Yet Another Tax Increase Proposal

Del. Delores McQuinn. Photo credit: Richmond.com.

Del. Delores McQuinn, D-Richmond, has submitted a bill, HB 1541, that would raise taxes in Central Virginia by 2.1% on wholesale fuels (about 7.6 cents per gallon of gasoline) and 0.7% on the sales and use tax to fund regional transportation projects.

The taxes would raise an estimated $168 million a year. Fifty percent would be returned to the localities for projects that would “improve local mobility,” including roads, sidewalks, trails, mobility services, or transit; 35% would go to a Central Virginia Transportation Authority; and 15% would be dedicated to mass transit in Planning District 15.

McQuinn said the dedicated funding is critical to improving access to public transportation, especially for low-income residents who have no other way to get to jobs or amenities in the region, reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Said she in a meeting with leaders from four localities in the region: “Transportation has become to me almost a civil rights issue.”

A civil rights issue? Wow! I always thought of “civil rights” as ensuring that all Americans enjoyed the same constitutional and legal protections. Now, it seems, the concept of civil rights has expanded to the idea of redistributing income from motorists and consumers, many of them low-income themselves, to trendy priorities favored by urban white elites under the guise of helping minorities and the poor.

First, let us note that lower-income people like owning cars. When they live in areas not served by mass transit (rural counties, many suburban counties), they must own a car to get around. Even when they live in areas served by buses or bus rapid transit, poor people often prefer to own cars. Cars are faster, more flexible, and reach a much wider range of destinations than mass transit systems. Whenever poor people have the option of switching from buses to cars, they do so.

Is there really a Civil Rights-magnitude transportation crisis in Virginia? Only 20% of adults living in poverty in 2016 reported they had no access to a vehicle, reports Governing magazine. The percentage was down two percentage points from a decade previously. Transit officials were disapproving of the car-ownership trend, however — not because it was bad for the poor people, but because it was bad for the mass transit organizations.

Second, let us note that mass transit ridership is down in most American metros, despite significant investments in bus and rail. Does indiscriminately investing more in mass transit really make sense?

The localities with Planning District 15 that McQuinn proposes taxing include one urbanized locality, the City of Richmond; three semi-urbanized counties (Henrico, Chesterfield, and Hanover); and four exurban counties (Goochland, Powhatan, New Kent and Charles City). Mass transit is not a remotely economical proposition for much of the population residing in the planning district. In other words, McQuinn proposes to tax people in outlying neighborhoods for the purported benefit of residents of the urban core. I say “purported” because I’m not convinced that more dollars for mass transit will make a meaningful difference to most poor people even in the urban core.

This tax-and-spend scheme strikes me as nothing but a geographic redistribution of wealth designed to benefit McQuinn’s urban constituents — without any assurance that her constituents actually will benefit.

The Richmond region does need to develop a viable mass transit system. But extending mass transit to low-density neighborhoods and commercial districts not designed for pedestrians does nobody any good. Mass transit systems need to grow organically as neighborhoods and transportation corridors increase in density. You can’t force-feed transit. Attempts to do so have proven universally costly.

If McQuinn’s underlying goal is to improve poor peoples’ access to jobs, there may be ways to accomplish that objective more economically. Can we get more people to ride bicycles? If bikes are good enough for young professionals, they should be good enough for poor people, too. Can we encourage poor people to car pool? Once upon a time, carpooling was good enough for the middle class. Why not poor people, too? Can we incentivize Uber, Lyft and like companies to provide van services? Can we zone more mixed-use development that creates a mix of jobs, housing, and amenities in close proximity?

Perhaps such alternative measures should become “almost a civil rights issue,” too.

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31 responses to “Yet Another Tax Increase Proposal

  1. Combine this with the 12-cent increase on a statewide basis Northam wants, and the regional carbon car tax sitting on the sidelines waiting for a green flag, and this is real money!

    I guess in a few years this will all be replaced with various VMT amounts in a patchwork all over Virginia…..that will really be fun.

