Friday, April 15, 2011


It's going to get ugly folks. Very, very ugly. The Wall Street Journal this morning called Obama's speech "toxic." And so it was. It raised spectres of horrific imagery, likethe sick dying without care, the infrastructure crumbling, and the appearance of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man if Republicans had their way. This in response to the flat out and realistic claims by Republicans that if we do not seriously curtail spending and reign in the debt, that we face a national collapse.

Republican proposals are insufficient to the current task, but are the best possible until 2013. At least, however, they address the debt. Obama's ideas would slightly cut the deficit, but allow the debt to continue to grow. But the speech revealed Democratic Party plans for next year. All out class warfare. If you make over $250,000 per year and you feel like you already pay enough taxes, prepare to be vilified as unpatriotic. This will happen even if it is your business that grosses over that much and your net is far, far less.

The West Virginia gubernatorial election could be a bell cow for next year's national races. It will not be if Earl Ray Tomblin wins the Democratic nomination, since he is already campaigning on the idea of lower taxes. He and the GOP choice will disagree on degrees of difference more so than basic principles. If one of the others wins the nomination, they may try to ride the coattails of the emerging class warfare strategy, even while distancing themselves from the extremely unpopular president, and it could get rough by next fall. That all being said, as the Democratic Party moves farther left while failing to address basic economic concerns, they risk losing West Virginia to the Republican column in state elections as well as registrations. West Virginia's race will most likely be more civil, but expect an attempted bloodletting at the national level. Hopefully it will be the last gasp of the radical Left. A loss by them in 2012 will convince the party men and women that moderate is better.

By the way, happy tax day.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Savyla Yoder and Sally Burnside

Keyser lost two wonderful individuals in the past week who worked very hard to better their community in different ways. Both died tragically as a result of automobile accidents.

I only met Sally Burnside, the former city councilwoman, a few times. She always struck me as a woman who cared very much and worked very hard for the people of Keyser. Sally believed that her city had a bright future and did what she could in and out of the council chamber to advance it. Any time that I ever had a concern, Sally was always available to answer questions and try to help. And she was not done, either. She told me when she retired that she intended to stay connected with Republican politics and continue to work for the betterment of the area. Her experience and enthusiasm will be sorely missed.

You might not have known Savyla. She was a wonderful Keyser High School senior who was a friend of my daughter and her boyfriend. Even though Savyla was only in high school, she earnestly believed that her efforts could help make her community a better place. She worked hard to help build up Christian youth groups, organize trips to events, and assist local pastors in spreading the Gospel. If the dictionary had a picture of "Good Christian," it would be Savyla. She believed with her full heart that Jesus Christ had the answers to the questions that afflicted this area. Her funeral at First Baptist was the first event, so its preacher said, that had ever filled up that church. Keyser lost two of its best in the past week. Their families need everyone's prayers.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"I Can Afford to Pay More"

That was Obama's statement about raising taxes on those who make over $250,000 per year. He can pay more. Good for you, Mr. President. I am glad that being a community organizer was so profitable for you that you can afford to pay more taxes. I have worked on community organizing projects before. I can assure you that that work cost me and others that organized it, rather than paid us. So I am glad that you managed to eke out over $250,000 from that. What you still don't get, or don't care about, is that small businesses and entrepreneurs file personal forms because it is easier. When you say earners over $250,000, you include businesses that have overhead and bottom lines, not just extremely wealthy community organizers. Your tax hikes will destroy jobs and convince others that being your own boss just does not pay in America. This was not a plan. Obama still just wants to cut the deficit. His deficit cut proposals are not even enough to reduce the growth of the national debt. Sorry Obama, you still don't get it, do you? The Republican plan advanced by Paul Ryan actually does address the debt, but it still does not go far enough. We must radically re-evaluate what we expect of government. We must cut our expectations of government more. No more wasteful research into pig farts. No more subsidies for big oil, abortions, or NPR and PBS. No more Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. No more of a lot of stuff. The Ryan plan did propose that taxes be cut to a 25% ceiling while eliminating loopholes. This would raise revenue, but Obama can't have the loopholes eliminated for his friends. Yes this is an angry column today. But the man either just doesn't get it, or he is willing to let the nation slide into insolvency, banking that it will happen after he is done.

Monday, April 11, 2011

We Need Transparency In State Government

Transparency in government is important and necessary. When they spend the people's money, the people need to know where it is going. National security, within reason, is an exception. Representative Ron Paul and Senator Rand Paul have gone after the Federal Reserve to figure out what they have done with our money. There's no reason to hide how it is spent.

Transparency has come up on the state level as well. Delegate Rick Snuffer, a former Republican candidate for Congress, has blasted Acting Governor Tomblin and the State Legislature. State law allows only 1% of the $11.4 billion budget to be unassigned or unclassified. This year's budget leaves nealy a third of the budget unassigned, almost 3,000% above and beyong the specifications of the law.

It would be one thing if the state had to list at some point how the unassigned funds were paid out. Snuffer states that over a billion dollars in some years get paid out without knowledge of the money's destination.

This is an issue where Snuffer should get the backing of Tennant and other Democratic contenders for the office of governor. With a third of the budget unassigned, Tomblin could conceivably steer funds in directions that could benefit his campaign. It leaves a good impression when the governor shows up in person with a few thousand dollars for your town's senior center. I'm not saying he'll do it, but the situation leaves too much temptation.

Snuffer has held off on filing a lawsuit pending a meeting with Tomblin.

Here is a link to the budget votes. You can probably tell that it was almost entirely party line, Democrats in favor and Republicans against. It's obvious that Republicans and some responsible Democrats are continuing to campaign for transparency in government. And we, as taxpayers, always deserve to know.We should congratulate the Legislature for taking some baby steps towards making the state economy more friendly to taxpayers and business. The food tax dropped to 2% and the corporate franchise income tax was lowered as well. These are baby steps though, and fall well short of the drastic reforms needed to make West Virginia business friendly.