novatownhall blog

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Browsing Posts in term limits

Who would of thunk it?  What bothers me is the party-line politics.  Dems want more money for teaching and health care (duh) as well more money for Dulles Rail.  The problem seemed to be to stave off higher tolls (which pay for transportation) so not to enrage the using public.  Isn’t that how things work?  If you price a service too much, people won’t use the service which, in turn, means you must come down to earth and make reasonable steps for a happy medium.  In other words–reign in reckless spending.  Every extraction avenue has its tipping point.  Same with Loudoun taxpayers having to pony up for this ridiculous Dulles Rail non-usage scam that is being shoved down our throats by an inept and unseeing BOS.  Oh, and the Dem congress in Richmond wanted more committee assignments.  Just like they gave the GOP the last couple of elections.  What a bunch of cry babies.

My issue stands with these “party politic” lines.  Cliques, like in school where you have the over achievers, cheerleaders, jocks, nerds, etc.  Cliques stagnate everything.  Where are those free thinkers that don’t care what others think but are comfortable with their beliefs and faith.  The black sheep of the flock (not necessarily a bad thing) that stand out BECAUSE it isn’t about belonging or being pressured by the group but it is about individual beliefs.  How can that be injected back into political positions?  You know, true civil servants that see the aspect and duty of their appointment?

We have a budget.  Great.  Politicking for the next election is always an ongoing process.  We have new talking points for/against a party.  More mud, innuendo, lies, disparity.  Term limits, limited sessions, reduction in pay, prohibitions of post all seem to be things that need to come of age so we don’t have the same horseshit year after year after year.  And it needs to start at both ends of the spectrum-federal and local-so it will end in the middle; state.  And I do believe the state has the most burden, mantle of importance, and rights of them all.  Oh, sorry.  I left out HOA’s!  I’m truly laughing hard here.

Scott York now claims he can’t debate his opponent in Leesburg tonight.  And why? 

According to his campaign…

(1) the York campaign already has an important event scheduled with prospective delegates on the same evening, and no desire to cut short Scott’s participation to rush to a debate that was scheduled with knowledge of the Reid-York event; and
(2) the York campaign’s focus this week is on recruitment of delegates to the Republican Convention prior to the deadline this Sunday.

Sounds plausible, but let’s do the math.  The York/Reid event starts at 5pm, in Leesburg.  The Chairman’s debate starts at 8pm, in Leesburg.   What follows is the official announcement, received from loudoungop.com:

Reception for
Ken Reid for Leesburg District Supervisor  

Guest Speaker: Scott York, Chairman, Loudoun County Board of Supervisors

Date: July 7th
Time: 5:00 – 7:00 PM
Location: Exeter HOA Clubhouse
Battlefield Parkway
and Plaza Street NE
Leesburg, VA 20175

OK, so an event where Scott is a guest speaker runs to 7pm.  The Chairman’s portion of the debate starts at 8pm. 

Can Scott do it?  Let’s consult with Google maps…

Leesburg to Leesburg

Google maps says Scott needs to cover 2.3 miles in one hour.  Google maps estimates an 8 minute trip. 

Is traffic THAT bad in Leesburg?  Even if the recommended path is a bit slow, two alternatives are offered.  

Maybe Scott is waiting for his Big Dig, er, the Silver Line to take him there…

I absolute get irratated when liberals espouse everything they don’t know…..which is everything they say.  I’m surprised this hasn’t shown up yet but here it is for your enjoyment.  The education system gets an F for passing this twit.  The state of New York gets an F for being a flock of sheep and re-electing this twit.  The mainstream media gets an F for not berating this twit as they have no problem doing with conservatives.  And Schumer gets in F for not catching this and publicly announcing “I am a twit!”

Just one of those “life’s little treasure” moments.  No wonder none of the rest of the world takes us seriously!

HOUSE BILL NO. 971 is a sales tax. This bill is most egregious in that is a plan for future spending, when the economy is back on its feet. The bill targets fuel use. It will collected as part of the sales tax and will be buried in the price of other items sold through vending machines; as such the sponsors are attempting for this new levy to be a hidden tax. The bill in its totality is here.

