inflation

General Assembly Liberals Continue To Rail Against AG Cuccinelli's Legal Opinion

The House remains in session as of this post, but earlier liberal Delegates Joe Morrissey (D-74, Henrico) and David Englin (D-45, Alexandria) railed against Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's recently issued opinion that states the obvious — Virginia law does not single out homosexuals as a protected class and, therefore, its colleges and universities cannot offer anti-discriminatory policies for their protection. But why is their vitriol aimed at the AG? He's only quoting Virginia law as it reads. Delegate Adam Ebbin (D-49, Arlington), though not as vociferous as his colleagues, referenced ridicule on last night's Daily Show, as if a flippant cable comedy show is of the heft to dictate Virginia policy. Delegates Morrissey and Englin, however, struck a refrain that is the last resort of liberals-who-all-of-a-sudden-care-about-big-business: Virginia will lose corporate headquarters if this is allowed to stand!

Let's see: Unemployment is at record levels (despite a $787 billion "stimulus" program by the nation's smartest-ever-president), resulting in a lack of demand for products by consumers; we have massive, almost incomprehensible, third-world-like debt; unimaginable budget deficits projected for years; a lack of lending by banks; and, with so much liquidity in the system, the very real possibility that hyper inflation will ignite — somehow, we don't think Fortune 500 firms are arguing over Virginia's campus social policies. Furthermore, the delegates defeated their own arguments, citing that many of these companies have established their own policies regarding homosexuals. So why, then, would corporations be concerned about a policy concerning Virginia's public colleges? They are not. The opinion has nothing to do with corporations.

Furthermore, if these delegates are so concerned about creating jobs and attracting corporations to Virginia, perhaps they should take real job creating action and start cutting corporate taxes, stop raising taxes on individuals and families, and cut state spending and balance our budget. But the most perplexing aspect of the entire debate is that we've heard nothing over the last 10 years in Virginia but that "social issues" aren't important. Oh, really? To some, apparently, they are, and it's very convenient for liberals, who don't dare campaign on creating special protected classes of citizens, to criticize the attorney general simply for stating Virginia law while contriving "economic development concerns" in doing so.

Tea Anyone?

Boston may have had its Tea Party in 1773 (a fact I know well as a stammering, stage-frightened, scene-blowing actor in my 7th grade play, The Boston Tea Party), but Virginia's rebellious nature against authoritarian rule is no less historic, given Patrick Henry's famous 1765 "Caesar had his Brutus" "Treason" speech in the House of Burgesses. As with Thanksgiving, them Yankees try to steal all our firsts. But it seems the Tea Party movement has revived more than 235 years later. Thousands of Americans are fed up with the large government debt, the printing of money, stimulus packages, government bailouts, and the inevitable higher taxes to pay for it all and resulting inflation that would completely wreak our country.

So, on Tax Day, April 15, as of now, at least five Virginia localities are joining hundreds more across America to have their own tea parties to demonstrate their displeasure with the government's increasing involvement in the private sector.

The tea parties will be in Richmond, Charlottesville, Virginia Beach and Lynchburg (locations, times, etc., here at TaxDayTeaParty.com); as well as Newport News (more info here via Tertium Quids). Richmond and Newport News have wsonderfully appropriate locations: at Kanawa Plaza, in front of the Federal Reserve Building in the Holy City; and in front of the office of 3rd District U.S. Representative Bobby Scott (D-Newport News).

It won't be July 4th. But there should be some (rhetorical) fireworks nonethesame.

The Unreported Cause Of Inflation

Everyone is concerned about inflation and well they should. It's a debilitating monetary disease that cripples the value of money: One can earn more money in a given period but still have less purchasing power when inflation infects the economy. It hurts working families and endangers what parents can provide for their children. Inflation comes in many forms, such as commodity-based inflation (such as what we are experiencing now with oil prices affecting almost everything type of product). Economists are good at tracking the causes of inflation and how much those causes tack on to the prices we eventually pay at the cash register. Then there are the demagogue politicians who scream for windfall profit taxes to punish companies that charge to keep up with demand for their products while ignorantly using the phrase "windfall profits." (Hint: it doesn't mean "large profits.")

However, in all the media circus, what never gets reported is the biggest cause of price increases: Taxes. That's correct. The largest percentage cost of most items is the added cost created by excessive taxes. Unfortunately, economists never factor taxes into inflation rates.

Into that breech steps Americans for Tax Reform. Here are some shocking examples, courtesy of ATR and FiscalAccountability.org, of how much taxes increase some very basic products and services:

Cable Television Service: 46.3%

Cell Phones: 46.4%

Hotel Rooms: 50%

Car Rentals: 60.6%

Soft Drinks: 37.6%

Restaurant Meals: 44.8%

Gasoline: 51.2%

Landline Phones: 51.8%

Domestic Air Fare: 55%

The figures include the cost of sales taxes, corporate income taxes, payroll taxes, property taxes, capital gains taxes, unemployment insurance taxes, workmen's compensation taxes and other payments to federal, state and local governments. Not that taxes aren't necessary to pay for necessary and proper functions of government, but is there any excuse for government to punish its citizens by limiting their ability to save, invest and spend their hard-earned money for what they want and for how they want to provide for their families with such excessive ad-ons to the actual production and service costs of a product?

So with all the speechifying about making "corporations pay their fair share" be aware of how much that fair share is inflation in the form of high taxes. Let's call that government-inflicted tax inflation.