tax increase

Quote Of The Day: Norment Nails It (About Himself)

Seconds ago, Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment (R-Williamsburg) on the floor, during debate on the tax-increase-and-spend-transportation bill:

Anyone who knows me knows I'm a simple man. I'm a simpleton.

A little while later, he and 24 other senators joined 60 members of the House ,who voted yesterday, to increase our taxes by a 25-15 vote.

Transportation Tax-And-Spend Quote Of The Day

Our Quote of the Day comes from one person from two sources, citing two movies, on one topic. One, and old school release. The other, social media, where we're finding more and more of our QODs. In a news release from Delegate Ben Cline (R-24, Rockbridge), co-chairman of the General Assembly's Conservative Caucus, regarding the House-Senate tax-increase-and-spend transportation plan:

In an attempt to cobble together enough new tax revenue to satisfy the demands of Senate Democrats, this has become a Frankenstein’s monster for Virginia taxpayers.

Furthermore, he tweeted this yesterday:

Here's hoping members of the Conservative Caucus stick together as the formidable bloc they can be, keeping in mind that nothing good comes from haste — and that do no harm is a creed not only for doctors. Lawmakers do well to heed it too.

Urge Defeat Of Massive Tax Increase!

Yesterday, ten members of the General Assembly presented a "compromise" tax and spending proposal that includes a substantial increase in taxes and fees for a large portion of Virginia, particularly residents of Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads. Facts about the plan reveal that not all the new revenue is even going to transportation.

Please immediately contact your Delegate (click here) and your Senator (click here) and urge them to vote against this massive tax hike scheme!

Among the taxes that will increase are the state's sales tax, the sales tax on car purchases, and local taxes in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads. Worse, not all the new revenue will be spent on transportation. According to today's Richmond Times Dispatch:

Not all of the 0.3 percent increase in sales tax goes to transportation. Part of the overall revenue generated by the increased tax would go toward an increase in education funding and other general fund priorities.

The fact is that outside of a constitutional amendment, how Virginia spends our tax dollars can be changed every year through the budget and budget amendments. This plan is no different. In fact, the Senate today again killed, for the second time this session (as it has for years), a proposed constitutional amendment to keep transportation funding off limits to future non-transportation spending whims. So while the fiscal needs for transportation are obvious, those who argue that this plan is going to "solve the problem" of transportation in Virginia are fooling themselves.

This plan is not just a tax increase, but new across the board spending. Make no mistake, if you live in the urban crescent or plan to or need to purchase a new or used car in the future, you are going to pay higher taxes. The idea that our gas prices are going down as a result of replacing the antiquated gas tax with a wholesale gas tax are, honestly, foolish. The plan calls for the elimination of the gas tax (17.5 cents per gallon) with a wholesale gas tax increase, which proponents of the plan indicate will be the equivalent of a 10 cent per gallon tax. The consensus, however, is that the "savings" will not be passed on to the consumer, so we will continue to pay higher prices at the pump.

It's disappointing that those involved in the negotiations of this plan couldn't come up with a solution to our transportation needs that didn't include placing even more financial burden on already struggling families and small businesses in the face of even more national fiscal uncertainty. Unfortunately, there is a lack of political will in Richmond to fix one of the biggest problems we face (outside of federal mandates that continue to destroy our state economy) — an antiquated and irresponsible public school funding formula that costs billions of dollars for more and more administration and fewer teachers. There's no doubt that the issues faced are complex and difficult, but this plan is simply not the best solution for Virginia's families.

Please contact your Delegate (click here) and your Senator (click here) immediately and urge them to vote against the tax increase!

While Obama Cuts The Military In Virginia, Raises Taxes On Everyone, Why Not A Fat BRAC?

Nothing unites Republicans and Democrats faster than a pair of magnets than military base closures in their states. Last week was no different when Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced he would close (see Army Times) the Joint Forces Command in Norfolk as part of a pare down in defense spending. On cue, a bipartisan group of Virginia's Congressional delegation, including both senators, rushed to JFCOM's defense (see Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog). At risk is as many as 6,000 jobs in Virginia. (The conspiracy theory is that Virginia is being targeted by the Obama administration for its aggressive legal challenges to the health care law and the unilateral cap and trade policy implemented by the EPA.)  Secretary Gates has the unenviable task of convincing Congress (other states will face cuts as well) — during a recession his boss has exacerbated, if not created — that the Defense Department's mission is to protect the country and not create jobs. He may well be right, but while JFCOM may or may not be needed, while he's cutting fat out of the military, why isn't his boss cutting fat everywhere else

