Friday, June 15, 2007

53.01 % to 46.98%

Razor thin, missed by a hair, minimal, whisker, paltry, micro-thin, fraction, miniscule, nominal, lightweight, piddling, sparse, insignificant, anorexic, minor, negligible, minute, just shy, slim, thinnest of thin, trivial, slender, skin of the teeth, measly, small, skimpy, tiny, small fry, teeny, no biggie, petty, slight, inconsequential, meager, scant, puny, small potatoes, microscopic, sparse, imperceptible…

Several words and phrases describing the “half-penny” increase in the Virginia state sales tax back in 2004 that now nets an annual $700 million in tax revenue for our friends in Richmond to spend.

Now each night when I empty my pocket change onto the night table, I have yet to find a “half-penny” go rolling across the table and I agree it does not sound like much money at all. But when it is multiplied by all of the taxable sales transactions across the State of Virginia in a year period it really adds up. That additional “half-penny” for every dollar we, the taxpayers, spend obviously does add up when you look at the big picture. $700 million dollars annually…

Doesn’t seem like that missing “half-penny” is even noticed on small daily transactions as we go about our business but over a year period that “half-penny” could make a significant difference if we were allowed to keep it, spend it, save it, or invest it as we see fit.

It has been reported that the Virginia State treasury has seen a surplus of tax revenue of up to and over $1 Billion dollars due to a strong economy and additional tax burden on the Virginia taxpayer..

It is also now being reported that our Democratic Governor is saying that we are looking at a $200-300 million “shortfall” in the next Virginia State budget. Several elected officials that I ran into this past election day told me that this “shortfall” is the result of slower economic growth and that the budget expected a 6.5% revenue growth rate…\wb/118035

6.5% growth rate? Are you kidding me? Many from the Democratic side of the aisle have been telling me for years that we are in the worst economy ever and how could they ever expect a 6.5% tax revenue growth? The truth is we have had a very strong economy since the tax cuts that President Bush submitted and Congress approved a few years back. These tax cuts allowed the taxpayers to keep more of the money they earned to spend, save, and invest as we saw fit. The effects of these tax cuts resulted in record breaking tax revenue coming into the federal and state treasuries.

This increase in additional tax revenue, along with the extra “half-penny” each Virginia citizen paid at each sales transaction, resulted in a reported $1 Billion surplus in Virginia.

How is it possible that we have had a $1 billion surplus, with the help of an annual $700 million from a “half-penny” tax increase, and are now looking at a $200-300 million budget “Shortfall”?

Where did our money go? Will another “Half-penny” out of our pockets do the trick again until the next “budget shortfall”?

It seems we do not have a problem, as the guys in Richmond see it, for finding ways to get tax revenue coming into the State treasury. What the rest of us see is a problem with how “Our” tax money is being spent and if more tax money is confiscated from us, resulting in a surplus, it will be spent just as fast.

We need strong people working for us in Richmond looking out for how those “half-pennies” are spent and to ensure that they are spent wisely. We already have a strong fiscally conservative team from the Shenandoah Valley there now and we need to be sure to get them re-elected in November…

Still looking for that “half-penny”… Maybe it rolled of the back of the night table???

Thursday, June 14, 2007

19% or 81% ???


Now is that 19% of the American People who feel the "New" Congress, led by the Democratic party, is doing a good job?

Or is it 81% of the American People who know that Congress, led by the Democratic party, is not getting the job done???

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Impressive turn-out...

Not the 80-90% that we all would like to see at each election or even to compare with the turnout %'s in developing democracies such as Iraq, but still an impressive turnout for a primary election. During my time spent at several polling places I did hear the comments of voters who were disgusted by the low turnout as they saw it, but in comparing this turnout with past primary %'s this election was imnpressive...
It was also an enjoyable day spent talking politics with fellow Republicans, no Democrats were noted crossing lines in South River district, and Tuesday resulted in much material for future posts to RightsideVA...
I was impressed by both Scott and Mary as they worked the polls in South River and their efforts are reflected in the vote counts in Stuarts Draft, Sherando, and Lyndhurst...

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Tuesday will be a long day, but a good one...


The campaign in the 24th for the State Senate seat has been a long and evolving one as evident in the photo above showing when the campaign signs started to go out. Libertarian candidate Arin Sime has been at it for two years and I have always enjoyed talking with him when I saw him at political functions. Arin also came out one night to help pack boxes to be sent to our troops in Iraq & Afghanistan with the “From Our Hearts” program in Churchville. During that time he never campaigned but melted in with the volunteers and worked hard to get another large 160+ box shipment out. In fact the only time he spoke politics was when I questioned him on current events at that time and of course the Libertarian views on limited government in our lives. He is a good man and it will be interesting to see how he places in the election on Tuesday…

Scott Sayre came out of the gate running and has not slowed down a bit in his efforts to take his message to Richmond. The message is one of smaller government and allowing free enterprise to perform the magic it has in the past and allow people to keep more of the money they have earned. I am very interested and intrigued with getting more business people in Richmond who will look to run the Virginia State government with more sound economic and business like principles. There are numerous versions out their explaining the 2004 Virginia tax increase pushed thru by the Democratic Governor Mark Warner at a time that did not really warrant a tax increase. This increase has been called a “Reform” in some places and a unwarranted tax hike in others. No matter what it has been called it resulted in a tax revenue surplus into the Virginia treasury of over $1 billion at times. A “Surplus” of money taken from the citizens of Virginia and their ability to decide where that money could be spent, saved, invested as they saw fit. In fact almost all state treasuries across the United States saw unprecedented and all-time high surpluses of tax revenues coming in due to a very strong and growing economy.