    • Northam’s 12 cents … Another hidden tax that will never be clear to those paying the tax. Once upon a time Virginia law prohibited gas stations from putting signs on the gas pumps totaling the amount of tax money that was embedded in the cost of a gallon of gas. Beyond being a seemingly clear violation of the First Amendment it was just bad public policy. But it is The Virginia Way. I don’t know if this prohibition remains in place but it wouldn’t surprise me if it did.

  2. Jeez. This blog goes on and on about the need to become less auto centric and here’s a real proposal and it is trashed. Also biking in jefferson davis highway is not the same as the Fan

  3. Isn’t this the same thing that NoVa and Hampton Roads did – i.e. create a regional transportation authority?

    Funny how so many things in BR get turned into some kind of race issue.

    geeze.

    Right now, NoVa and Hampton are considered to have an unfair advantage in Smart Scale projects because they proffer their own money for projects which boosts their scores.

    Transit projects – actually any project that moves people score higher than auto-centric projects.

    I guess NoVa and Hampton regional transportation authorities are really all about race also, eh?

    • In this case, it sounds like the delegate is playing the race card. Not me. Yes, Larry, this is what Nova and Hampton Roads did in 2013, and Richmond blew an excellent chance then to do the same for its own region. With so many other moving parts now, this could be harder now.

      • Both NoVa and Hampton did the same thing – they lobbied for Regional Transportation taxing authorities – not for the “poor folk” but so they have more control over their destiny and they have used
        that money for both roads and rail.

        I see the same potential for Richmond but that’s where the “race” thing apparently is perceived to be a “problem”.

        I just see it as a win-win for Richmond Metro. Yes.. without good leadership , it could turn into another boondoogle… but that’s not what happened in NoVa and Hampton so I just can’t say it’s doomed from the get go like some.

        • A strict implementation of Dillon’s Rule is just an excuse for the plantation elites to practice hidden socialism by transferring money from one region of Virginia to another. Anything that regionalizes both taxing and spending decisions is a step in the right direction.

      • Just FYI – Fredericksburg also had some folks who wanted our own Transportation Authority also – and it actually gained some momentum after we lost out in SmartScale to NoVa and Hampton leveraging their transpo tax money to successfully get funded for projects.

        But we also have some fairly conservative anti-tax folks and so I don’t see Fredericksburg doing it at this time.

        Let me also point out that VRE – commuter rail IS funded by a de-facto regional gas tax in the member localities. Used to be 2.1% but I think it has “escalated” a couple of tenths.

        We’re building a LOT of park and ride lots – all over the region to serve carpools and vanpools – and it’s working – not wildly – modestly.

        Regional transportation is exceptionally important and it ought not be about partisan politics or classism or race…

        Transportation is about economic health and growth.

    • Both Jim and Steve are right on target saying this project will be a total waste of money. Some key operative words Jim uses are:

      “But extending mass transit to low-density neighborhoods and commercial districts not designed for pedestrians does nobody any good. Mass transit systems need to grow organically as neighborhoods and transportation corridors increase in density. You can’t force-feed transit. Attempts to do so have proven universally costly.”

      Jim’s iron rule of mass transit failure applies everywhere in all sorts of communities. Witness the long term financial and operational failure of the DC metro through so many parts of Washington DC and Maryland that include and serve some of the most prosperous and poorest neighborhoods on earth.

      In addition, and like so much else in this world, race based mass transit decision making is foolish, wasteful, and counter productive in the extreme for all concerned, if only because it will divert resources from worthy projects .

  4. Tax the bicyclists! Their turn next. I am open to tax breaks for unicyclists.

  5. Gentlemen – Your taxes, fees, and tolls cost explosion has only just begun. This from Forbes, Jan 3, 2014:

    “When It Rains, It Pours Tax Dollars In Maryland

    It seems like every year state and federal lawmakers pass legislation that either a) increases an existing tax rate or b) levies a new tax or fee on constituents. Whether the tax is applied to income, property, sales, vehicle registration, inheritance, or even death itself, legislators are continuously thinking of new ways to get an extra penny out of the American people.

