McDonnell breaks two promises to conservatives in the same dayPolicy

While Bearing Drift generally appreciates the leadership of Gov. Bob McDonnell, yesterday certainly strained that perception.

McDonnell capitulated to the extreme left on Sen. Jill Vogel’s very sound bill to give women the opportunity to see a sonogram (a sonogram that is likely to be performed anyway, according to Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Federation).

To put this into perspective, following McDonnell’s decision, the hysterical left went from complaining about “transvaginal” ultrasounds to “transabdominal” ultrasounds.

Really?

Proving, once again, there is no pleasing the left on their holy grail issue: abortion. McDonnell needed to stick to his guns and support the General Assembly and folks like us on Bearing Drift who have been out here daily fighting for the rights of those who cannot protect themselves.

By the way, where was RPV in all this?

But what almost got lost in yesterday’s fiasco brought on by the governor, is this little bit of news:

The House of Delegates Finance Committee approved amendments today authorizing the state to require an out-of-state seller, with distribution facilities or other related entities in the state, to collect sales taxes on the sale of goods to in-state purchasers, without regard to the location of the seller, on September 1, 2013, or on or before January 1, 2014 if federal legislation is enacted, to level the playing field for all sellers with a later effective date. Thus, this agreement negotiated with Amazon requires certain online retailers to collect the sales and use tax in the same manner as a bricks and mortar retailer. The tax an online retailer will now begin to collect will relieve Virginians of their current obligation to self-report consumer use tax on their tax return. This new law simply requires collection of the existing tax at the point of sale.

So, seriously, how many people self-report the sales tax on their income tax form?

Reading the press release, everyone seemed to put on a good show – Amazon, Sen. Frank Wagner, Virginia retailers, the governor – all were pleased with the arrangement.

“We were very happy to announce in December that Amazon would be opening two fulfillment centers in Virginia, investing a total of $135 million and creating more than 1,350 jobs. This is great news and we look forward to the growing partnership between Amazon and the state in the years ahead. At the same time, we also continue to work towards keeping Virginia the best place in America to do business. The amendments made today to SB597 will bring sound economic policy to Virginia and addresses the concerns of all interested parties. It is also proof that, by working together, we can find solutions that ensure that businesses, whether it’s traditional retailers or online companies, continue to be able to grow and thrive in the Commonwealth. I thank every stakeholder in this issue for their time, diligence, and collaboration to ensure that our business policies in Virginia continue to be fair and sound. This bill helps to ensure that online retailers with a physical presence in Virginia are treated the same as traditional brick and mortar retailers who are already required to collect and remit existing sales taxes on goods sold in the Commonwealth,” said McDonnell.

Amazon’s Vice President of Global Policy, Paul Misener, added, “Amazon is very grateful to Governor McDonnell for his focus on Virginia jobs and for his efforts to work with other governors toward national resolution of the sales tax issue this year.”

Senator Frank Wagner (R-Virginia Beach), patron of SB597, stated, “As Black Friday and Cyber Monday have shown in recent years, the internet retail sector is a fully developed and thriving member of the community of retail merchants. I’m glad to have sponsored this legislation that provides a level playing field for both brick and mortar retailers as well as those on the internet. I’m also glad that all parties came to the table to help move forward this important legislation.”

Rob Shinn with the Virginia Alliance for Main Street Fairness representing a coalition of hundreds of Virginia retailers noted, “We are extremely pleased with the agreement. Today’s announcement is a significant step toward tax fairness for the retail community by ensuring the same rules apply to all retailers doing business in Virginia.”

Once again, intellectual dishonesty from conservatives. How can you say with a straight face that this will not raise taxes on consumers?

When I hear the words like “fairness” and “level playing field” coming from politicians, there’s usually a D after their name.

No sense in debating the merits of the bill because it looks like the train has already left the station – although it does rely still on federal action. Yet, the governor need not worry – if politicians, especially at the federal level, can secure a new revenue stream, they’ll take it.

I’m just disappointed that a governor who was elected on not raising taxes and protecting the unborn has, on the same day, broken both promises.

George Allen lost in 2006 because he was focusing on 2008 – not because of some manufactured web controversy. I hope McDonnell is not falling into the same trap.

  • Mormor

    Seems like a logical and easy way to get more
    money in the state’s treasure chest. It’s needed.

  • http://www.shaunkenney.com Shaun Kenney

    Here’s my beef with it all. Why are Republicans negotiating with the Democrats at all — on any of these issues?