The interesting thing is now the new Democratic Governor Tim Kaine is projecting a $200-300 million budget “shortfall” with a slowing economy. Where did the $$BILLION$$ go? Scott Sayre speaks of a Virginia State budget that has doubled in 10 years and it is evident by this missing Billion dollars that our government knows the fine art of spending taxpayers money as soon as possible. This is why I would like to see more business minded and orientated people in Richmond watching our money…

We have a fine crew from this area in our Delegates Landes, Saxman, Cline, Lohr, which serve in the Assembly and watch out for our tax money and how it’s spent. Senator Hanger has stated that he has worked on several of the cost cutting committees in Richmond looking for ways to save tax revenue and make Virginia government more efficient. Chris Saxman chairs the “Cost-Cutting-Caucus” in the house and has very good results and efforts. I have talked with the other Delegates and have always been impressed with their viewpoints, efforts, and attitudes towards the “People’s Money”…

As with the majority of American\Virginian taxpayers, I understand that we have debts and responsibilities that must be financed in this society we have developed. We have responsibilities to finance education, public safety, transportation, and needed social services but in a manner that uses the “people’s money” in the best and most efficient way. As apparent in the Federal and State spending budgets, we have career politicians who have become very accustomed to spending our money and the art of getting re-elected. Unfortunately in many areas these two acts have been joined together by politicians to ensure their re-election to office. How many more buildings do we need in West Virginia with the name “Harry Byrd” on them? Besides bringing big $$$ back to West Virginia what has the man done? All I ever see is Byrd rambling on incoherently on the Senate floor… We need to have a funded government but one that spends “OUR” money in the wisest and most efficient manner…

People are tired. Taxpayers are tired of people in government who have gotten too comfortable in their position and no longer view the government as the ultimate business and one that needs to be run as an efficient “Free Enterprise” business for the benefit of all citizens. Americans are tired of politicians who only see into the future far enough to get past the next election and what it will take to get them thru that next election. This was very evident this past week when the American Citizens loaded and jammed the telephone network in the Congressional offices telling their representatives that the present form of the Immigration bill was unacceptable and would not be tolerated. It seems the representatives got the message and the bill has since been “tabled” until a later date after modifications.

Investors Business Daily had some interesting comments and facts in their paper about this immigration bill. Republican Congressman Cornyn sponsored a amendment that would have limited\prevented illegal aliens who were also felons from being allowed to be included in the immigration reforms and eventually becoming American citizens.

"Cornyn's amendment would have permanently barred from legalization all convicted felons, including members of terrorist organizations, violent gang members, sex offenders, repeat drunk drivers, sex offenders and those convicted of felony identity theft."

The American people called their representatives to let them know that allowing felons to become eligible as in the original bill was not acceptable. The IBD article then went into particulars as to how bad this problem is.

"And your point is? They were ordered deported for a reason, senator. In fact, there are more than 630,000 fugitive aliens who have been ordered deported on the streets of America — doing what, nobody knows."

The people know that we must secure the borders in cooperation with immigration reform for this to work.

"As the Manhattan Institute's Heather MacDonald has pointed out, the problem of criminal illegal aliens is particularly acute in California. At one point, she noted, in Los Angeles 95% of all outstanding warrants for homicide were for illegal aliens, as were up to two-thirds of all fugitive felony warrants."

"Why identity theft should not be a bar to legalization in an age of terrorism is beyond us. Aside from the national security implications, identity theft cost 8.9 million victims in 2006 some $56.6 billion. That averages out to $6,383 per victim. The perpetrator is allowed to buy citizenship for less than that."

"A 2005 Government Accounting Office study involving 55,322 illegal immigrants incarcerated in federal, state and local facilities in 2003 found that they had been arrested an average of eight times each with 49% previously being convicted of a felony."

Yes, this Tuesday will be long. It will be early making sure signs and poll workers are in place for the people voting before going into work. It will get busy again around lunch time then again after work until poll closings at 7pm. It will be long but yet it will be a great opportunity for Republicans to get together to discuss the current direction our government is going both nationally and at the State level. It will be an opportunity to discuss the different viewpoints of the Candidates and the ongoing direction our party is going in Richmond. An opportunity that we would not see without a challenger candidate within the party. As I said before, at times “Competition is a good thing” for it will make us, and the party stronger in the end. I am sure I will meet and see some of the local Democrats out voting on Tuesday and it will be interesting to see what they say.

The winning Republican candidate will come out of this election stronger and with a clear vision of what the Republican 24th voters want to see in Richmond. Tuesday I will be out there early and all day to help the Republican process. My boss at work has a calendar with all of the Primary and General election dates on it for when he does my work schedule and with that I feel privileged and fortunate to be part of the process and I encourage all to participate by voting on Tuesday. I will be the one with coffee in one hand, Scott Sayre flyers in the other, and looking for solid Republicans from both sides to send a strong State Senator from the 24th district to Richmond to run this thing like a business!!!