Several years ago, Congress created the Base Realignment and Closure Commission to target base closings to save money and submit those recommendations to Congress for an up or down vote, because the normal appropriation process presented a more formidable barrier than the Great Wall of China. Congressmen would trade votes to protect bases in each others' districts, regardless of the merits. Political cowardice aside, it still amazes me that Washington insiders are willing to cut the military to save a few billion dollars out of a nearly $3.5 trillion budget, of which $1.5 trillion is borrowed money, while not cutting anything nearly as important

If Congress can pass the buck to a commission to cut the fat out of the Pentagon, then why not create a commission to cut the fat out of non-defense spending? Call it the Fat BRAC. There are numerous reports by think tanks and watch dog groups, as well as individual congressmen, of deplorable spending (see McCain-Coburn Report). A commission easily could mold these findings into a package of cuts for an up or down vote.

While the Obama administration wants to raise taxes on almost everyone in the middle class and up by letting the 2001 and 2003 tax rate reductions expire, to generate $700 billion over several years (assuming the tax increase doesn't jack up the unemployment rate above 10 percent), it increased spending more than one trillion dollars in one year — $787 billion in one fell swoop with the so-called stimulus bill (more when you factor in interest on the additional debt it created.) That's arrogance and irresponsibility of the highest order. The waste in that bill (and other bills) is of deplorable and unprecedented proportions.

There is something you can do, however. As we mentioned in this post, House Republicans started YouCut, a chance to tell Congress what programs you want to see it eliminate. Each week House Republicans post a list of programs citizens want cut. The GOP Conference brings to the floor the one with the most votes. Hundreds of thousands of people vote each week. We have a permanent link to YouCut on the lower right side of this site. We encourage you to take an active role in this and make your voice heard. Then think about writing your representative and Virginia's two senators, and tell them you want a BRAC for Big Fat Federal Spending.

Looking For The Truth? Look At The Statistics: 1% Tax Increase Lowers GDP 2-3%

One of the most insightful and oft-quoted stock market analysts in the country is Virginia's very own Kent Engelke, chief economic strategist and managing director of Capitol Securities Management. His April 22 Early Morning Commentary quoted a profound statistic:

As per Bloomberg, next week the Treasury may sell an unprecedented $128 billion in notes which some believe might be the peak in issuance as the economy strengthens. At this juncture, primary dealers are estimating the Treasury will sell a record $2.4 trillion in debt in 2010 as compared to $2.11 trillion in 2009.

Regarding 2011, Treasury has stated the obvious that 2011 issuance will be based upon tax receipts and projected budget.

Will revenue and growth projections meet expectations? As written several times and as per the National Bureau of Economic Research, a tax increase of 1% of GDP lowers real GDP roughly 2% to 3%. In other words higher taxes lower GDP. Perhaps the only absolute is that taxes are going up next year.

Will revenue assumptions meet expectations, especially given that as per the IRS a record 47% of society will not pay federal taxes in 2009? Never have so few carried the burden of so many.

The NBER is a non-partisan, highly respected institution (it is the official arbiter of when recessions start and when they end). The highlighted statistic — not to mention the frightening aspect of Treasury debt — is something to heed: Raising taxes decreases economic activity, including job creation, tax generation (to reduce annual state and federal deficits and cumulative national debt), and, it reasons, access to health care.

So, exactly what has the Left done to us (against our collective will)? It has rammed through some of the largest tax increases in history through the health care bill, not to mention the plethora of other faults it encompasses. Is this ignorance? Demagoguery? Or just plain egalitarian socialism, where the playing field is leveled — so that everyone has horrible health care and chronically high unemployment? Maybe all of the above. 

Over the last couple of weeks, the Left has lied, impugned and tried to discredit the Tea Party movement (ironic since in the same breath they say it is an inconsequential and contrived flash in the pan). One of the lies is that the movement should "thank" President Obama for lowering taxes for 95 percent of Americans, which is Orwellian. Be that as it may, there is no disputing what is scheduled to happen in several months as the Bush tax cuts sunset as well as the onset of the new health care law taxes.

So, who's actually telling the truth and what will be the actual outcome for the economy? Hint: Statistics don't lie.  

