Friday, November 18, 2005

Have we become victims of our own success?

This op-ed in the D.C. Examiner makes some interesting points, especially this one:

Ironically, anti-tax sentiment may have been diminished by past Republican tax cuts. The top income-tax rate is 35 percent, down from 50 percent in 1981. The median-income family of four today pays the smallest percentage of its income to the IRS since the Eisenhower administration. This makes it harder to incite tax revolts. It also complicates Republican tax policy. Tax cuts easiest to justify on supply-side grounds also are the most vulnerable to unfairness charges. But it's hard to help the middle class and remain revenue-neutral. Eliminating the alternative minimum tax, for instance, may require revisiting popular deductions. Some voters have obviously concluded they can afford the occasional tax increase. The GOP can't afford them becoming a majority.
Perhaps we need a new, winning formula that continues to stress low taxes (and tax cuts as well), but tackles this from a bigger perspective -- wholesale reform of our tax system. The Dems (and real RINOs like Potts) get away with labelling the $1.5 billion tax hike as "budget reform." Maybe we need to hit them back with a reform plan of our own, billing tax reform and tax cuts as "family budget reform" -- letting Virginia's families keep more of their own money in their own family budgets to begin with. If we tackle property taxes and, yes, the car tax, while demonstrating to the voters that there is still enough money to address transportation and education issues, we can retake the political highground.


At 11/18/2005 05:11:00 PM, Blogger neocon22 said...

Riley, we need to do something and soon, because since Warner was elected the amount of money you must pay to the state when you purchase a house has doubled. this is ridiculous. i will not be able to afford to buy a house when i graduate, or even long after as long as this keeps happening. i hope kaine doesnt do more of the same.

At 11/18/2005 05:28:00 PM, Blogger Riley, Not O'Reilly said...

Don't hold your breath on Kaine.

As I said, this represents an opportunity for our party if we take it.

At 11/18/2005 05:49:00 PM, Anonymous NoVA Scout said...

neocon22: which monies are your referring to? The taxes/fees at closing? I haven't bought a house for several years, so I'm not really up on that part of the tax bite.

At 11/18/2005 07:03:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Yes, what are you referring to? The tax in Deeds? That's absurd. The reason why you can't afford a house is because prices are inflated. If you're blaming that on warner, then you're insane.

At 11/18/2005 11:17:00 PM, Blogger Bwana said...

Let me suggest that what we need to do is tell folks why the taxes are not needed...which still is not being done.

Anti-Tax people are saying no to increased taxes. The Governor went around the state saying we need the taxes, and there never seemed to be any attempt to explain why the new taxes were not needed. No counter attacks as to where to cut, no suggestions about what savings could be had.

The same thing happened in the general.

People believed Mark Warner when he said there was a need to raise taxes. Virginians seem to be-especially in NOVA-willing to pay higher taxes if they think it is needed for important services.

No one has offered a solid, understandable explanation as to why the "tax reform" was not needed. As a result, there was no backlash against the governor who proposed it or the legislators who approved it.

At the national level the GOP could attack the Dems as being "tax and spend" because there was anecdotal and real evidence to back up the charge...and ultimately voters reacted.

If the GOP wants to reclaim the anti-tax mantle, we will have to craft understandable explanations as to why proposed tax increases are not desirable. We will have to do that by attacking the rationale for the increase, and also by showing where cuts can be made in state government.

Otherwise, a large number of Virginians who are stuck in traffic will hear the idea of a tax increase for transportation and think "why not? Better than being stuck in traffic!"

We have to offer a vision, a rationale, the steps to make it happen, and be able to show why the steps can be taken.

If not, we will be singing to the choir while the congregation increases their tithes to the state.

At 11/19/2005 01:12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If we could just get rid of the public funding of schools we could cut our taxes by 50%!

Bob Marshall's already on our side.
Jeff Frederick should be easy to win over (he already wants teachers to take yearly SOL tests).
Let's get Bob Fitzsimmonds to run again & it will be done in the blink of an eye!

Down with public schools! Down with public schools! Cut my tax bill in half! Cut my tax bill in half!

At 11/19/2005 01:14:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and I forgot Jim Simpson. Get him elected to something quick!

Cut my taxes in half! No more public schools! No more public schools!

At 11/19/2005 02:53:00 PM, Blogger Mitch Cumstein said...

Anon's comments are either the funniest or the scariest I've ever heard. Not sure that you could convince Frederick to walk of the edge of the (flat) Earth, but I do agree that Simpson should be elected to an office quickly. How about a School Board position in Kansas somewhere.

As far as the tx issue goes, I'll repeat what I've said ad nauseum: we need to address spending and not revenue. We need to get back to being the party of fiscal discipline and responsibility. That means taking the lead on smaller, more efficient government. It means, as my friend and erstwhile alter-ego Jim Young would say, retaking control of the terms of the debate. And those terms should have their foundation in defining those things that governments should and should not do. If we can redefine the limited role that government should have and either eliminate or transfer to the private sector responsibilities outside of the public realm, the tax burden will take care of itself. If we simply continue to demand tax cuts without credible options to ensure the continuity of those services that the majority of voters feel are necessary, we'll continue to lose the battle.

At 11/19/2005 04:16:00 PM, Blogger neocon22 said...

is it true that fairfax county public schools has a budget surplus? is that part of the county or state taxes?

if so, why do we need more spending on education? wouldnt that money be better spent on transportatoin issues?

there are those who say that they enjoy the services provided by the higher taxes....however, you still hear the same people complaining about having to wait for hours at the dmv or the hospital. that inefficiency is typical of the beuracracy of government. spending more on these "services" will not solve the problem. mitch you are dead on.


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