Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dem-Backed Tax Hikes are Useless

Congress is struggling, to say the least, to trim America's deficit. But there is a huge disconnect between what Congressional Democrats and the White house want and what they are asking for. What they want is ostensibly a larger government, taking in more taxes, in order to reach into more parts of our lives. What they're asking for is a useless tax hike that not only detriments American entrepeneurs, it doesn't accomplish much.

Allow me an explanatory metaphor: Let's suppose a super-tanker is springing a leak, and taking on a lot of water. That tanker is our (now bloated) government, and the leak is our (rapidly) rising deficit.

The Democrat plan is to go at the problem with a bucket and start bailing water. Their plan to raise taxes for families earning $250,000 or more would bring in new revenue, but the revenue raised by that tax increase pales in comparison to the massive deficit that we have sunk ourselves into (pun intended). Mathematically pertaining to our deficit, spending, and costs, these hikes are useless.

Without a concerted effort to rein in the absurd amount of spending going on, as well as entitlement reform, this tax hike on the wealthy is one tiny, miniscule drop in the bucket when it comes to the deficit. The Democrat plan could run the United States Government for a grand total of 8 days. When we are facing a 16 trillion dollar bill and a habit of spending even more, there is no amount of tax increase that could help us.

The GOP is fighting against determined and stubborn opposition, but the Republican plan makes more sense. Spending cuts and serious entitlement reform, are parts of a plan that fixes the leak. This affects every American, whether they earn $250,000 or not. The Fiscal Cliff, and the national debt will inevitably hit every demographic. The precious little revenue that they could raise would power us for barely more than a week before the fiscal pendulum would swing us back into a pit of spending despair.

John Stossel frames the argument differently but succinctly...
"The problem is that the rich don't have enough money to put so much as a dent in America's $16 trillion national debt. "If the IRS grabbed 100 percent of income over $1 million, the take would be just $616 billion," writes John Stossel. "That’s only a third of this year’s deficit. Our national debt would continue to explode."
Don't let the liberal media sell these tax hikes to you as a solution, when they are not even a band-aid on the larger issue.

VA GOP Caucus

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Impact of the 'Fiscal Cliff': How Will Virginia Land?

Even as employers in Utah and Nevada are laying off employees in the wake of the election and its implications, here in Virginia we too are sitting under the gun of the 'Fiscal Cliff'. With a pro-business economic climate, a huge stake in the Defense Department, and a large rural population, the Commonwealth stands to lose in a big way if these crippling cuts are allowed to take effect.

The specific impact to Virginia? Well, if legislators allow it to pass, the numbers associated with the 'Fiscal Cliff' are staggering. Virginia alone could lose up to 270,000 jobs; a report from George Mason University predicts 207,000. The Defense Department would be cut by $110 Billion in total, payroll taxes would increase 2%, the list goes on and on.

Why Us? One third of Virginia's economy depends on federal spending, 20% on Defense spending. Northern Virginia is inextricably tied to federal contracting. Fairfax County is home to more federal contractors than any county in the nation, and 75% of all of Virginia's jobs that depend on federal spending are Northern Virginian. Fairfax itself is bracing to lose roughly 80,000 jobs.

Virginia is also hugely important to the military. Quantico, Langley, the Pentagon, Fort A.P. Hill and Norfolk Naval Base all lie within our borders. The active duty populations of those bases alone is roughly 128,000, and there are 22 more military bases in Virginia as well. Add the families supported by these installations, and the sweeping effects of these spending cuts and it is clear that Virginia military families would be devastated. Our veteran population is over 822,000, one of the highest in the nation.

So what are we doing about it? Governor McDonnell, and the General Assembly have been aware of this threat, and taken steps to soften the blow that Virginians could feel. Gov. McDonnell is working with state agencies to make an overall 4% cut to help weather the storm. Thanks to the Governor's policies of responsible spending and a healthy business community we have posted a surplus in each of the last 3 years, the most recent of which amounts to nearly $450 million. We have a $30 Million Federal Action Contingency Trust (FACT) to help bridge the budget divides that would emerge in the case that the cuts take effect.

