Liberal Logic

Sitting in committee hearings can be incredibly boring, even painful. Listening to legislators pour over every detail of a bill to expand a county's water control board authority or some other technical measure would be a far better criminal deterrent than most sentences on the books. Other committees actually can be enlightening, some entertaining. When you get both, it's usually the result of liberal logic, an oxymoron to be sure, but we're charitable here. In fact, we've reported some doosies already: "Taxpayer rights are a myth" and "I didn't say we notify the parents, I said we involve the parents."

Which all brings us to today's . . . you guessed it! . . . the Quote of the Day:

Delegate Jim Scott (D-53, Merrifield) is the patron of HB 41, a bill to change the amount of tax charged on motor fuels. He introduced the legislation to the House Finance Committee's sub-committee #2 this afternoon. Rather than a straight up increase in the rate (currently 17.5 cents per gallon), it proposes to tax gas on a percentage basis, the idea being to "increase revenues as inflation rises" or "capture inflation" in the words of Delegate Scott. So, when inflation raises gases prices still more and eats away at your purchasing power, don't worry, we'll smack your other cheek with higher taxes. Said Delegate Scott with today's winner:

"It's revenue neutral as of now." But . . . "It gets us more money for transportation without raising taxes."

Exactly how can it raise more money and not raise taxes? Sort of like "I voted for it before I voted against it"? To clarify for him, Conservative Caucus Co-Chairman, Delegate Ben Cline (R-24, Amherst), said:

"It's revenue neutral for the state bureaucracy, but not revenue neutral for the state taxpayer."

HB 41 was tabled on a voice vote, with no Democrats on the sub-committee willing to speak up for it.