    McDonnell knows better than this. The Senate Republicans know better than this. Bill Howell and the House Republicans have done a splendid job at reflecting the values of mainstream Virginia.

    Why then, are the values of the House of Delegates being twisted by the leadership?

    The sonogram bill is a common-sense bill. HB 1 on personhood is a common-sense bill that’s withstood a SCOUTS challenge for crying out loud.

    RPV has been totally absent on much of this. Where are the voices of the unit and district committees?

    Now — in a biennial budget that increased state spending by $8 billion dollars — we’re talking about sales taxes on small businesses.

    Really?!

    A good friend observed that we have devolved into two parties: Social Democrats and Christian Democrats.

    Though the House Republicans are doing their utmost to dispel this, the Senate Republicans seem to be doing all they can to confirm the opposite… and they’re boxing McDonnell into decisions I firmly believe he may not want to take… but feels forced to.

    It could be a lot better.

  • Steve Vaughan

    Bob McDonnell is bright guy.
    He made smart decisions on both these bills.
    As he pointed out in his release, but maybe not as explicitly as he need to, the ultrasound bill as written violated REPUBLICAN philosophy by mandating, but not paying for, an mandated medical procedure that was invasive.
    On the Amazon bill, how is actually collecting the tax that supposed to be paid, a tax increase?
    Here’s where the reflexive anti-tax sentiment of some in the GOP run head first into the pro-business agenda that Republicans typically have been known for. There were businesses on both sides of this issue. The brick and mortar stores don’t want government subsidizing their competition. Who would? Isn’t that the sort of interference in the market, Republicans typically oppose?

  • Brian Kirwin

    The Amazon bill is a tax increase. If the state isn’t collecting tax revenue from something, and this bill makes it so, then it’s a FREAKING INCREASE!

  • http://bearingdrift.com D.J. McGuire

    Yikes, even Dick Black voted for the tax increase.
    But Bryce Reeves and Tom Garrett didn’t. Kudos to those two.

  • Steve Vaughan

    Hmmm, so if the IRS audits someone who hasn’t been paying taxes and makes them pay, that’s a tax increase? Since the government is collecting taxes from someone they formerly were not?
    Words freaking mean things, people. Explain to me exactly WHICH tax has been increased. None. The tax rate is exactly what it was the day before yesterday.

  • http://www.bearingdrift.com/author/jrhoeft/ JR Hoeft

    Steve – nice spin. If I wasn’t paying a tax yesterday and I am paying it today – I have just had an increase in taxes. Simple math. More to the point, though…if a liberal like you is defending McDonnell on both issues, case closed.

  • Mike Barrett

    Shaun, it is ironic that you single out the Speaker as the source of all that is good and honorable in the RPV. So, for me, this is a classic case of rewarding a politician for failure, not for performance.

    In his tenure as Speaker, and in his allegiance to Grover Norquist instead of to the citizens of this great Commonwealth, he has essentially destroyed our system of transportation. He has left to date an unfunded liability estimated at over $10,000,000,000 just in maintenance and repair of existing infrastructure.

    His failure to sustain the system, and his insistence on substituting international conglomerates who owe their allegiance to investors, not to us, for current and future projects, instead of relying on the perfectly efficient system of private construction and public finance, will cost us and future generations billions of dollars, all wasted because he owes is allegiance to Norquist, not to us.

    For you to hold his performance up as virtuous in the face of his gross dereliction of duty as the Speaker of the House reflects not only on you and on the RPV, but on all who would prefer our elected leaders fail to act on our behalf to do what is best for Virginia.

  • Tim J

    A “point of sale” tax is going to have far reaching consequences for those small and micro businesses that are internet based. It’s another added cost to business overhead and increases all levels of government intrusion with forced compliance. Now they are on a roll, their next juicy targets could be individuals selling on Craig’s list or eBay to start taxing used stuff as “value added” because someone wants to buy it, although tax was already paid on it when new.

  • Steve Vaughan

    J.R.- we agree I’m more liberal than you.

    You still fail to say which tax has been increased. Your argument is meaningless.

    “If I wasn’t paying a tax yesterday and I am paying it today – I have just had an increase in taxes. Simple math.”

    Really? What if you were renting and now you buy a house and have to pay real estate taxes. Have the real estate taxes been increased? No.

    What if you were unemployed yesterday but today you got a job and are paying a host of taxes, FICA, federal income tax, state income tax…have any of those taxes been increased? No.

    How is it consistent with Republican or conservative ideology to favor the inconsistent application of a tax, to have the tax code playing favorites among businesses? It’s not. Which Gov. McDonnell apparently understands but Bearing Drift does not.