While those efforts are admirable, and while Virginia is a healthy business state braced for the blow, the hit is still going to be significant. Our Governor and legislature have done what they can to help Virginians prepare. These tax hikes and spending cuts combined are looming over us, and they threaten the livelihood and the quality of life of hundreds of thousands of our friends, our families, and of our fellow Virginians.

VA GOP Caucus

Friday, November 2, 2012

More Bad News on Obamacare

In 2008, then-Senator Obama promised not to raise taxes. He then set to work crafting his landmark Healthcare Reform Bill, monikered "Obamacare". Since then there have been 19 new taxes or tax hikes found in Obamacare, but that battle is for another day. Today, one of those taxes is invading your privacy and threatening Americans with the IRS if they refuse.

Starting in 2014, Americans will be forced to give their private healthcare information to none other than the friendly neighborhood IRS agent. In January, with the rest of the expected tax-prep forms, will come a new one. This form will assess whether you are complying with Obamacare's "Individual Mandate". 

The "Individual Mandate" was not popular even before Americans delved into it to find out that the law requires the IRS to collect health information, including: Health ID Number,  the ID number of your insurance company, and your length of coverage. All of this is meant to keep the whole country on Obamacare appropriate healthcare plans. Try anything different, and the auditors could be at your door. 

The Congressional Budget Office estimates six million American families will have to pay up to $2,085 directly to the government if they fail to find Obamacare-compliant insurance, and then report it directly. That payment goes into the Internal Revenue Code (read: straight to the IRS) and is reported and paid on your 1040. How many of those families are making less than $100,000 per year? This charge is aimed right at the wallets of our middle-class. 

Why? Why is the President: 
  1. Raising taxes on firmly Middle-class families at all.
  2. Invading the privacy of those families. 
  3. Threatening them with the IRS if they don't cough up.
19 new or higher taxes, an estimated 80 million man-hours just to implement it, and now Obamacare will take money directly out of the pockets of the Americans hardest hit by this economic downturn. When will common-sense walk back into this conversation? Don't let the wool be kept on the eyes of America. This bill affects everyone.

VA GOP Caucus

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Richmond Business Gone

Since mid-September, Richmonders have been mourning one of the City's oldest and best-loved restaurants. Bill's Barbecue had been a staple of Richmond dining since 1931. Now the President of the company (who happens to be the Bill's niece) is speaking out about the circumstances that brought that about...

As one of thousands of Virginians who recalls eating Bill's Barbecue since I was a small child, the fact that they were forced out of business is a personal issue. Bill's was the kind of business pillar that brings character, smiles, and jobs to America's local communities. But this is more than just a sad occasion to mourn a great restaurant.

The fact that a business started in the wake of the Great Depression, that had stood for over 80 years could not keep its doors open facing the Obama Administration's costs and regulations is deplorable. For all of his support for small business, the President has not shown much success at supporting it.

There was, just this week, a Wall Street Journal op-ed joint published by editors. The article discussed the eleventh-hour Obama idea of creating a Secretary of Business. The editors have critiqued the idea, and found that the root of the problem was that businesses had no confidence in their ability to succeed. The article proposes that the actual change that needs to happen is not in the Cabinet; it's a bit higher.

 “They’ll [small businesses] invest more and hire more workers if Washington would impose fewer costs, reform the tax code, and stop trying to allocate capital for political reasons. Rebuilding business confidence doesn't require a Secretary of Business but a new President.”  

To someone, every small local business that closes is, in some way, as dear as Bill's Barbecue was to us. While based in economics, this issue affects ourselves and the people around us. Should every business still be smacked by this Administration's tax gauntlet then compacted by pressing regulations? Should the Obama Administration be allowed to sink hundreds of millions into government-backed energy companies that are failing?

The answer is, "Not while American small businesses are suffering." Those businesses are made up of people, and as the video says, we as the people cannot afford another four years of what we have been dealing with for the last four years. Bill's is just one example of the cost of this kind of hostile business climate. There are small businesses worrying over their ability to stay in the race everywhere, and those worries demand a change.

VA GOP Caucus