Tag Archives: tax increase

Distinguishing Leadership from Politicianship

Defendants await a ruling from the Prince William Co Human Rights Commission

Defendants await a ruling from the Prince William Co Human Rights Commission

The feds aren’t alone in dealing with budgets this time of year. Although “dealing” is somewhat generous, since Uncle Sam doesn’t have to balance his. Congress and the President are content to blame unforeseen circumstances — George Bush, climate change or a spontaneous reaction to an anti–Mohammed video — for causing deficit spending, while they wait in the ‘withdrawals only’ line at the National Bank of China.

State and local governments don’t have that luxury and how your local elected officials deal with budgets can provide a useful benchmark in evaluating the performance of Republicans in Congress during discussions designed to avoid the fiscal cliff. (There is no need to evaluate Spendacrats. They will spend as much as possible and mislead gullible Republicans when it comes to budget “cuts.”)

Where I live in Virginia, Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, takes an approach to cutting the budget that I wish Congressional Republicans would emulate. Stewart has actually marked individual programs for termination or severe cuts. This alone qualifies as leadership.

Lazy, gutless politicians avoid being pinned down on which programs to cut. And this failure includes both conservatives and liberals. Instead they advocate “equitable, across–the–board cuts.” This budget–cutting socialism is a gift to the lazy at the expense of the competent. In this way the Intergovernmental Steering Group for Immediate Climate Action and Icecap Outreach gets the same ten percent cut as the police department.

This is politicianship and elected “leaders” do it so they won’t be blamed for eliminating a program a handful of “community activists” support. Come election time the shameless pol can even claim he “saved the program from drastic cuts that would have imperiled its mission.”

Arlington County, VA politicians use another dodge. They direct the county executive to choose the budget cuts. When outraged poodle owners want to know why working–women–doggie–daycare was cut from the parks and recreation budget, the spineless “leader” blames a heartless, cat–owning bureaucrat.

Skeptics will say Stewart had to cut the budget because he’s running for Lt. Governor and a tax increase would make it impossible for him to win the nomination. But Stewart could just as easily call for across–the-board cuts or delegate to the county executive like Arlington Democrats. Not doing so is an important point in his favor.

Stewart wants to cut $9 million from the 2014 budget so property tax bills will remain flat. Some of his larger cuts include eliminating $3.6 million from the Health Department and $626,000 from the Juvenile Court Services Unit.

Stewart courageously advocates ending $941,000 in feel–good donations to non–profits. If he succeeds, supervisors will no longer be able to use public tax dollars to subsidize their private charitable preferences. Stewart also vetoes “arts” grant donations, the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, Northern Virginia Family Services and Legal Services of Northern VA.

An almost $2 million cut comes from the Transportation & Roadway Improvement Program — another public money kitty that allows individual supervisors to spend our taxes on traffic light installations and road improvements in their district.

In addition to fellow board members, Stewart is willing to take on friends of the library, seniors and the school board. He would close neighborhood libraries two days a week, make senior recreational tours self–supporting and remove four middle school police officers.

This is why leadership is hard. Decisions to cut spending are unpopular, particularly with those who were doing or receiving the spending. The vast majority of politicians in Washington just want to be loved and re–elected, without being bothered to make decisions that produce discord at town meetings. One of the few exceptions is Sen. Tom Coburn (R–OK) and you can imagine how popular he is.

If you ask me, it makes more sense to keep the libraries open and save $500,000 by abolishing the Prince William County Human Rights Commission. This pretentious engine of local moral posturing has been wasting money since 1993. Our own little Nuremburg duplicates federal and state programs, while entertaining a punishing 145 cases a year, most of which have — according to the executive director — “no probable cause.” Which is a nice way of saying the plaintiff is either lying, delusional or a board member of Mexicans Without Borders.

When asked by reporter Graelyn Brashear if the commission is effective, the director said that’s a tough question because there are no measures of success. Translated for taxpayers, it means this job is almost as good as being a diversity bureaucrat in the school system.

Budget cutting, like liberty, requires constant vigilance. According to Stewart the PWC budget more than doubled between 2000 and 2006, while during his seven years as chairman it only increased a total of 6.6 percent.

Stewart’s budget cutting won’t win him friends on the board or get him invited to speak at annual banquets put on by non–profits to flatter the politicians who distribute tax dollars. But it is leadership and it is a standard conservatives should apply to politicians at all levels.

The 2013 Tax Increase obama Pledged Would Never Happen

If the White House and Congress don’t act this year, a huge, unprecedented tax increase described by Ben Bernanke as a “massive fiscal cliff” will slam American taxpayers. This looming tax hike will result mostly from letting long-standing tax policies expire at the end of 2012.

Instead of waiting until after November’s election, obama should stop campaigning for a moment and start working with Congress to prevent this gargantuan tax increase from taking place. Not only would doing so give assurance to families, businesses, and investors that taxes won’t be rising while the economy is still staggering. It would also show that obama is capable of chewing gum and walking at the same time.

The tax increase, also known as “Taxmageddon” is a $494 billion hike. If action isn’t taken, current law dictates that seven different categories will witness expiring tax policies, while five new obamacare tax increases begin.

Approximately 34% of the tax increase come from letting the tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 expire. Best known for cutting marginal income tax rates, the reductions also lowered the marriage penalty, increased the child and adoption tax credits, while increasing tax breaks for the costs of dependent care and education. Contrary to “progressive” rhetoric, these taxes have a direct effect on the lives of people in all income tax brackets, not just evil rich people who “don’t pay their fair share”.

Another 25% comes from the expiration of the highly debated payroll tax cut. The expiration of a patch on the Alternative Minimum Tax, which prevents middle-income families from paying a tax intended for “the rich” accounts for another 24% of the hike.

The obamacare tax increases, hidden from public view by “progressive” deceit and delay tactics, begin kicking in with one of the most damaging taxes in the law, a 3.8% Hospital Insurance surtax on wages, as well as on salaries and investment income over $250,000.

To top that off, the so-called death tax also expires in 2013. The rate will rise from 35 percent today to 55 percent and the exemption will fall from $5 million to $3.5 million. Then there’s the end of the tax cuts contained in the 2009 stimulus and the expiration of full write-offs for new business capital investments.

Since 2007 obama has had an ongoing, oft repeated mantra: “I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year…which includes a 98 percent of small-business owners, you will not see your taxes increase one single dime under my plan. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains tax, no tax. We don’t need to raise taxes on the middle class! You will not see your taxes increased a single dime. I repeat, not one single dime.”

Never mind that he broke that pledge by signing a tax increase on tobacco in early 2009. As a mere voter, you’re too stupid to notice such minor, unimportant details. Move along, there’s nothing to see here.

Apparently the only one “smart” enough to realize that tobacco use in America is restricted to those with incomes exceeding $250,000 a year is the former community radicalizer from Chicago. You may know of him. He’s the one who’s entire college and medical history have been hidden from public view since the day he first infected the Oval Office with his faux transparency, un-kept promises, aggressively anti-American views, anti-business policies, war on religious liberties, attack on affordable energy, intentionally divisive identity politics rhetoric and non-stop campaigning for what would prove for America to be a disastrous second term.

If this is how he behaves while he’s politically obligated to mask his true intentions from undecided voters during an election year, the entire globe will live to regret an extended obama presidency for decades, in not for a century or more.

http://mjfellright.wordpress.com/2012/05/21/the-2013-tax-increase-obama-pledged-would-never-happen/