warner's tax plan. That's a big hired
weeks later, he distributed a 21-page report condemning the Warner tax
increases. The Miller report indicated that the increase in sales tax
would decrease earnings in the state's economy by $10 billion and
eliminate 28,000 jobs.
have completed the tax report with one sentence, i.e. "Read my lips,
no new taxes," and for a lot less money.
GOP has heard that one-liner before.
be out done, Warner countered last week with a 60-page tax-reform economic
analysis and budget net-positive-effect plan that was prepared by a
"team of economists."
reason for the large report is that Warner's tax increases are harder to
explain. Of course, you could use that on-line magic tax calculator to
discover your Warner savings and avoid all that reading.
percent of Virginians eligible for tax relief and threat of the AAA bond
rating are the carrots on this stick.
as that team of economists, I'm not exactly sure who they are. But an economic
team, that just sounds so darned impressive. The gloom and doom future
economic forecast must have been primed over the past year for this
upcoming tax-increase proposal.
appears that Warner and his team must have based the economic report on an
inability to control spending to fabricate that apocalyptic budget
scenario. I call it the "sky is falling in" tax plan in order to
in the sky campaign promises.
tax report is also available by e-mail or snail mail.
way, who's paying for that state bill in these fiscally hard times?
Chichester tax report is published and distributed, remember to ask for
the "Biggie Size" tax increase before you order.
looking forward to the Hanger-Parrish and Louderback tax-increase bills as
I better have that tax-flu shot soon. I say immunize me before the supply side runs out. This bipartisan taxing-influenza strain is out of control.