Thursday, June 26, 2008

Obama vs. McCain- Change is Certain with New Policies, Experience and Judgement.

by Steven Thomas
Spotsylvania Republican
It seems to me that there are three things- and only three things- that count in having a good President: Policies, Experience and Judgement.

On policies, several things impress me about this race. One is that nearly every major policy proposal that has come out of this presidential campaign came from John McCain. Two of Obama's very few policy proposals are very Socialist in nature- government takeover of health care and government takeover of oil refineries. That's Socialism- and didn't we already learn
that doesn't work?

McCain will drill for more oil domestically while incentivizing more alternative energy and technology. He'll keep taxes low in a time of economic trouble, which is generally a wise idea. And he'd support General Petreus' winning strategy in Iraq- a man he's at least met, while Obama has not. McCain has given us the list of solutions to today's issues that you'd expect out of someone who'd run for major office more than once. Obama just seems to stand on a street corner and keep shouting "change". This makes me curious as to what precisely this "change" will mean to me in very concrete terms.

On experience- no contest. On one hand you have a senator first elected in 1984 who was also a War Hero and a Congressman and who serves on numerous important committees, having chaired several. It is also his second run for the presidency. He also has a seasoned track record of reaching across the aisle to get things done and takes very moderate positions on wide variety
of issues, ranging from campaign finance reform to taxes. On the other hand, you have a first-term senator who has never been re-elected to his own office, following his first-ever victory in a statewide election. He hasn't even completed 1/2 of his first term, chairs no committees and votes with his party leadership 100% of the time, when he bothers to vote (which is not often). He has authored exactly one piece of legislation on a very minor issue in three years in the Senate. Woe be to our country if this is deemed sufficient experience to competently govern one of the largest countries on Earth.

Finally, we have judgement. Obama votes with his party 100% of the time. He went back on his promise to abide by public financing rules, the first candidate in 30 years to do so. He not only voted against a bill banning partial birth abortions (a position supported by 75% of Americans) but he recently said that he'd counsel his daughters to have abortions rather than "punish them with a child". Punish them? And then you have the whole Rev. Wright issue. This guy is not only out of the American mainstream, but one has to seriously question his judgement on a consistent basis just from what we've seen so far.

We have seen the problem with a president who is blindly loyal, has no combat experience, is fiercely partisan and very vague on substance- are we ready to trade in the George W. Bush of the right for the George W. Bush of the left? I would say not. Obama has all of the character problems the current President has, except he's coming from a far left position. And this is change no-one can believe in. Even my wife, a hard-core Hillary supporter, is voting for Mac. And bringing together people is exactly what President McCain will do.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Pelosi & US House Democrats Block US Offshore Drilling for Oil! McCain Calls for End to Prohibited US Energy

By H. Josef Herbert
House Democrats failed Tuesday to resurrect a bill to punish price gouging at the gas pump, while maneuvering to block Republican attempts to expand offshore drilling, an idea gaining in popularity amid $4-a-gallon gas prices.

Action on legislation that would assure continuation of the ban on oil and natural gas drilling in most of the country's coastal waters was put off until later this summer after it became increasingly clear that Republican lawmakers may have the votes to lift the drilling moratorium.

As Democrats prepared a string of energy proposals before lawmakers depart for the July 4 holiday recess, Republicans charged that they were being blocked from getting a vote on whether to end the ban on offshore oil and gas drilling.

Last week GOP presidential candidate John McCain as well as President Bush called for ending the blanket prohibition on energy development over 80 percent of the country's offshore waters. Republicans contend that the offshore bans should be ended to allow for more domestic oil and gas production, an argument that has gained support with $130-a-barrel oil raising the cost of everything from food to air travel.

The House Appropriations Committee has postponed consideration of an Interior Department spending bill that included continuation of the offshore drilling ban. Republicans had prepared a proposal that would have ended the ban and allowed oil and gas development 50 miles from shore in all U.S. coastal waters.

BPOL Tax; Bad for Stafford County, Bad for Businesses, Bad for Tax Coffers

by Al King, Spotsy GOP Treasurer, as read in
The Free Lance-Star 06/24/08

BPOL Tax means Lower Value, Fewer Profits, Fewer Jobs

THE STAFFORD Board of Supervisors is considering adoption of a Business, Professional, and Occupational License (BPOL) tax. This is a tax on gross receipts with no deductions and must be paid even if the business is losing money. Certainly there are pros and cons with regard to any tax. Proponents view BPOL as an untapped source of revenue. Opponents regard it as unfair, since even the unprofitable must pay.