    While some “red-state” governors – such as Rick Perry (TX), Sam Brownback (KS), and Rick Scott (FL) – have fought to keep the overall tax burden of their state’s residents relatively low, center-left politicians, such as Governor Martin O’Malley (MD) and Governor Jerry Brown (CA), continue to hike tax rates to cover the cost of wasteful government spending. Maryland, for example, has had 40 new taxes signed into law by Gov. O’Malley since he took office in 2007. The most oppressive of those taxes is the one being levied on rain.

    If you’re expecting a punch line from that last sentence, you’ll be waiting awhile, because it is no joke. Maryland is the only state in the country that taxes the amount of rain that falls …”

    For more see:
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/travisbrown/2014/01/03/when-it-rains-it-pours-tax-dollars-in-maryland/#7476eeea7c69

    • The punch line in Maryland is that the governor who replaced the reprehensible O’Malley is …. gasp …. a Republican. He just won a second (and final in Maryland) term. There is a lesson here for Virginia Republicans – stop being closet wealth transferring socialists and return to the roots of small government. Eventually even supposedly left leaning citizens get tired of being endlessly taxed by a government most see as somewhere between inefficient and wholly incompetent. As far as I can see, Jim Bacon and Steve Haner are the only two Virginia Republicans calling out Northam, et al for their pay and spray policies. Where are our elected Republicans on these matters? Sleeping off the latest Dominion-fueled bender under the table at Bookbinders?

    • Regarding my comment above, please know that just today, 2 hours ago, the Governor of Maryland proposed a huge $1 Billion dollar tax cut designed to help stop the massive outflow of retirees of means leaving Maryland for Florida, and other low tax states.

      The Washington Business Journal’s article on these tax cuts gets into Harry Hogan’s reasoning for the big tax reduction that tracks much of what has been recently said here at length on Bacon’s Rebellion. So, again, Beware Virginia!!!!!!

  6. Steve yeah i can see your point

  7. The problem with these “leftist style every time you turn around taxes, fees, and tolls” is their cumulative weight and oppression of citizens ability to function in daily life, save and get ahead financially. Such pervasive taxing, fees and charging regimes also assault the citizen’s ability and freedom to move around and move up in life and enjoy the fruits of their labor, and the lifestyle and quality of life that they earn and deserve.

    Hence, these “every time you turn around government taxes, fees, tolls and charges” punish most the poor and middle class. Suddenly for them everything slows down and seems harder to do. Meanwhile local public and private services often decline as everyone’s spirit, enthusiasm, and financial resources are drained out of their lives by an oppressive government.

    Of course these obstacles imposed by the state are compounded by the laws that Jim describes in his HB 1200: Another Small Business Shakedown post January 10, 2020.

    Here then, almost inevitably, local and state governments begin to take on a different cast, a kind of surly attitude towards its citizens that it should serve not oppose. Particularly small businesses might encounter longer and more complicated delays and impositions in getting permits and permissions of all sorts.

    Some citizens then even sense that their own government is trying to limit their success or put them out of business, and others fail to open new businesses given the obstacles their own government imposes on them.

    This happened in Maryland under Martin O’Malley. It was palpable.

    The good news is that the current governor Larry Hogan, an accomplished and longtime businessman himself, could so quickly turn so much of this miasma around, as if suddenly a depressive fog was lifted off of people’s lives.

  8. To better understand how highly destructive these “leftist style every time you turn around taxes, fees, and tolls” are to most people in the United State, we have to destroy many of the myths that the self interested elites peddle to their fellow American. For example, contrary to what so many in Virginia have told again and again,

    “The major geographic divide in Western democracies is not between urban and rural areas but between expensive hubs or urban cores where professionals and immigrant service workers cluster, on the one hand, and exurbs and satellite towns on the peripheries of metro areas, where most working class people find jobs and low-cost housing.

    Credentialed professionals are the most likely to move long distances to pursue careers in hub cities that specialize in particular sectors—Silicon Valley in tech, New York and London in finance, Los Angeles in entertainment. But it is a snobbish mistake to assume that people in “left behind” regions should simply “move to opportunity.” Why should members of the working class move? The jobs that are being created in the greatest numbers in the U.S., including home health aide, retail clerk and restaurant worker, do not require college degrees and can be done almost everywhere.