Virginia News Stand: April 13, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations Calling Mr. Ripley 

It's more Tea Party mania as Tax Day fast approaches. Groups are seeking Tea Party support in potential opposition to President Obama's next choice to the U.S. Supreme Court; liberal activists are trying to infiltrate Tea Parties with the purpose of embarrassing them (as we've known all along, and which the mainstream media finally has picked up on, see Aleksandra Kulczuga at The Daily Caller as well as the AP); and in Virginia, Tea Party activists have won two western GOP unit chair elections in recent days.

Meanwhile, nationally, and speaking of Tea Parties, support for the health care law is plummeting faster than a Soprano victim in the Elizabeth River, and more Americans than pay income tax think we're over taxed! That should tell you something, and Scott Rasmussen and Richard Olivastro do in Analysis and Commentary, respectively.

Think the Virginia Health Care Freedom Act is nervy, standing up to the big, bad federales? William Green of the Tenth Amendment Center has an idea that will knock your boots off. Also in that vein, and speaking of New Jersey (The Soprano's), many here patted themselves on the back after Governor McDonnell and the General Assembly balanced our budget without a general tax increase and reduced spending to $70 billion (over two years), a figure last seen in 2006. Very nice. But, as Norman Leahy notes at Tertium Quids, the other new governor, Chris Christie of New Jersey, is fighting for, and winning, real reforms, not to mention that even though it is larger than Virginia, it's annual budget is $29.3 billion. Even more impressive: The N.J. deficit is $10 billion; our two-year deficit was $4 billion. New Jersey more frugal than Virginia? Call Mr. Ripley.

News

Morrissey, Style Weekly settle $10 million libel lawsuit (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Griffith reaping GOP support (Roanoke Times)

Boyer elected head of Bedford GOP unit (Lynchburg News & Advance)

National News

Groups look for Tea Party support on nomination (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Foes of Tea Party movement to infiltrate rallies (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Census: No evidence of a conservative boycott (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on gay adoption: Kids 'aren't puppies' (New York Daily News)

Analysis

Support for Repeal of Health Care Plan Up To 58% (Scott Rasmussen/Rasmussen Reports)

66% Say America Is Overtaxed (Scott Rasmussen/Rasmussen Reports)

Florida Senate GOP Primary: Rubio 57%, Crist 28% (Scott Rasmussen/Rasmussen Reports)

Christie may be the real GOP model (Norman Leahy/Tertium Quids Blog)

Media Research Center: Coverage of Tea Parties is disparaging and biased (Aleksandra Kulczuga/The Daily Caller Blog)

Commentary

Next it will be government crashing the Tea Party (Richard Viguerie & Mark Fitzgibbons/Washington Examiner)

Ending the Fed From the Bottom Up (William Green/Tenth Amendment Center)

Stupak's Final Retreat (Editorial/Washington Times)

Good Riddance (Thomas Sowell/GOPUSA.com)

Democrats Manipulate CBO (David Limbaugh/GOPUSA.com)

Can You Afford More Taxes? (Richard Olivastro/GOPUSA.com)

A V-Shaped Boom Is Coming (Larry Kudlow/GOPUSA.com)

Is Romney Grasping at Straws? (Aaron Goldstein/The American Spectator)

Virginia Budget: Is The Hour Near?

Based on dialogue on the House floor this afternoon, it's a 50-50 shot the budget will be agreed upon in time by conferees and printed for a vote tomorrow. It may go to Sunday. Even into next week. Which gives us time to renew our call for no new or additional fees or taxes. However, according to news reports this morning, there may be some backtracking on cutting the much over bloated education spending. Of course, the VEA is making wild claims about thousands of teachers losing their jobs. It must be noted, however, that spending on K-12 education in Virginia has increased 60 percent over the last 10 years while enrollment in public schools has increased only 7.2 percent. In 2004, the General Assembly infused public education with more than a billion dollars in additional funding — remember that tax increase? — with no reforms, and every two years the antiquated funding formula guarantees one billion dollars in extra taxpayer money into public education.

Interestingly, The Family Foundation participated in a poll last year with last year with renown Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, and found that a majority of Virginians vastly underestimate the amount of money Virginia spends per pupil on public education. While most thought it was less than $6,000, in fact it is in excess of $11,000 per student!

During the last budget process, as everyone recognized that we were in a deep economic recession, the General Assembly passed a budget based on then-Governor Tim Kaine's projection of significant increases in revenue. Such a notion was rightly dismissed as foolish by some legislators, but a budget laden with spending based on the fictitious numbers passed anyway. Now, we're paying the price in the form of a $4 billion deficit because even though the revenue was projected, the spending was real — Virginia's budget is based on estimated revenue, not actual receipts. So when the real money never showed up . . .