In addition to the sales tax imposed pursuant to § 58.1-603, there is hereby levied and imposed in each county and city embraced by the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority established under § 15.2-4830, a retail sales tax at the rate of 0.50 percent.

The bill reenacts § 58.1-604.1 and § 58.1-608.3, with the former stating:

Use tax on motor vehicles, machinery, tools and equipment brought into Virginia for use in performing contracts.

with the later being the vehicle for setting aside the taxes for application to …

any public facility or to extensions or additions to any public facility

This is not even a targeted tax that will set aside money for roads. Apparently we need more firehouses with Greco-Roman columns like the one near Purceville off of RT7?

That Rust and May sponsored/wrote this mess is not a surprise. The only good thing about Rust is that he is not Stevens Miller. Kory and Watts, both of Fairfax, both Democrats, also cosponsored this bill. What is a surprise is that our freshman delegate Tag Greason voted for this bill. The vote on the committee was:

YEAS–Orrock, Lohr, Greason, Pollard, Englin, Abbott–6.
NAYS–Cline, Cole, Gear, Marshall, R.G.–4.
ABSTENTIONS–0.
NOT VOTING–Johnson–1

Of the five delegates who represent Loudoun county, three are on the wrong side of this issue, and one is not involved. This is the kind of thing that crushed Republicans in the 2006 and 2008 election cycles. Republicans start acting like Democrats and forgot that the money belongs to the people. VA is in a financial hole not because we tax too little, but because we spend too much. When growth in the budget exceeds growth in the economy, the end result is deficits.

The real trouble with our state and federal government is the spending. New taxes are not fiscally responsible as the proponents of such legislation would contend. This is akin to providing an alcoholic with a full bottle of whiskey and calling it responsible because, “Now he won’t drive as badly as he would if he were suffering from withdrawal.” I also have a bridge to sell to anyone who is willing to buy it.

Our legislators are addicted to spending. Taxes are just a means to this end. We must target the spending and reduce it; then the current taxes collected will suffice. If the legislators are able to cut the budget, current revenues will exceed our needs. The size of government relative to GDP is far too large already. People in VA are tightening their belts, so must Richmond. It has been done elsewhere, 34 states are cutting their budgets. We are raising taxes. What is wrong with this picture?

The people we elect, be they Republican or Democrat, must realize that the total size of government must be reduced. To paraphrase the politics of the 90′s, “It’s the spending, stupid.” To reduce spending takes far more courage than it does to levy a new tax that will not take effect for several years, as HB971 does …

no provision of the first enactment, except adding § 30-134.1 to the Code of Virginia, shall become effective until the first day of the third month following six consecutive months in which the unemployment rate in the Commonwealth is equal to or lower than it was in January 2008

It will be a while before this tax is enacted, but it will be a thorn in our sides when it goes into effect. Are the sponsors and supporters of this bill counting on the electorate to forget who foisted this new expense upon them? Why push a bill that is in effect a plan for future government expansion, when the size of government is too big already? Are not fiscal conservatives for smaller government? Is not Tag Greason touted as a fiscal conservative?

An argument that it is a tax that will not go into effect now, but, will wait for good times to return (thereby not harming Virginians) does not hold water. Such a tax will hurt us when it does take effect. Most importantly such a tax will be used to fuel further growth in government and allow for more spending. The end result will be an even larger financial hangover when the lean times return.

The deficits we run today were born years ago when the economy was doing well. The economy expanded and so did the size of our government. Instead of maintaining the level of services, which already were too profligate, the government took the opportunity to grow. The government grew faster than the economy and now in the lean times we are saddled with crushing debt and deficits.

Voting to increase taxes — even if they are in the far future, possibly after Tag retires from politics — is not why the people of Loudoun sent Greason to Richmond. Target the spending Mr Greason. All spending has constituencies that will protect it. It takes far more courage to slay the dragon than it does to feed it.

Tag’s platform touted fiscal conservatism and keeping VA business friendly. HB971 is not fiscal conservatism; HB971 is not business friendly legislation. Forget the lipstick folks, this bill is a pig. Tag is new to Richmond and we have great hopes for him here in Loudoun. Mistakes happen, and this vote was a mistake Tag.