Often overlooked in the debate is the impact of the BPOL tax on the value of individual businesses within the county. The value of a business often has to be determined for gift and estate taxes, and for the potential sale of the business. Adoption of the proposed BPOL tax will immediately lower the value of every business currently located in Stafford County.

This lower value might be desirable when paying estate taxes, but certainly will be unwelcome by any current owner contemplating selling his or her business to a new owner. The reason is simple and clear.

The value of any business today is based on future cash flow and profits it will generate. If a BPOL tax is adopted in Stafford, the approximately $4 million-plus of anticipated total revenue must come out of the owners' profits. Common sense suggests that the selling prices of goods and services in Stafford have to be competitive with those in other nearby localities. So adoption of the BPOL tax will not permit business owners simply to raise prices to offset the new tax. Instead the tax payments will directly reduce net profits.

Since the value of a business is a multiple of anticipated profits, and just as night follows day, the values will drop upon imposition of the new tax. The proposed BPOL has five different rates applied to gross receipts, depending on the nature of the business.

Wholesalers will pay $.025 per $100 of gross income, while professional services (doctors, lawyers, and accountants) will have to pay $.18 per $100 of revenue.

Based on the total revenue assumption of $4 million of total collections in Stafford, the net worth of business owners, taken in total, will immediately go down some $18 million at the proposed tax level. But there's an even greater potential for loss of value. A majority of Stafford County's supervisors have indicated a willingness to adopt BPOL rates that are one-half of the maximum allowed by the commonwealth. Should they decide in the future to raise those rates to the maximum, total business valuation losses could rise to more than $37 million.

Now, Stafford County residents who are not business owners may not feel much sympathy for those who are. This, however, is very shortsighted. Small businesses generate the majority of new jobs throughout the country. Stafford has been particularly favored as a site for new businesses, and one reason is that--unlike its neighbors--the county so far has not had a BPOL tax. Were the tax to be adopted, there would be no reason for new businesses to locate in Stafford, to enjoy lower operating costs and, hence, higher business values. Instead, the tax benefit will have disappeared, with a concomitant decrease in the propensity of new businesses to locate there.

It should always be remembered that business decisions are based on the margin, not on averages. Right now, Stafford County enjoys a competitive advantage, and this has shown up in the number of relatively new businesses located there. Giving up this competitive advantage means that in Stafford's future there will be fewer new businesses, and fewer employment opportunities.

As a resident of Spotsylvania County, which does have a BPOL tax, in theory I should welcome the downgrading of Stafford to our level. But as a believer in competition, as long as Stafford does not have a BPOL tax this will continue to put pressure on the Spotsylvania Board of Supervisors to keep our taxes low. I would rather see Stafford maintain its competitive advantage because in the long run those of us in Spotsylvania will come out ahead.

-Al King lives in Spotsylvania County and has 40 years' experience as a business appraiser.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

New RPV Chairman: Jeff Frederick!

Here are the unconfirmed vote results of the RPV Chairman's race between Former Lt. Gov. Chairman John Hager and challenger Del. Jeff Frederick.

The results were never officially announced due to Chairman Hager's announcement that he would concede the race in advance of the results being called for. Considering a race had just ended between Gilmore and Marshall with the split being about a car load worth of votes, this was a nailbiter kind of day, and a bitterly fought campaign between the two chairman candidates.

Chairman-elect Frederick should bring a breath of fresh air to the old-guard mentality of the party. I for one am looking forward to some fresh ideas and new blood.

I pray this is the catalyst for change and a rallying point around new membership statewide. I know our county GOP board is working hard to bring new people into the party and expand our base. i hope you are doing YOUR part in bringing a friend to the next meeting too!

The unofficial, unconfirmed results I was given are as follows:

1st District : 579 - 544 Frederick
2nd District : 534 - 422 Hager
3rd District : 117 - 85 Hager
4th District : 426 - 275 Frederick
5th District : 576 - 508 Frederick
6th District : 772 - 285 Frederick
7th District : 908 - 709 Hager
8th District : 176 - 125 Frederick
9th District : 492 - 394 Frederick
10th District : 593 - 154 Frederick
11th District : 1267 - 433 Frederick

Total: 10,374 delegate votes= 6,097 Frederick (58.8%) v. 4,277 Hager (41.2%)