    Moreover, members of the working class are more likely to depend on relatives for child care and elder care, unlike affluent professionals, who can pay nannies or other child care or elder care workers, many of them low-wage immigrants. As Quoctrung Bai and Claire Cain Miller noted in a 2015 article in the New York Times, the average American lives within 18 miles of her mother, and 37% of Americans live in their hometowns, apart from periods of military service and education. More than half live in the states in which they were born.”

    For more see https://www.wsj.com/articles/saving-democracy-from-the-managerial-elite-11578672945?mod=searchresults&page=1&pos=1

    These are the people, the great majority in the United States, the nation’s working class, who, in addition to the poor, will be hurt the most, the longest, and in the most severe way, by these higher regressive “every time your turn around leftist taxes.”

    In fact these taxes ultimately will kill the American Dream for most people in America.

  9. Transportation, like Education and Health Care is not simple nor cheap.

    A major underpinning of urban areas as job centers is transportation.

    That may be changing in the era of internet and information but people and goods still need to move – be mobile.

    Modern transportation planning is all about data, analysis and modelling – and money to make what is needed – happen.

    There is never enough money – it’s all about priorities and cost-effectiveness.

    And increasingly, it’s about moving people – not cars.

    It does not preclude facilities for cars but it does not make them THE priority any more especially in urban areas and the exurban regionas around them.

    VRE commuter rail is going to add more trains and schedules.

    Plans are afoot to add capacity to the “Long Bridge” a major bottleneck for rail that affects VRE, CRX and Amtrak.

    The govt wants to have trains running from Richmond to Washington on an hourly basis.

    You cannot accomplish this with anti-tax attitudes. Investments are by their very nature, up-front money and O&M.

    Money spent on transportation is money spent on improving economy potential. Money not spent is letting the economy fail.

    There are zero alternatives to this in places like Washington. You might be able to shoehorn one or two connecting roads or add some lanes here and there but there is no physical way to increase net Network capacity. The land to do that would involve tearing down commercial and residential properties . Even rail involves taking property but the footprint is much smaller and it moves many more people especially at peak rush hour.

    What we are doing now in the DC region is trying to GET BACK what we have lost in terms of travel time!

    What I’d love to hear is an article on mass transit from DJR who is by all accounts a world traveler who has seen and probably used trains in other countries. How about it?

  10. Del. Delores McQuinn’s proposal would hurt most the very population she is intending to help. Among the group of regular posters on this blog who own a car, I bet that none of you think much about what you spend at the gas pump. I don’t. But I see many customers who carry in one $5 bill to the station, and fill with as much gas as that buys. That is their budget.

    Those in the taxed area would now leave the station with 2.8% less fuel, a pinch felt not at all by many, but felt by the poorest. The poorest may not own a car (ergo need for public transportation) but they have a buddy or family member who does, to whom they ante up gas money for an occasional or regular ride.

    • I agree with your comment. The evidence of our government’s growing intrusion into the lives of the poor and middle class of America, and the institutions that support them, and its adverse effects on citizens, is growing daily.

      The culprits are complex and pervasive, far beyond simply the cost of a gallon of gas, however important that is working people. It includes litanies of deeply intrusive regulations hindering everyday lives, endless impositions of taxes, costs, and fees (often hidden) on those lives, highly intrusive social engineering policies and prohibitions on those lives, as well as government assaults on peoples’ cultural traditions, and identities, belief and value systems, not to mention their families, places of worship, and wholesome communities, and the governments ongoing ignition of culture wars across the country that are tearing down our nations social fabric, and the operation of government itself.

    • To see evidence of these pertinacious affects of the leviathan states intrusion into people everyday lives, one only need follow the news. For example, see today’s Wall Journal to finds this article titled:

      “Heart Disease Roars Back” by Betsy Mckay and Paul O Verberg:

      COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.—Colorado is ranked as one of the nation’s healthiest states. It often doesn’t feel that way to David Rosenbaum. The Colorado Springs cardiologist regularly sees men and women in their 30s and 40s with heart problems, such as high blood pressure, an irregular heart rhythm, heart attacks. A visit from a young patient was rare when he started practicing there 17 years ago. Not anymore.