Yet, we're being told by some, we have to pay for their mistakes. The only one who should pay a price in this situation are those who spent the money — not those who supplied it. Tell your delegates and senators not to increase taxes and "fees" in the budget, and to cut its excessive spending to the levels of real revenue.

If you know who they are, you can get their contact info here for delegates and here for senators. If you don’t know who your delegate and senator are, click here.

Quote Of The Day

Today's QOD comes from this morning's meeting of the House Finance Committee. Committee members at first honored Delegate David Englin's (D-45, Alexandria) request to carry over his HB 275 for the year, a polite way of killing it. But the bill would repeal Virginia's Estate Tax exemption, which would amount to a massive tax increase. Seeing its ultimate demise, he used the out that since it is tied to pending federal legislation, it made sense to see the outcome of the Congressional bill first. But then committee Republicans had a change of heart and decided to have the bill only carried over to another meeting, all the better to get committee Democrats on record for or against a tax increase, especially one that specifically hurts families, small businesses and farmers. Commenting on the lengths the GOP members were taking to reverse course on a bill everyone knows is going about as far as a pro-life bill in the Senate, Delegate Albert Pollard (D-99, Lancaster) said:

I believe Delegate Englin only wanted a blind fold and a cigarette today. 

Deja Vu All Over Again Twice In One Day

Four years ago, only a few weeks after taking office and proposing (against his campaign promise) the largest tax increase in Virginia history, Congressional Democrats chose then-Governor Tim Kaine to deliver their party's response to then-President George W. Bush's State of the Union Address. Yesterday, it was reported (see Washington Post), that Congressional Republicans have chosen newly sworn-in Governor Bob McDonnell to give the GOP response to President Barack Obama's January 27 State of the Union. How about that for asymmetrical karma? But there's more.

Yesterday, House Republicans brought to the floor Delegate Bob Brink's (D-48, Arlington) HB 1155, legislation that would enact former Governor Tim Kaine's proposed income tax increase (see Richmond Times-Dispatch). The bill was referred to the House Rules Committee, which alone has the authority to report bills to the floor without recommendation. Thus it did with HB 1155 in order to put Democrats on the spot — vote against their friend and national party chairman or be on record for higher taxes in a recession. Delegate Brink requested that the bill be pulled, normally a pro forma request that's granted at the will of the patron. Not yesterday!

Instead, it was put to a vote while Democrats vehemently protested. As if they couldn't have anticipated it. Remember, last year Republicans did the same thing on a bill that would have repealed Virginia's Right To Work Law (see post here and video here). They forced a vote by bringing that equally controversial bill through a no recommendation vote on the Rules Committee. The Democrats reacted by abstaining, but through a parliamentary procedure that says if a member is in his seat but not voting, and another member points that out, the vote must be recorded in the negative. Thus, Majority Leader Morgan Griffith (R-8, Salem) forcibly recorded no votes against the bill which put Democrats at odds with their Big Labor allies.

With this as background, certainly they knew something was coming with a monstrous tax increase bill, and they knew they couldn't abstain. On the first day of session, when the rules package is adopted, Minority Leader Ward Armstrong (D-10, Martinsville) said as much when he objected to the Rules Committee exception. As it turned out, it was a unanimous blowout, with the House voting 97-0 (with Delegate Brink abstaining) to reject one last Tim Kaine tax increase, sending it down with all his others, this one posthumously, in the political sense.

So, the question is, why file the tax increase bill to begin with? Only Delegate Brink knows for sure, but we suspect some members of the General Assembly like to give a peek of their colors to satisfy certain constituencies, but seek to conceal them altogether from the greater electorate. Increasingly, however, these lawmakers get found out.

Virginia News Stand: November 12, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations The Slow Time

It's a slow political news cycle this time of year, especially right after a gangbusters election, as things settle down. Soon, however, it will be special election time in Fairfax and Virginia Beach for two Virginia Senate seats (vacated by the elections of Ken Cuccinelli to attorney general and Ken Stolle to Virginia Beach Sheriff). It's becoming more likely that the new senator from Virginia Beach will be the Republican nominee since the Democrats can't seem to find a candidate. Bob McDonnell will show his bipartisan stripes and meet with House Democrats, while Ron Villanueva gains another vote in his bid to keep said Dems one seat fewer.

