Special Tax Session Fast ApproachingJun 18, 2008
Just four years ago, Virginians were asked to pay for a massive tax increase, the brainchild of former Governor and current Democrat U.S. Senate candidate Mark Warner and former Virginia Senator and lifelong RINO John Chichester. (Visit tomorrow for the untold background on this, the largest tax increase in Virginia history.) As a result, billions more dollars from working families in Virginia have poured into the coffers in Richmond. In the three state budgets since, state government has spent nearly $100 billion of your money. The result? They're back for more. Regardless of Governor Tim Kaine's (contact him here) rhetoric about working families in Virginia expecting a "free lunch" for not wanting to send more of their hard earned money to Richmond, the fact remains that there is plenty of revenue in Richmond to pay for core government services.
But for the politicians, there just isn't enough money to pay for those services and everything else they want. There never will be enough for their voracious spending appetites, all while Virginia taxpayers get nothing close to a free lunch — and it is incredibly arrogant for the governor to suggest that we are.
This Monday, June 23, the General Assembly will meet at the capitol for what we've dubbed the "Special Tax Session" because, despite the rhetoric about a "transportation crisis," there are no guarantees that revenue from any new taxes will go solely to transportation. Any new tax money will go into the general fund and be spent any way Virginia's political elite wants it to be spent. It's telling that one of the biggest supporters of the tax increase is the Virginia Education Association. Exactly what interest should the teachers union have in a tax increase for "transportation"? Their excitement clearly indicates they've been given a free run through the pork trough if the tax increase passes.
The lack of a guarantee that transportation will become a priority is just one of the many reasons that the General Assembly should reject the call for tax hikes. See our interview with Delegate Mark Cole (R-88, Fredericksburg) and his response about the raid on the Transportation Trust Fund. The fact that transportation spending makes up just 13 percent of the budget, while education makes up 40 percent and social services 30 percent, indicates that transportation never really has been the priority it should. To complain about a "crisis" now is disingenuous. If there is a crisis, it's a crisis in leadership, not of citizenship. What leader, beside Jimmy Carter, criticizes his constituents?
But most importantly, to ask Virginia's working families to pay even more in taxes when they are facing extraordinary and ever-rising gas and food prices, a collapsed housing market, job insecurity and a sluggish economy, is the unrestrained arrogance of elitism, of someone out of touch with, perhaps, "bitter" people. Your elected officials — especially your delegate and senator — must not feel this lack of restraint the governor apparently feels. Send a clear message to your representatives that you oppose higher taxes and fees.
Remember: The politicians will raise your taxes if they think you don't care, because they can sell it to you as something necessary, as in transportation, then spend it any way they choose. So you must let them know you are paying attention. Click here and send an e-mail to your delegate and senator and urge them to oppose higher taxes. Then forward this link to your friends and family so they can make their voices heard as well.