The Fellow Behind the Tree: Round 1
I was recently reminded of the observation of Senator Russell Long who said, "Don’t tax you, don’t tax me, tax that fellow behind the tree!" Well, the Va. House proposed just that.
Senate budget conferees agreed yesterday to a House proposal to impose a sales tax on some services, an idea that many hoped would be in somebody’s budget before now but wasn’t. Yesterday, the House suggested a sales tax on cable television, newspaper and magazine subscriptions, natural gas and water consumption, cellular and land-line telephone calls, lawn care and janitorial work.
Lawn care and janitorial work? Why not legal services and other professional services? Your guess is as good as mine – and probably as cynical. Lawmakers surmised that the fellow behind the tree probably doesn’t vote.
The Fellow Behind the Tree: Round 2
Why is Del. Vince Callahan so opposed to increased income taxes?:
During a conversation over a proposal to raise income tax rates for the wealthiest Virginians, Del. Vincent F. Callahan Jr., R-Fairfax, leaned over to Chichester and confided: "They're all in my district."No, You First - Again
House Majority Leader Morgan Griffith (R-Salem) is trying to lead the anti-tax forces with some strained logic. From the Richmond Times Dispatch this morning:
Griffith also accused Warner of contributing to the gridlock by remaining on the sidelines in a deliberate effort to depict Republicans as irresponsible fiscal stewards.Good question. Griffith is spending all his time trying to blame the Governor for not coming up with a compromise. First, the GOP accuses Warner of waiting until after the elections to present his tax proposal, ignoring the fact that the House waited much longer than that before introducing theirs. Now Griffith wants Warner to broker a compromise between the House’s inadequate budget and the Senate’s aggressive one. Warner could say, "The compromise is my budget." (Though it isn't enough in my book.)
He recommended Warner send down another budget, free of higher taxes, that the assembly could immediately adopt to signal to rating agencies considering cutting the state's highest-possible credit rating that Virginia is serious about its finances.
Debate taxes later?
Now They Tell Us
The media has been reporting what businesses have said about impact on the elimination of the sales tax exemption for businesses, but finally someone has written a detailed article about its impact on one industry – shipping.
Budget Cuts Cause Sheriff Shortage
From the Lynchburg News & Advance:
...the starting salary for sheriff's deputies in counties surrounding Lynchburg is around $24,000. Private employers, like BWXT, entice experienced police officers with a starting salary of $37,500.
With Enemies Like This, Who Needs Friends?
WHY IS POLITICS SO EXTREME IN VIRGINIA RIGHT NOW?
Edwin C. King
Letter to the Free Lance - Star (Edited)
The recent rash of rantings and railings against state Sen. John Chichester is appalling and an indication of the depth to which some will descend.
I disagree with most of the policies and beliefs of the senator, a Republican who represents Stafford. For these reasons I ran against him in the early 1990s. My opposition was then, and still is, based on issues that I thought to be important. But not once did I find fault with his character or integrity. Quite the contrary, and my problem in trying to campaign against him was that I found him to be honorable and above reproach.
Not so with those who have recently blasted him. Nothing seems beyond their criticism and mean-spirited rantings.
I find it sad and very ironic that the good senator and my friend Jack Rollison from Prince William, a Republican who served that county and his state so very well in the House of Delegates, now becomes the target of vile, hateful, and unmerited attacks from radical right-wing extremists who seem to desire to destroy all in their way.
John Chichester and Jack Rollison were and are honorable men who have served their districts honorably and with moral strength. While I disagree with both concerning their policies and priorities, they stand as giants against those who now rant and rave against them.
It seems to me, as one on the outside looking in, that the new radical, ridiculous right of this new Publican Party is out to slay their bettors. As a staunch Democrat, I could admire and respect both John and Jack. Not so with this new breed.
What a shame. Where did the common sense and decency go?
Edwin C. King
Ormond Beach, Fla.