Nationally, the AP reports 10 states face looming budget disasters, while U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is seeking a huge tax increase to pay for the health care bill. Who thinks things will get better soon? Meanwhile, Walter E. Williams is on target as ever in his column about contempt for the constitution, Christopher Adamo offers the GOP lessons from the New York special Congressional election, and Bobby Eberle tells RNC Chairman Michael Steele to knock off the irresponsible racial talk.  

News:

McDonnell to meet with House Democratic Caucus (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Beach electoral board finds extra vote for Villanueva (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Two Republicans run for Stolle's seat; another Democrat out (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

'Jane Roe' honored at LU pro-life conference (Lynchburg News & Advance)

National News:

A Year Out, Widespread Anti-Incumbent Sentiment (Pew Research Center for the People & the Press)

Reid eyes payroll tax hike to pay for health care (AP/GOPUSA.com

Report: 10 states face looming budget disasters (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary:

History Is Calling — Will Obama Answer? (Michael Barone/GOPUSA.com)

Constitutional Contempt (Walter E. Williams/GOPUSA.com)

We Win, They Lose (Lisa Fabrizio/GOPUSA.com)

Blind Diversity Equals Death (Michelle Malkin/GOPUSA.com)

Lessons Learned From New York District 23 (Christopher Adamo/GOPUSA.com)

Bridging the Racial Divide Takes a Bridge, not a Chainsaw (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)

No More Career Politicians! (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)

Poll: Vote For Your Favorite Campaign Gaffe, Uh, Moment

As Virginia's statewide campaign winds down, it's a time for reflection . . . what's been your favorite gaffe moment? There are many, to be sure. But we took the painstaking task of narrowing it down to seven. Creigh Deeds and Jody Wagner star in three each. All but one are below in video or audio form, and there's a link to our original report for the other. If you need a refresher, feel free to review them again — or watch/listen/read them again for old times sake and a good laugh. Or, if they are burned indelibly into your mind, vote straightaway. If you have another nominee, feel free to cast a write-in vote in our comments section. However, as tempting as it is, votes for the Deeds, Wagner or Shannon campaigns as a whole are not allowed. It's just not fair. Feel free to forward or share this link (especially to undecided voters).

 

The Deeds Dodge on taxes.

Marriage should be between a man and a woman except you shouldn't discriminate against same-sex couples.

I feel strongly both ways on the public option.

Steve Shannon's "Jeopardy!" moment. Where's Alex to make him answer?

Jody Wagner will have a lot of time to spend looking for the Lt. Governor's Mansion.

AUDIO CLIP (8:34): Jody Wagner's Rambling "Let's Be Clear" Interview With WRVA's Jimmy Barrett (click here).

BLOG POST: Jody Wagner Sticking With A VEA Accusation Against Bill Bolling That Even The VEA Retracted And Apologized For (read here).

The Deeds Dodge: First The Marriage Amendment, Then Taxes, Now Government Run Health Care

It seems as if the fun at a Virginia gubernatorial debate isn't at or during the performance, but after it. We all remember Democrat Creigh Deeds' post debate performance in Fairfax, where it took him more than three minutes to zig-zag through enough contortions on the tax increase issue to make Plastic Man look rigid (see here). Prior to that, though not at a debate, Senator Deeds was incomprehensible in explaining what marriage meant (see here). But if you thought those were bad, wait to you hear Senator Deeds' response to a question on  government run health care, otherwise known as "the public option," after last night's debate at Roanoke College. It only took him 50 seconds to explain his position(s).

I'm not for a public option, but I'm for all options, I'm not for it, but I won't rule it out. Am I clear?

Wagner: Don't Raise Only The Gas Tax, Raise Them All!

This from the Washington Post's Virginia Politics Blog, posted last night by Fredrick Kunkle:

At the Democratic Club meeting in Fairfax County's Greenspring Village retirement community, there was no hemming and hawing Tuesday about whether Virginia should boost the gas tax to fix Northern Virginia's roads.

From the mouths of lieutenant governor candidate Jody Wagner, fellow Democrat Del. Vivian E. Watts, and several folks in the audience, the message was: Bring it on. ...

But the thrust of her remarks suggested that she believes not only that higher gas taxes must be part of a long-term solution, but that other new revenues might also be necessary.

