Jerry Kilgore: Wimp on Taxes

I did not see the Kaine-Kilgore debate yesterday, so my comments are based on Tyler Whitney’s account in today’s Richmond Times-Dispatch. But it looks to me like Jerry Kilgore’s biggest enemy wasn’t Tim Kaine, it was Jerry Kilgore.

According to Whitley: “Kilgore repeatedly tried to turn the discussion to the $1.4 billion tax increase passed by the General Assembly with the support of Kaine and Gov. Mark R. Warner. ‘It wasn’t necessary, and we didn’t ask the people,’ Kilgore said.”

“But when asked, he said he would not try to roll back the increase.” (My italics.)

Question for Kilgore: If the tax increase was so unnecessary that you flog Tim Kaine with it every chance you get, and if Virginia is enjoying a budget surplus that far surpasses the size of the tax increase, then why the heck won’t you try to to roll back the increase? If you’re not willing to return some or all of the tax increase to taxpayers, then your attacks on Kaine amounts to nothing more than ritualistic campaign rhetoric. If you’re not willing to roll back the tax increases, nothing significant sets you apart from Kaine.

Speaking as one who thinks that we should roll back the tax increase, I see the voter’s choice as between two candidates who are both willing to accept the 2004-tax-increase status quo. The only issue is whether they’ll support new taxes. Kilgore says he wouldn’t increase taxes again without going first to the voters. Big whoop. That tells us nothing about how he’ll handle the relentless pressure for spending increases. Rather than confronting the issues, he’ll just pass the buck to the voters. What a cop-out. What a wimp!

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  1. Anonymous Avatar

    One debate will be broadcast statewide as we determine our next governor? One? I understand why Jerry’s handlers don’t want to let him get off his talking points, bunt c’mon, the voters deserve a chance to see the candidates and how they react on stage to challenges. Debates are a chance to gauge how effective a governor will be when trying to enact their plan.

    And I don’t get the abortion duck by Jerry. He is pro-life. Why not just come out and say he would sign that bill? I think the voters expect he would already so I don’t understand the calculus of not answering the question. Jerry is pro-life, Tim is pro-choice. Geez, that’s a surprise.

    I really worry about Kilgore’s ability to understand government. I am not asking this to be cute, but is he bright enough to be an effective Governor?

  2. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    This is precisely what I contacted Jerry’s staff about in the Spring, spoke up at Republican meetings and, more importantly, hear from reliable Republicans when I see them around town…what taxes will Jerry cut? 1. Death tax. 2. Car tax to completion maybe. 3. ?

    Without a commitment to roll back the tax hike surplus the reason to vote for Jerry over Tim may be “He won’t raise your taxes as much”.

    I think Jerry will win. But, this posturing on taxes while promising to spend, spend, spend doesn’t add up to a convincing position.


    I read about the debate in the Daily Press. They made much of Jerry not answering a hypothetical question on what he does if SCOTUS over-turned Roe v Wade – which it won’t. The answer is so simple. See what the GA sends the Gov as a bill – the way it’s supposed to work with the issue being settled by 50 state legislatures.

  3. Anonymous Avatar

    The thing that gets me is the lame excuse for not answering the question because it is hypothetical. I could be wrong, but isn’t the point of an election process to pick a candidate based upon their responses to issues that “may” come up over the next four years? Don’t we want ot see how they will react to a whole host of hypothetical questions as none of us know for certain what they will have to deal with once elected?

  4. NoVA Scout Avatar

    The problem with his Abortion/SCOTUS/GA answer was not so much the content as it was the way he dodged it and then spectacularly lunged into the equally hypothetical question on taxes. It was a crude and obvious trap of the sort that Rusert probably plays on four-year olds while half-asleep. Everyone saw it coming (except Jerry)(anticipation is everything in physical comedy) and the pratfall garnered guffaws from the crowd. As a substantive matter, it wasn’t a big deal. If there were undecideds in the room, the reaction was probably more along the lines of should we have a governor who lets out-of-state journalists tie his shoestrings together.