      “People say, oh, Colorado, we’re so healthy,” said Dr. Rosenbaum, who works for UCHealth, a not-for-profit health-care system. “Not so much.”

      Americans are dying of heart disease and strokes at a rising rate in middle age, normally considered the prime years of life. An analysis of U.S. mortality statistics by The Wall Street Journal shows the problem is geographically widespread. Death rates from cardiovascular disease among people between the ages of 45 and 64 are rising in cities all across the country, including in some of the most unlikely places.

      In the Journal’s analysis, three metro areas east of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains— Colorado Springs, Fort Collins and Greeley—recorded some of the biggest increases. Death rates in each rose almost 25%. The three cities boast robust access to exercise and health care. There are bike trails, good heart-disease treatment-and prevention programs and nearby skiing and hiking.

      They are also part of a booming urban corridor where new subdivisions, shopping centers and big-box stores are pushing into former ranch land and once open roads are becoming clogged with traffic as new residents move in. Like much of America, the region is undergoing changes that foster more stress and sedentary lifestyles.

      Other metro areas that ranked in the top 10 for death rate increases include Lexington- Fayette, Ky., with the biggest increase; Atlantic City-Hammonton, N.J.; and Kennewick-Richland, Wash. Large cities such as Denver are farther down the list,

      ‘It’s everywhere’

      The findings suggest that the underlying causes of cardiovascular disease are universal and difficult to address, public-health officials and doctors say. While the South and some other parts of the nation have perpetually high rates of death from heart disease and strokes, middle-aged cardiovascular death rates are rising even in places where those rates have been historically low.

      “It’s everywhere,” said Judy Hannan, senior adviser at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to Million Hearts, a federal initiative to prevent heart attacks and strokes.

      Health officials cite a number of factors threatening to rob Colorado of its historically healthy status. The state’s adult obesity and diabetes rates, though still the lowest in the nation, have risen over the past several years. High blood pressure, drug and alcohol use, stress and a lack of physical activity— even in an exercise-mad state—also play a role, they say. These factors also increase risk for people who are genetically disposed to heart disease, doctors say …” End quote.

      (See my comment above posted January 14, 2020 at 6:45 pm)

      And for ANOTHER EXAMPLE from today’s Wall Street Journal, see this article:

      “The Plot to Politicize Banking, By Phil Gramm And Michael Solon

      … Bank regulators started using the CRA in the mid-1990s to pressure banks to make subprime loans. Congress used quotas to force government- sponsored enterprises to buy these loans, and regulators set capital standards to induce banks to hold them. By 2008, roughly half of all outstanding U.S. mortgages were high-risk, as measured by down payments and creditworthiness. The federal government itself guaranteed, issued or held 76% of subprime loans. The term “subprime” originated from the implementation of the CRA.

      To curb this abuse and encourage sounder lending, the comptroller of the currency proposed new benchmarks last month to measure CRA compliance and require full reporting and accountability. His reforms represent an essential step toward relieving the pressure banks face to lend to politically favored, uncreditworthy entities—the policies that helped cause the subprime crisis. …

      While policy makers fight over CRA abuses, another effort is under way to politicize credit. This time, instead of steering credit to the favored uncreditworthy, activists want to deny credit to the disfavored creditworthy. Banking was used as a weapon against legal, solvent businesses by the Obama administration during Operation Choke Point, a program to deny the disfavored access to banking services. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. labeled certain businesses “high risk,” including firearms and ammunition dealers, check-cashers, payday lenders and fireworks vendors. Unelected regulators, not Congress or courts, marked these industries as “dirty business” and made it “unacceptable for an insured depository institution” to offer them banking services.

      The Trump administration ended Operation Choke Point. But some members of Congress have joined political activists in a new effort to block credit from going to legal, creditworthy enterprises through political intimidation. “There’s more than one way to skin a cat, and not everything has to be done through legislation explicitly” said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez last year …”

      For more on this WSJ article see https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-plot-to-politicize-banking-11579046350?mod=opinion_lead_pos5

      • I fail to see how the increase in heart disease and strokes in middle-aged people is evidence of “pertinacious affects of the leviathan states intrusion into people everyday lives”.