Really, there's nothing to add to such a frank, Mondale-like admission. Oh, wait. There is. Ms. Wagner has forfeited all credibility in calling "negative" the television ads Lt. Governor Bill Bolling is running, which highlight her tax increase pedigree. By her own admission, the ads are, in fact . . . very true!

Jody Wagner calls for higher taxes in front of fellow Democrats, then calls this negative. Go figure.

Virginia News Stand: September 30, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations  Virginia Borrows Now; IOUs Next?

Who said Virginia isn't for borrowers? We've always prided ourselves on being different than the federales. In Virginia, we balance our budgets. In Virginia, we don't use gimmicks. Of course, states can't print money, but they sure can borrow it. In Virginia's case, it's more than $1.2  billion worth, or the size of a potential Creigh Deeds tax increase. Whatever happened to the "Best Managed State"? This is what Senator Deeds wants to "continue"? First, it was California-style state employee furloughs. Now it's federal government-style borrowing. What's next? Left coast-style IOUs?  

If that wasn't enough, the Dems in Washington now are considering shielding banks from state laws. So much for federalism and that constitution thing. Finally, be sure to check out Michelle Malkin's exclusive on the President Obama's friends and their Olympic connections. Nothing like having a friend in high places lobby your case for the Olympics.

News:

Va. To borrow up to $1.27 billion for unemployment payments (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Bolling Vows Fiscal Reform (Harrisonburg Daily News-record)

Polls find competing results for campaigns (Northern Virginia Daily)

A Tug of War For Women's Votes in Race For Governor (Washington Post)

Holton backs Deeds; Republicans talk mental health (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Deeds happy with Holton endorsement (Roanoke Times)

Paths diverge over budget, roads in 17th District debate (Roanoke Times)

November election voter registration deadline nears (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

5th hopeful from GOP runs for 5th (Charlottesville Daily Progress)

National News:

More thorny challenges ahead for health overhaul (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Dems debate sheilding banks from state laws (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Analysis:

Virginia's Regional Divide on the Issues (Jennifer Agiesta/Washington Post Voices Blog)

In Virginia Culture Wars Look Very Much Alive (Stuart Rothenberg/Rothenberg Political Report Blog)

Commentary:

All The President's Olympic Cronies (Michelle Malkin/GOPUSA.com)

Health Care and the Constitution . . . Remember that Document? (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)

Coming: The Economic "W" (Dick Morris and Eileen McGann/GOPUSA.com)

Is Disagreement With Obam Racism? (Walter E. Williams/GOPUSA.com)

Pittsburgh Protest Promoters (Brent Bozell/GOPUSA.com)

Virginia News Stand: September 22, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations  AP Truth Squad, Distilling Pelosi

After yesterday's super-sized edition, much of today's news is of the national variety, including some spot-on commentary. Among the most eye-catching articles are one in which the Census Bureau reports on the change in lifestyle brought on by the recession, including the delay of marriage; a Muslim girl who ran away from her parents because she converted to Christianity will have her day in court; and Florida school officials are cleared in a case brought by the ACLU over a meal blessing.

Elsewhere, the AP comes out with its second fact check in two weeks disputing claims coming directly from President Obama's golden tongue (see first one here). Yes, Mr. President, your "reform" is a giant tax increase, even if you can get David Letterman to believe otherwise. The AP better watch itself if it keeps reporting the truth. Thomas Sowell writes about facing advantages and disadvantages in life by recounting his own upbringing. Truly inspirational and a must read.

Bryan Fischer examines the dirty connection between the National Education Association and ACORN. If you are a NEA/VEA member and still need a reason to leave this union, please take a look (or forward to someone who does)! Bobby Eberle, Jeremy Wiggins and Dick Morris take more looks at Obamacare, but from different angles (economic, medical and political); while David Limbaugh looks at the administration's ambition to ram through legislation so vastly opposite the desires of the country. Finally, Eberle and Wiggins distill Nancy Pelosi's crocodile tears.

