Sunday, September 09, 2007

A short ride and and something to think about...


$50,000,000 / $18,000,000,000 = .002777%

At the end of the Buena Vista Parade ~2007~

I started the long walk back to the starting point of the parade and where I left my vehicle before walking with many outstanding Republicans in this yearly Labor Day parade.

It was a long walk back and I was glad to see the offer from the “Sime-mobile” for a ride back to my vehicle…

During the past two election cycles I have had the opportunity to speak and discuss issues with Arin Sime who is the Libertarian Candidate running in the State Senate election for the 24th district. I have always found it interesting talking with Sime and discussing the “Libertarian” view of the economic process and government spending…

Dad always told me that there is “No such thing as a FREE ride” and this lift to my vehicle soon turned to political issues, but I must admit it was I who brought up the transportation issue during this ride…

I told Sime that I had read his comments about funding the transportation issue during the debate between the three candidates that happened the week before… Sime had stated in the Daily News Record article that the Virginia State budget had doubled in less then 10 years and that funding should be found within the existing budget revenue. I replied that I had heard that same info somewhere prior in a recent Republican Primary runoff and smiled…

Sime then leaned over and stated that the $50 million needed for transportation projects only made up .00278% of the $18 Billion budget. Less then a third of 1%…

As I went back to read the Daily News Record article on this debate I found interesting comments and proposals from all three candidates. One that stood out instantly was the comment made by the Democrat Candidate who stated the Abuser Fees “seemed to be at odds with the state’s efforts to make roads safer.” which obviously needs more information because if you want to correct “Abusive” actions an effective way is to hit them in the wallet…

Discussion during the debate turned to possible solutions for the $50 million needed for the transportation projects. Republican Incumbent Candidate Emmett Hanger thought that a possible $1 cent increase in the fuel tax could provide the extra $50 million needed and should be considered…

With no surprise the Democratic Party Candidate saw another potential tax increase so he chimed in with raising the fuel tax by $2 cents for each gallon.
Hey, What’s another $100 million out of the taxpayers pocket?…

Libertarian Candidate Sime referred back to his previous statement about the Virginia State budget doubling over the past ten years.

“It certainly seems,” Sime said, “we can find that level of money in that level of increase in the last decade.”
Interesting ride and conversation on the way back to my vehicle...


Newt said...

The Democrat Cox has the following printed on his cards and political handouts: "Because he will actually DO something!"

Guess what that is?

$2 cent gas tax when the other guy says $1 cent will do.

Make SURE the voters know what he will do!!!

RightsideVA said...

I received the following clarification to the above numbers.

"The only slight clarification I would add is that the current budget is over $36 Billion. The $18 Billion is the increase in the budget over the last decade. So that $50 million for the abusive fees is only.3% of the budget INCREASE in the last decade".

I need to go back and calculate the new number but not sure if my calculator will detect that small % amount?

Gov Kaine just called for a 5% cut from the VA Govt agencies due to the housing industry "Slow-down"...

I agree that with such a large state budget we need to look for the third of 1% in known waste we have in the spending already.

Newt, I do hope the voters see how fast the Democrat Candidate is looking to increase our taxes at every opportunity. He wants to actually do something but can we afford it???

kestrel9000 said...

That would be Democratic candidate, if you don't mind terribly.
Here's the deal with the abusive driver fees:
If they raise money, then people are driving abusively, and the roads are no safer.
If, on the other hand, they stop people from driving "abusively", then they raise no money and are a failure as a revenue source.
So which do you want: improvements to the state of transportation, or safer drivers?
Because under this program, you can't have both.

hoobie said...


You are getting a little too subtle for this crowd. I don't think they can follow the argument. Here, try this:

...because under this program, you can't have both, because of the liberal bias in the MSM.

You have got to know how to tailor the message to your audience.

Belle Rose said...

"the Virginia State budget had doubled in less then 10 years"

That quote from the DNR, picked up by Sime and others is so out of context as to be meaningless and intentionally misleading. To understand it much more must be known, for example: inflation, population growth, K12 and college education enrollment growth, traffic/road use growth, increase in corrections and law enforcement costs, wage increases, changes in health costs, tax revenue growth, etc etc. But, it is a great sound bite for anyone who doesn't want to or can't think about what lies beneath.

