Deo Vindice

James Atticus Bowden


Ten Reasons Not to Raise Taxes


Apparently, some GOP legislators need to have it explained why they shouldn't raise taxes. Here's a list of reasons to start with.


There are three Transportation plans in Virginia’s 2006 General Assembly. Two "plans" – Democrat Governor Kaine’s and Republican Senator, His Lordship, Sir John Chichester’s – call for massive tax increases of another $2.5 billion or more. One Transportation plan, Speaker of the House Howell’s, doesn’t raise taxes.


"‘Right fast," within a few weeks, the Republicans will either vote for another tax increase or not. It’s up to the Republicans. Republicans are the majority in the House of Delegates and the Senate, so the one way and only way a tax increase can pass is if Republicans vote for it. In 2004, Republican delegates and senators made the Gov. Mark “I won’t raise your taxes” Warner tax increase happen. They passed the largest tax increase in 400 years of Virginia history, creating a record and growing surplus as a result.


So far, the House of Delegates Republicans have killed Kaine’s plan in committee. The Senate Republicans’ tax hike still lives. When I spoke at the York County Republican Committee meeting last week, an aide for Sen. Marty Williams, R-Newport News, expressed complete surprise that Republicans were against more taxes. She said Sen. Williams’ office hadn’t heard from people who oppose increased taxes.


Apparently, Sen. Williams won’t know to oppose taxes, unless voters tell him. Here are 10 reasons to share with your Republican legislators why whatever comes out of committees and compromises shouldn’t include another "Republican" tax increase.


1. Virginia has a surplus. The "Sky-is-falling- Chicken-Little" Tax increase of 2004 was supposed to address critical infrastructure, under-funding, necessary services problems. Fueled by federal tax cuts, the Bush Boom has increased Virginia's revenue the 8.2 percent so desperately needed by Virginia's bureaucrats. This happened before the tax increase is taken into account.


The tax increase has created a $1.4 billion-and- growing revenue surplus. Spend that on transportation, since you lack the will to roll back the ’04 tax increase. No new taxes.


2. Virginia has other money. Gov. Warner’s commission on government found over $1 billion in efficiencies and saving in government spending. Cut the waste and inefficiency first. The Virginia "Standards of Quality" are state mandates for education that don’t improve education. The SOQs, accounting for more than $1 billion in spending, are a jobs program based on a 1980s-era understanding of technology and "one size fits all" cookie-cutter mismanagement. They are being revised, but they are not fixed yet.


Virginia’s government spending has doubled in 10 years. Virginia’s family incomes have not increased 100 percent. No new taxes.


3. Virginia has sustainable revenue. Virginia’s revenues come from the earnings of its People. Corporate taxes and wholesale taxes are passed on to the consumer.  The hard work of the People create a sustainable, competitive economy that produces revenue – steadily and increasingly. When there is a recession there is a decrease in taxes – because the People make less. The government’s money comes from the same economy. That’s why there is a Rainy Day fund. No new taxes.


4. Virginia needs to set priorities. Virginia took in more than $1 billion than it planned to spend from ’04. Only a politician or a bureaucrat would say there’s no surplus because of "unfunded" needs. Every family in Virginia has "unfunded" needs. But, the People must earn what they want to spend. Government just takes. How the People make up the burden for higher taxes is their problem. The People set priorities on what they buy. The politicians need to make a list of what is first, second, etc and fund accordingly. No new taxes.


5. Virginia doesn’t have a crisis. If a Transportation plan is approved today, the concrete wouldn’t start pouring for years. A Third Crossing for Hampton Roads might not start construction for almost 10 years – to meet all the laws for environmental protection, etc. The problem is painful in NoVa and irritating in Hampton Roads and on the Interstates, but it isn’t a crisis. The transportation taxes from ’85 were supposed to "fix" transportation but didn't. A new tax won’t fix things either. No new taxes.


6. Virginia needs innovations. The Republican Senators’ plan is to pour concrete -- as if that ever solved congestion! Public-private partnerships, tolls, tax relief for telecommuters, etc and other innovations should be part of the solution. No new taxes.


7. Virginia still needs to fix VDOT. The process, planning and execution of transportation management remains broken. Speaker Howell’s plan addresses these problems without raising taxes. No new taxes.


8. Democrats raise taxes, not Republicans. Virginia’s Republicans shouldn’t vote with Democrats to raise taxes. Tax and spend is a Liberal Democrat thing. The Virginia Republican Creed calls for lower taxes and limited government. No new taxes.


9. Virginia needs jobs, not taxes. Taxes kill jobs.  The Kennedy-Reagan-Bush tax cuts started long expansions of the economy. President Bush’s tax cuts and massive Post-9-11 federal spending have saved Virginia’s economy. No new taxes.


10. Virginians expect courage. Virginians expect elected officials to serve the People, not special interests that donate to their campaigns, take them on trips, etc. If the socialists in the Main Stream Media and the special interests howl for more money, the Republicans are supposed to understand the principles they claim to support in their campaign literature – and vote properly. No new taxes.


-- February 13, 2006












James Atticus Bowden is a military "futurist." His novel, "Rosetta 6.2," should be published in mid-2006. A retired United States Army Infantry Officer, he is a 1972 graduate of the United States Military Academy. He earned graduate degrees from Harvard University and Columbia University. He holds three elected Republican Party offices in Virginia.   


Contact him through his website, American Civilization, and blog, Deo Vindice.

Read his profile here.