News:

Bolling touts jobs during visit here (The Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)

New ads by Deeds use foe's '89 thesis (Roanoke Times)

New Deeds ad wagers big on McDonnell's 1989 thesis (The Daily Press)

Dems critique Hamilton's spot on money committee (The Daily Press)

National News:

Census: Recession had sweeping impact on US life (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Political asylum suggested as remedy for Rifqa (OneNewsNow.com)

Obama, Clinton fundraiser indicted (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Senators to start work on revised health care bill (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Senators urge Treasury to end bailout program (AP/GOPUSA.com)

School Officials Cleared in Mealtime Prayer Case (Tasha Easterling/Rightly Concerned Blog)

Analysis:

FACT CHECK: Coverage requirement enforced with tax (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary:

The Underdogs (Thomas Sowell/GOPUSA.com

Obama At Odds With Majority But Undeterred (David Limbaugh/GOPUSA.com)

NEA: Big time supporter of ACORN (Bryan Fischer/Rightly Concerned Blog)

Yes, Mr. President . . . It's a TAX! (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)

The Cost of Government Health Care — For Doctors (Jeremy Wiggins/Rightly Concerned Blog)

Obamacare: Losing Everyone  (Dick Morris/GOPUSA.com)

Pelosi 'Frightened' by Free Speech (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)

Pelosi's Crocodile Tears (Jeremy Wiggins/Rightly Concerned Blog)

Huh? Even Liberal Media Can't Make Sense Of Deeds Answer; Or, Making John Kerry Proud

I post this without comment because I'm still baffled. First one who makes sense of this ramble wins a prize. But I doubt anyone will — when a liberal confuses even his media allies, it must be incomprehensible. Terribly incomprehensible — and all in three minutes!

Even reporters were confused in this post debate interview in Fairfax today with Democrat gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds: I will raise NEW money but won't raise taxes but ALL options are on the table, but I WON'T take money from the general fund , but I WILL sign a tax increase . . . .

After watching this a second, third and fourth time, I have to wonder if even John ("I voted for it before I voted against it") Kerry would understand this. It certainly is the most confusing political answer I've ever heard before or since the infamous Kerry remark.

"The Lieutenant Governor's Mansion"

This has been around has been around a few weeks, but if you haven't seen it, it's pretty funny, if not surprising, considering the source. Democrat Lieutenant Governor hopeful Jody Wagner, party to former Governor Mark Warner's underestimating tax revenues (creating the pretense for the largest tax increase in Virginia history) and to current Governor Tim Kaine's overestimating tax revenues (causing complete budgetary havoc and the reason for the largest Rainy Day Fund raid in Virginia history), thinks Virginia owns a Lieutenant Governor's mansion. (H/T Virginia Virtucon.) Perhaps the construction and maintenence costs are what threw off her budget projections. Thinking about it further, she'd make the ideal running mate for Terry McAuliffe, who wore Carolina blue to a U.Va. game and who has a proven interest in The Family Foundation (yuk).

Virginia News Stand: April 2, 2009

The News Stand doesn't have a large inventory today, but what we have is interesting as usual. The gubernatorial campaign is rolling along with Bob McDonnell and Terry McAuliffe continuing to get the headlines. Where are Creigh Deeds and Brian Moran? It's enough to prompt House Republican Whip Eric Cantor to call it for T-Mac already. Meanwhile, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich sounds the warning on President Obama's war on churches and charities, squeezing them out in favor of a care-for-all, omnipresent government. Speaking of McDonnell, he's promised to run the most technologically savvy campaign in Virginia history. It's a hard lesson Republicans have learned from Democrats who have outpaced them by far in use of the Internet via social networking and the like. But according to Rachel Alexander, there is a conservative tech revolution going on.

Speaking of revolutions, do they have tea or corn parties in Iowa? For all those gearing up for the various Virginia tea parties on April 15, you might want to read and view what went on in Iowa's legislature recently, where the Democrat House Speaker, Pat Murphy, tossed out taxpayers opposed to his tax increase plan. Ah, yes. Freedom of speech in the Age of Obama!

News:

McDonnell pledges support for business during campaign stop (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)

McDonnell's gubernatorial campaign makes local stop (Winchester Star)

McAuliffe's Fundraising: High-Dollar, High-Mileage (Washington Post)

Does Cantor Really Think McAuliffe Wins? (TertiumQuids.com)

Ex-Lobbyist, Kaine Brother-in-Law, Among 4 Proposed For U.S. Attorney(Washington Post)

Analysis:

Web 2.0 and the New Conservative Revolution (GOPUSA.com)

National News:

Obama's 'war against churches and charities' (OneNewsNow.com)

When the American Tax Payer Becomes a Nuissance (GetLiberty.org)

Video:

Taxpayers Kicked Out Of Capitol During Tax Debate — Iowa (YouTube.com/KCCI-TV)

Three Constitutional Amendments To Go On Trial In The Senate

The pace remained settled in Capitol Square today as committees in the two chambers prepare for the grind of hearings next week on bills passed in each other's chamber. We've reported on a number of successes over the first half of session, both in good bills that passed and bad bills killed. Also in the mix are three proposed constitutional amendments we support, all of which passed the House earlier this week and now begin their trials in the Senate. To amend the constitution of Virginia, a proposed amendment must pass the General Assembly in exactly the same form — a comma can't even be changed — in two sessions with an intervening statewide election, and then approved by the voters in a statewide ballot. So it's nearly a three-year process. It's not the easiest thing to do, as we know from the Marriage Amendment.