        • Your culture and identity, all you love, is a horrible thing to lose. Self destructive emotions, habits, lifestyles, wars ensue from bad government. Even the strongest are greatly challenged. Roger Scruton story is a harbinger of Loudon County’s future:

          “Reed Fawell 3rd | September 8, 2019 comment under Post Yup, Virginia Universities Discriminate Against Asians;

          “One day an invitation came to me, by word of mouth, to address an underground seminar in Prague. I accepted; as a result, I was brought into contact with people for whom the pursuit of knowledge and culture was not a dispensable luxury but a necessity. Nothing else could provide them with what they sought, which was an escape route from the world of lies by which they were surrounded. And by discussing the Western cultural heritage among themselves, they were marked out as heretics, who risked arrest and imprisonment merely for meeting as they did. Ironically, perhaps the greatest intellectual achievement of the Communist party was to convince people that Plato’s distinction between knowledge and opinion is a valid one, and that ideological opinion is not merely distinct from knowledge but the enemy of knowledge, the disease implanted in the human brain that makes it impossible to distinguish true ideas from false ones. That was the disease spread by the Party. And it was spread by Foucault, too. For it was Foucault who taught my colleagues to evaluate every idea, every argument, every institution, convention, or tradition in terms of the “domination” that it masks. Truth and falsehood had no real significance in Foucault’s world; all that mattered was power.

          These issues had been brought into sharp relief for the Czechs and Slovaks by ­Václav Havel’s essay “The Power of the Powerless” (1978), enjoining his compatriots to “live in truth.” How could they do that, if they were unable to distinguish the true from the false? And how could they distinguish the true from the false without the benefit of real culture and real knowledge? Hence the search for those things had become urgent. And the price of that search was high—harassment, arrest, deprivation of ordinary rights and privileges, and a life on the margins of society. When something has a high moral price, only committed people will pursue it. I therefore found, in the underground seminars, a unique student body—people dedicated to ­knowledge, as I understood it, and aware of the ease and the danger of replacing knowledge with mere opinion. Moreover, they were looking for knowledge in the place where it is most necessary and also hardest to find—in philosophy, history, art, and literature, in the places where critical understanding, rather than scientific method, is our only guide. And what was most interesting to me was the urgent desire among all my new students to inherit what had been handed down to them. They had been raised in a world where all forms of belonging, other than submission to the ruling Party, had been marginalized or denounced as crimes. They understood instinctively that a cultural heritage is precious, precisely because it offers a rite of passage into the thing that you truly are and the community of feeling that is yours.

          There was another winsome feature of the underground seminars, which is that their intellectual resources were so sparse. Academics in the West are obliged to publish articles and books if they are to advance in their careers, and in the years since the Second World War this had led to a proliferation of literature that, if not always second-rate from the intellectual point of view, has almost invariably been without literary merit—stodgy, cluttered with footnotes, without telling imagery or turns of phrase, and both ephemeral in content and impossible to ignore. The weight of this pseudo-literature oppresses both teachers and students in the humanities, and it is now all but impossible to unearth the classics that lie buried beneath it.

          I sometimes think that the greatest service to our culture was done by the person who set fire to the library at Alexandria, …” END Quote:

          For more of article written by Roger Scruton in First Things (April, 2015) please go t0:

          https://www.firstthings.com/article/2015/04/the-end-of-the-university

          • Reed Fawell 3rd

            This is why the health problems of students at elite universities all over America, particularly the mental and emotional health of young women, have skyrocketed off the charts in the past two decades, due in significant part to Leftist professors and Administrators, their highly intrusive ideologies they impose on students.

            But this carnage of humans and their cultures has been going on elsewhere, on rampages, since the 1920s.

            For example, last time I looked the life expectancy of Russian men was 59 years. And Russia’s birthrate is among the lowest in the world. Same thing is beginning to happen here, among our working class particularly, over past decade.