Election Reform

23 comments

There are two major problems with political campaigns these days.  The first is outside money.  To fix that problem, campaign finance laws should allow only voters registered to vote in the election in which a candidate is running, to contribute to that campaign.  No PACs, no Unions, no corporations.  Only registered voters.  Furthermore, to prevent any hint of “buying a candidate,” all contributions must go through a central clearinghouse and are then disbursed anonymously to the candidates.  Joe Shlabotnik can tell the candidate that he donated $1000, but there would be no way to verify that assertion.

The second problem is incumbency.  Incumbent congresscritters have a significant advantage over challengers.  Term limits are not the answer, because that would restrict voters’ choices, and they may actually have a popular, competent congresscritter.

Now that you have stopped laughing….  Party members are often reluctant to challenge a powerful party member in a primary, and such primary challengers have as difficult a time as general-election challengers do, and perhaps worse.  After all, rarely can one argue policy in a primary, and the challenger obviously has less experience than the incumbent.  So one must argue incompetence.  Well, incompetent compared to what, other politicians?  That’s not a big yard-stick.

Then, in the general election, people tend to vote along party lines, even if their current congresscritter is incompetent, they would rather have an incompetent congresscritter with whom they agree than a competent one with whom they do not agree.

The solution is to insert a no-confidence vote.  If a candidate loses the no-confidence vote, he cannot run for re-election.  The congresscritter’s party will choose another candidate for the general election.

I heard an advertisement on the radio recently … for what I do not know, but it mentioned the Democans and the Repulicrats. Both of them fitting monikers for the parties that used to have principles. It used to be that Democrats were all about the little guy, well at least that is what they purported to be, and would not compromise on issues to the little guy. The Republicans used to be idologically conservative and would not compromise either moral or fiscal conservativism — the party started over the idea of slavery being wrong, and it only recently backed off there are real morals that need to be encouraged within society.

Both parties are lost and wayward at this point. Democrats have long since abandoned the Southern  core of their party in favor of the coastal extremes. The Republican have long since abandoned the ideology of morals are more important than victories. The only thing either party considers is how to get “their people” elected, and who cares about any issue.

I do.

I think a lot of people actually care about issues as well, and neither party serves those people any more. Neither party seems to care about the people they know they feel have no option but to vote for them. I haven’t voted for a presidential candidate in a very long time. I probably did vote for Reagan, and considering the victory of the cold war, I think that was probably a good thing. He stood for things that I could stand behind. I have not voted for a president since.

It is a tragic thing that the parties think winning is more important than ideology. Power more important than principle. Both have adulterated their historic positions in order to either obtain or to keep power. Some of the reason is that we have a government that supports essentially just two parties. The way the government works, we could not have five or six parties that have to form coillisions in order to govern.

The few minor parties that are out there have zero power. The libertarians are a joke, the green party an after thought. Those that support them throw away their votes. The Repulicrats and the Democans depend on that fact, and that people want their vote to count — so they can push what neither “core” group wants, and still win elections.

I’m not sure that anything can change that. It certainly isn’t what the Republicrats or the Democans want … they want power, and they certainly don’t want that power structure to change to limit their power. Yet I have to believe that is what our founding fathers intended (including the “gentleman/statesman” as the model for elected official, which is no longer the case.)

To get back to that kind of model, a radical thing would have to occur … the constitution would have to be changed so that nobody could make a living from being a politician … and that nobody that did not have to make a living could remain in politics for more than say, ten years (you don’t want the independantly wealthy to be able to just stay in politics even if they don’t need to make a living).

Reagan thought term limits were a bad idea at the end of his second term … but I would propose that term limits for *every* politician should be enforced, and that a politician could not serve a total of more than 20 years (though no more than 12 years in any office). It would totally change Washington … a lot more than what Obama will change Washington. If working as an elected official had no better pay than the mean salary of the country, it would also make term limits have teeth. Public servant would mean just that: to serve the public for the public’s good, not because it was a good paying job.