HJ 725, patroned by Delegate Rob Bell (R-58, Albermarle) would provide protection from the government's power of eminent domain, and protect the 2007 law protecting private property rights from tampering by future General Assemblies. That law was a reaction to the deplorable U.S. Supreme Court Kelo decision, which allowed a local government to take private property and give it to developers. Just as the Marriage Amendment was needed to protect Virginia's marriage statutes, the 2007 law needs constitutional protection. This session alone has seen two bills that would have weakened it (we were able to amend them into acceptable bills). So it is obvious this constitutional protection is needed.

HJ 789, patroned by Delegate Manoli Loupassi (R-68, Richmond) would limit spending to the preceding year's total appropriations plus an amount equal to the percentage increase of inflation plus population growth. It makes exceptions to provide tax relief, deposits to the "Rainy Day Fund" and nonrecurring capital projects. With state spending increasing more than 80 percent over the last 10 years, we need this constitutional protection from the big spenders in Richmond. What family budget has grown that much that fast? 

HJ 620, patroned by Delegate Glen Oder (R-94, Newport News), is another protection against greedy government big spenders. It would put all tax revenues designated by law for transportation in a "lock box" so that they cannot be spent on earmarks, pork or for other areas of the budget, only for the big spenders to claim they need more money for transportation. This way, we know that our hard-earned tax money is going to where lawmakers say it is going. Then, and only then, if they need more money for transportation, can they in good conscience ask us for a tax increase.   

All three of these commonsense and much needed reforms and protections will be heard in the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee (get members' contact info here), perhaps as early as next week. Please contact the committee members to urge them to report these resolutions to the Senate floor.

Constitution 101 Quote Of The Day

It truly is remarkable the lack of understanding some people have of the U.S. and Virginia Constitutions. Some of them actually run for, get elected and serve in high office. Case in point: In Friday night's debate between U.S. Senate candidates Democrat Mark Warner and Republican Jim Gilmore, both former governors, Warner was asked a question regarding his veto of a bill which would allow Virginia offshore drilling for oil and natural gas once federal approval is given. Even his Democrat successor, Governor Tim Kaine signed a similar bill. That the question came up surprised us. We posted it Friday afternoon as one of five questions we wanted to hear, although we doubted they would get asked. Gilmore used the veto to blunt Warner's claim that he now supports domestic drilling. 

Defending himself, Warner gave us our Quote Of The Day:

That bill I vetoed because it was the legislature telling the governor what to do in terms of a specific piece of legislation.

But a quick glance at the Constitution verifies that is, in fact, how it works: The legislative branch passes a law and the executive branch executes it (thus the word "executive"). Sort of like a tax increase, where the legislature sets "specific" rates and the executive collects it, something Mr. Warner should know all about. It's as if he was saying he didn't recognize the other two branches of government. Even stranger, this is the same Mark Warner who loves to talk about how bipartisan he and the General Assembly were during his four years in Richmond. All of sudden, it was a partisan machine, trying to roll him over.

(Almost as peculiar, he advocated that "all levels of government . . . local, state and federal" start placing orders for new cars "for 2010 and 2011" from Detroit — cars that get 100 miles per gallon. There are several problems here, perhaps the major one being that they don't exist!)

Also during the debate, adding to his misunderstanding of constitutional matters, Warner repeated the often misstated meaning of overturning Roe vs. Wade. If the case ever gets overturned, it would not end abortion nationwide immediately — a common liberal scare tactic. It simply would return the decision making from the federal courts to each state. 

There are no individual sound bytes of the Quote of the Day that we could find. Instead, you can view the entire debate by clicking here. You can drag the progression bar forward to 40:45 to hear Warner's futuristic 100 mph car claim and to 43:38 to hear the QOD. If you did not see or hear the debate, we encourage you to view it in its entirety in order to make an informed decision this November in this important U.S. Senate contest. It takes less than an hour and is an invigorating give and take.