  5. And what about the VaPAF?

    State tax money has been sunk in that hole at 7th and Broad.

  6. Anonymous Avatar

    Let’s see:

    On abortion, a position that’s currently indistinguishable from Kaine and (gasp) Potts. The hypothetical dodge is even more clueless given that both Boiling and McDonnell answer quite clearly when asked it: yes, they would criminalize it. Pro-life candidates have won many times over in this state. What’s the deal?

    On taxes, they are trying to play on the tax-and-spend liberal meme without actually having to disagree with any of the policies. Jerry opposed the budget agreement, but doesn’t want to fix what he thinks is wrong with it as we go forwards? AND he basically wants to spend even more than Kaine when you add up all his promises? How does that wash as any sort of conservativism whatsoever?

    This guy and his team are lightweights that are going to sink the party, whether they win or lose this one. A Kilgore governorship is going to basically be a feeding frenzy for nepohires out of the Kilgore family camp, and if they didn’t already have two voter fraud issues behind their belts, there is the possiblity that Potts will Shrock him before the final stretch.

  7. Avatar

    An open secret that possibly fuels Kilgore’s reticence to come out hard for rolling back the Warner taxes is that it will directly hurt his base in rural Southwest and Southside VA. The stats from the Commission on Local Gov’t basically show that even with the halted full repeal of the car tax, many “Red” counties are heavily reliant on state (and federal) revenues for their non-education spending. In some instances, county funds amount to less than 40% of total local spending. Granted some of that is mandated, but those very same places that Kilgore is counting on for votes are the same ones that will suffer should he roll back those Warner taxes and fully implement the car tax. Most of them have had flat or declining wages and property values, and thus simply don’t have the capacity to raise more revenues under VA’s Dillon Rule structure.

    Warner’s tax plan was a godsend to many of those small localities, and he helped bail out those rural/small city voters who four years earlier supported Gilmore’s car tax rollback. Ironically, among the least-dependent localities are Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax – places that are more culturally in tune with the Kaine camp.

  8. criticallythinking Avatar

    I opposed the war in Iraq, but now that we are in there I don’t think we should pull out until it is done.

    There. It isn’t hard to see cases where you may have even STRONGLY opposed something, and yet NOT want to reverse it, because it can’t easily be reversed.

    I disagree with Kilgore on this point, but his position is perfectly defensible.

    There is also a difference between hypothetical questions and questions about possibilities for the future. Meaning that while it is quite possible the legislature would send a tax cut to the governor, it is virtually certain that Roe V. Wade will not be thrown out during the term of the next governor.

    Again, I think he should answer the question, even if his answer is that he doesn’t know what he would do, or that it would take work to craft legislation that he would support. But the false “comparison” between the two questions was just the kind of stupid debate tactic that has led me to believe that debates are nearly meaningless in picking candidates for office.

  9. Not Guy Incognito Avatar
    Not Guy Incognito

    Critically, I think you’re reaching with your comparison. State spending gets cut all the time. Wars don’t happen as frequently. It would be infinitely easier to roll back the tax reform, hike, increase or whatever you want to call it than to pull troops out. Millions of lives are on the line in Iraq. The egos of politicians and a few hundred dollars for each taxpayer just doesn’t compare to that conflict.

    As for the debates, we are both politically attenuated; we pay attention to the little details, even though we frequently see them differently.

    For most voters, televised debates are the only way they can see the candidates speak for longer that 15 seconds]. In many cases they are what get people to vote for the man and ideas instead of voting blindly for the party.

  10. Anonymous Avatar

    I wonder why vaconservative didn’t link to this post and discuss the points it makes? You’d think a healty, honest debate over an issue key to conservative principles would be what he’d…. WAIT A SEC JERRY IS COOL, KAINE DROOLS!

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