Also, saying "$2 cent gas tax" is either sloppy or intentionally designed to mislead. It should be written as 2¢, or $.02, or 2 cents.

Anonymous said...

ok, it is from the left coast, but still--

RightsideVA said...


Don’t mind your correction a bit. Democrat(ic) has been a recent topic focused on by many. Old habits take time to change and sometimes name changes take time also. Like Liberals now being called “Progressives”…

Flip the coin over on the abusive driver fee issue and you will find that high fines is a good corrective tool to bad habits. Punish those who are habitual drunk drivers, reckless drivers, terrible drivers, dangerous drivers, and the likes. Lets punish\correct these drivers before we automatically raise revenue by raising taxes. If we can take the money raised from the fees and use them for transportation projects very good! If these fees correct the problem of dangerous abusive drivers all the better! We can then look at other options to replace the money no longer coming in from the abusive driver fees ie: cutting wasteful government spending to make up the 0.0027% of the budget increase over the past ten years…

Which do I want?
Less abusive habitual drivers off our roads and cutting wasteful spending in our State government…

Belle Rose,

"the Virginia State budget had doubled in less then 10 years"

That statement is a True fact if you look at the numbers.

And yes all numbers must be looked at in context and how they are used. You may not believe this but most understand that the population and services have changed over the decade and take that in consideration but yet the actual Virginia State budget has doubled.

Has the population doubled? Has inflation doubled? (actually the inflation rate over the last decade has been very low). Has traffic\road use doubled? Wages doubled? How much has the incoming tax revenues increased over the past decade due to the tax cuts and improved economy? Doubled? Healthcare costs doubled?

Great sound bite?
You mean like the sound bite being used once again by the DemocratIC candidates that there are 47 million un-insured?
Common sense people know to look at that and take it with a “grain of salt”…

Who are the Uninsured?:

White alone (not Hispanic):……10.8%……..21.162 million

Black alone:…20.5%….7.652 million

Asian alone:…..15.5%………2.045 million

Hispanic (any race):….34.1%…….11.328 million

Foreign born:….33.8%……..12.615 million

(Naturalized): 16.4%……..2.384 million

(non-citizen): 45.0%…….10.231 million

Less the $25,000:….24.9%……..13.933 million

$25k to $49.9k:…21.1%……..15.319 million

$50k to $74.9k: 14.4%……..8.459 million

$75k and up: 8.5%……….9.283 million

Source: Census

KOOCH said...


I enjoy Rightsides' blog as an old friend of his, but I generally do not comment on VA specific issues as I do not live in the state. However, your comment really got me thinking. Your basic argument is that if the financial penalty for an activity is set extremely high, the public will change their habits, and decrease the return to government. With the VA penalty for abusive drivers is set so high, people will abandon their bad driving habits thereby decreasing the anticipate windfall to the VA budget.

Kestrel this is a very sound argument and I must credit you with understanding the underlying economic issue. Anytime government takes money from the public either through fines, taxes, or whatever else you may call it, people will tend to act to decrease the burden either through changing driving behavior, changing borrowing habits (the rapid increase in the home equity loan industry after the tax credit for consumer credit was taken away in the late 1980s) or other ways to avoid paying the government.

As you noted Kestrel, if government sets rates too high for fines (or taxes), people will alter their behavior to such a large extent that the revenue to the government will actually decrease rather than increase. This principle which your are espousing, was expressed in the 1980s as the Laffer Curve, the basic principle of what was known as supply side economics (or Reaganomics). Yep Kestrel, your are deep within your heart a supply side believer. Who would have thought it to be. Don’t let your liberal buddies know this or they may kick you out of the club.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how much of that VA budget increase is due to Gilmore's car tax boondoggle? That was big bucks (billion?) that drained the state in what was basically an intergovernmental transfer. Smart-got him elected. Dumb-that Virginians bought that snake oil. Dumber-very bad policy that took years to correct.

DNC said...


Get a real screen name to identify yourself otherwise you are nothing but a shadow puppet operative that is afraid to come out in the light....

Belle Rose said...

dnc, I'm not sure our screen names are all that much different from being anonymous. I'll just figure dnc is for Democratic National Committee ;>)

But, anonymous makes a good point about the cost of the car tax relief. Oh, I'm still paying that tax... bet you are too. We really bought a load of crap from Gilmore.