          • Reed Fawell 3rd

            The key is that carnage, and gross dysfunction has and still is happening mostly in leftist states.

        • Dick:

          I would turn that around. Given the leviathan state we have why are more middle aged people dying of heart disease in Colorado (and presumably elsewhere). If we keep paying an ever larger share of our income to the leviathan state then shouldn’t we eventually see some returns from this growing stream of payments?

          I personally believe that processed food (often containing high fructose corn syrup) is a big part of the problem. Since Dec 2, 2019 I have made a consistent and concerted effort to avoid eating any processed food. Given how much I travel (I am in Ukraine right now) this has been hard. How do I know whether a basket of bread offered in a restaurant contains added sugar or not? I don’t. Not in the US, not in Ukraine, not in Mexico. So, I don’t eat the bread. Over the six weeks I have been avoiding processed food I have lost weight (which was unintended and done without really trying) and feel remarkably different. Like night and day. My suspicion is that people living in exurbs and suburbs who are taxed to death (perhaps literally) by the levithian state to fund the growing socialist goals of the state are busier than ever commuting on transportation systems operating with too little capacity and working extra hours to pay their swelling tax burden. They have little time to spend searching for healthy food. The leviathan government fails them in three ways:

          1. Leftist politicians would rather buy votes through wealth distributing socialism than spend money on mundane things like keeping the transportation systems up to snuff. This elongates commutes and prevents middle class workers from having time to exercise.
          2. The surge in visible and invisible taxes and fees means middle class workers must spend more time at work in order to remain middle class and avoid becoming wards of the state. This elongates workdays and prevents middle class workers from having time to exercise.
          3. In order to curry favor with a class of special interests called large food processors the leviathan state is ineffective in demanding accurate and easy to understand labeling of food. This makes it much harder for middle class people to even know what’s healthy and what’s not.

          Margaret Thatcher once famously said that the trouble with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money. In the US we seem to have taken it further. We are running out of other people’s lives.

    • Perhaps – but I suspect who a lot of her votes come from and I don’t see them voting her out over this if she is proposing things that she obviously think her voters want.

      The cars versus mass transit, buses, argument has been going on for a long time and continues but most urban areas push for transportation beyond the car.

      I see low-income folks in a local food pantry. Most of them have older cars , dinged up, but they carpool … we see 4 of them sharing one car to pick up their food. I don’t think that is uncommon. Low income folks share rides and the riders often throw in a couple bucks.

      THe thing that kills them nowdays is when something breaks and it’s $450 dollars to repair and ironically, it’s the State’s Annual inspections that play in to some of that and yes I can see the “con” side of that argument.

      I think the 2% thing is more of a concern of the anti-taxers than the poor to be honest.

  11. Seems like if you REALLY want to help the poor, and are against regulation and in favor of libertarian policies -one would support doing away with state inspections.

    The poor would like it! 😉

  12. No, the state should inspect people’s cars and issue all related permits free of charge while taking citizens no less that half an hour to process.

    Plus the state should refrain from destroying peoples jobs, their families, their school education, their work and responsibility ethics, their energy affordability, their long established cultures and traditions, their values and their beliefs, their religions and their neighborhoods, along with their children, all of which support systems are critical to peoples health, their wealth, their independence and happiness.

    • For example, politicians today, most particularly all leftists, use identity politics working outside and within the state, to destroy many critical support systems that people need to maintain their health, wealth and independence.

      Those politician use these harsh, destructive tactics to manipulate citizens so as to gain and keep control over citizens and their government. Thus politicians strip the American people of their power, competence, possessions and freedom.

  13. Why wouldn’t Delores McQuinn try to make this a civil rights issue? We have a governor who is a racist descended from a long line of slave owning racists. He’s been caught as an adult in egregious racist behavior and has lied about it. Now he wants to try to resurrect his image (and perhaps his political career) through woke virtue signaling. If you want his support on something make it a civil rights issue. If I were trying to sell blueberry pies to the cafeteria in the Clown Show building I’d claim my pies somehow righted some racial wrong from the past.

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