working families

Tomorrow, We Will Choose . . .

Tomorrow, the citizens of the freest nation in the world will once again choose their leader. This time, however, it seems certain that the choice is not just about a person or a party, but about the very essence of our nation.Tomorrow, we will choose between a candidate that has a quarter century record of voting to protect human life in its most vulnerable form, or a candidate that believes it is in the nation's best interest to allow newborn children who survive late-term abortions to simply die. Tomorrow, we will choose between a candidate that believes the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is worth defending, or a candidate that believes the definition of marriage is malleable.

Tomorrow, we will choose between a candidate that believes parents should have the option to send their children to whatever school they wish, public or private, or a candidate that believes teaching sex education to kindergartners is good for America.

Tomorrow, we will choose between a candidate that believes hard working families should be free to keep more of their hard earned incomes, or a candidate that believes continuing to allow families that freedom is bad for America and that income should be redistributed as the government sees fit.

The differences between John McCain and Barack Obama are staggering. You can read more about these differences at The Family Foundation Action Web site (click here). (Also while there, review the Congressional voter guide that shows the vast differences between candidates for U.S. Senate, Jim Gilmore (click here) and Mark Warner (click here), and Congressional races.)

But in truth, this election is not simply about the issues listed above. It is about freedom.  It is about the freedom to make decisions about our families, our incomes and our faith that the government has no business being involved with. It is about whether or not the document that "holds these truths to be self evident" is still relevant in our society. 

We are not ready to give up on the Founding Fathers vision! We are not ready to turn our lives over to a bureaucrat in Washington, D.C., to determine what my health care needs are, how we can or cannot live our faith in the public square, how our families' income should be spent, or how the very institutions on which society is based are defined.

This nation and its Judeo-Christian heritage are worth getting up early, standing in line, bringing a family friend or neighbor or fellow church member along with us, and casting our ballots for the candidates who believe in the sanctity of human life and the sanctity of marriage and the freedom to prosper. This nation is worth ignoring the prognosticators, the polls, and the media's overwhelming and blatant disregard for facts and truth — and the blatant and below the belt attacks this year on candidates of faith, who respect life, traditional marriage and traditional values.

In short, it is worth your vote. Please, tomorrow, vote. Vote for the God ordained values and truths that our society must protect in order to survive. 

Tomorrow, pray, vote, then go home and pray more.

A Burning Question That Just Never Gets Answered . . . Because It Never Gets Asked

Everyone has a fantasy job — a job for a day. This time of year, when certain politicians are talking tax increases — with too many, it's year-round talk of tax increases — I want to ask them a simple question. I shouldn't have to ask the simple question, because there are so many in the Mainstream Media it's almost inconceivable that they don't ask it themselves. (Wonder why?) It gets more infuriating when multi-millionaire politicians, who either have raised taxes on working families, or want to, or want to again — including a few high profile ones here in Virginia — start piously talking about how they themselves make so much money that they and others like them can afford to pay more taxes (not to mention how they demagogue the issue of "fairness" and "government needs"). To wit, my question to them simply is: 

If you think you are so under taxed, why don't you stroke a check yourself, large enough foryour heart's desire, right to the treasury and leave the rest of us alone?

The plain fact is, both state and federal treasuries willingly take contributions apart from tax collections. However, these super wealthy pols want to "raise taxes on the rich" (who turn out to be hard-working families), while the truly rich — themselves and their huge financial supporters — easily slip through the loopholes and avoid the extra taxes, sticking the rest of us with their tax bill.

So, for those tax-increasers, as a public service, we present to you these two links:

To make a voluntary contribution to the federal treasury, click here.

To make a voluntary contribution to the Virginia treasury, click here.

Of course, the media never will ask that question. But if the tax-increasing pols practiced what they preached, there would be no need to ask that question. Which means, I'm going to fantasize about that job for a day for a long, long time.


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, 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.

"Best Managed"?

Much of the U.S. Senate race between former Virginia Governors James Gilmore and Mark Warner has been focused on the candidates fiscal management records while they were in office.  Delegate Kirk Cox (R-66, Colonial Heights), a member of the House Appropriations Committee during both governors' terms, and one of the leading advocates in the General Assembly for protecting the incomes of working Virginians by reducing taxes and reigning in spending, has a fascinating opinion piece that sorts through the rhetoric. Delegate Cox had a front row seat during the debates over eliminating the car tax, the "budget crisis" after 9/11, and Democrat Warner's effort to pass the largest tax increase in Virginia history.

The piece is well worth the read.

More Truth About State Government

Yesterday, we posted our reasons to oppose Governor Tim Kaine's tax increase plan (and all tax increase plans) at the upcoming (June 23) Special Tax Session of the General Assembly. But there are other reasons to reject tax hikes for transportation (not to mention that the Governor Kaine apparently is not even considering our Lottery Ticket Increase plan even though others of high intellectual esteem are). But the primary reason is the new third rail of politics — education funding. During the General Assembly's regular session, the biannual "re-benchmarking" of the Standards of Quality resulted in a $1.1 billion increase in education spending in the new budget. (Click here to read our previous commentary on the educrat revolt to SOQ reform.) What does "re-benchmarking of SOQs" mean? A convoluted formula that automatically ensures that Virginia's public school establishment will receive at least a billion more dollars every two years, regardless of student outcomes or reductions in enrollment. That spending goes up no matter what. By continuing with this system, public education is assured of securing funds at the expense of other core budget items (public safety, transportation, etc.). Any legislator who is honest will tell you that there is absolutely no way to fund this annual education increase and the rest of state government without some type of massive, statewide tax increase. 

So here we are. In fact, do you know how much spending increased on transportation in the recently passed new budget? Zero. Not a penny. Zilch.

Why? Because as long as the SOQ funding formula remains unchanged, every other area of state government, including transportation and public safety, will get short changed. (Of course, the Virginia Education Association was one of the first to publicly endorse the Governor's plan.)

This year, The Family Foundation supported a short-lived proposal to adjust the SOQ formula slightly, which would have in no way directly affected what is spent in the classroom. But such a change would have saved $200 million per year. That nearly half billion dollars every biennium would go a long way toward fixing the transportation "crisis" Governor Kaine alleges needs immediate action.

Because The Family Foundation has opposed increases in taxes over the years, we have gained a reputation as being "anti-tax." That is not the case. We simply want our state government to be more responsible in how it spends our money before it comes to working families asking for more.