  • http://bearingdrift.com Brian Kirwin

    Wrong, Steve.

    Your home example is flawed. If I rented something from Amazon, I wouldn’t pay sales tax.

    Employment is wrong, too. If I was employed before and not paid taxes, but tomorrow the same action would result in taxes, then your example would make sense.

    In each of your examples, the consumer changed his actions. In this, the consumer purchases like they always have. Just now, the same action is charged a direct tax, and before it was not.

  • http://www.bearingdrift.com/author/jrhoeft/ JR Hoeft

    Brian – pay attention to what Steve is saying. Steve has telegraphed the talking point for what liberals want to do with the tax code at the state and federal level re. exemptions, deductions, loop holes, etc. When those start going away, there will be no “tax increase”.

  • Bill

    I think Steve has a valid point on this one. The same action prior to the change in law resulted in a tax liability. Before the change, you just decided it was socially acceptable not to pay these taxes owed. After the change, you no longer get to choose to be a tax scofflaw since the retailer will collect the taxes you were supposed to be paying.

    I think this is a different argument than exemptions and deductions since before and after changes the tax liability will be different, regardless of collection. These changes could change tax liability and could, as such, be seen as a tax increase.

  • http://www.bearingdrift.com Brian Schoeneman

    Steve is right. This isn’t a tax increase.

    It is simply patently unfair to our brick and mortar businesses that they’re required to collect the sales tax but online retailers who are competing head to head with those brick and mortar stores don’t have to do it.

    The fact that consumers haven’t been charged sales tax on online sales means we got a couple of years of good times. But there’s no such thing as a free lunch and it’s BS that I can walk into Best Buy, pick out a TV, whip out my iPad, find the exact same model on Amazon and buy it IN THEIR STORE and save fifty bucks in sales tax.

    That’s good for me, but if it ends up putting Best Buy out of business because they’re basically creating store rooms for Amazon to show off their goods in, it hurts me in the long run. We lose the store (Best Buy has two stores in my district), we lose the employees, we lose their tax revenue, and consumers lose choices.

    You guys can complain that this is some kind of a tax increase, but it’s not. Steve’s point is valid – most people have been effectively cheating on their taxes for the last decade and now the House Finance committee is closing the loophole.

    That’s the right thing to do.

  • http://bearingdrift.com D.J. McGuire

    Sorry, Brian, but it is a tax increase. You can defend it, or claim it’s worthy, or claim it’s fair, but you can’t claim it is not a tax increase.

  • Eric the 1/2 troll

    “If I wasn’t paying a tax yesterday and I am paying it today – I have just had an increase in taxes.”

    No, you just aren’t breaking the law anymore. Really, I certainly hope the Republican Party in Virginia listens to you and BK. Its this kind of “thinking” that makes Democrat’s job all the easier. Please keep it up!

  • Samuel Gilleran

    I didn’t realize that making the tax-collection system more efficient amounted to a tax increase.

  • Steve Vaughan

    If you folks want to get het up about Republicans raising taxes, you should focus on the indexing of the gas tax. That IS a tax increase.
    You could argue that it’s what the legislature should have done when it passed the gas tax in the first place, but there’s not doubt it’s a tax increase.

  • Ann Flan Kirwin

    I don’t see how this can be called a tax increase. Technically and legally, you owe taxes for the things you purchase. Period. Just because you chose not to pay them figuring you’d never get caught doesn’t change the fact that you legally owe those taxes. Now there will be an efficient and accountable means of collecting taxes you owed anyway. This is not a new tax, it’s enforcement of the same tax that’s always been there. As a conservative, and for those of us who are Christians, I’d think we’d want to “render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s,” rather than trying to hide from our legal obligations.

  • Tim J

    The real question is what new government bureaucratic infrastructure has to be added and at what cost to track and enforce the law on all of the on-line businesses operating in Virginia who are going to be snagged by this new law? Is the government cost of audits and forced compliance going to be covered by the added revenue from the tax? I guess we will have to wait for how Congress tampers with the 1992 decision, Quill v. North Dakota where the Court noted that Congress can change this policy. Congress developed the “Main Street Fairness Act” where “small online and mail order retailers would still be exempt”. It then depends on the how the word “small” is defined by the state. In these hard economic times, Obama has already established many examples the states can follow on how far and wide he is willing to reach into our livelihoods and pockets to extract more tax.

  • http://www.bearingdrift.com/author/jrhoeft/ JR Hoeft

    Again – I am not defending nor critiquing the law, per se. I am saying that on the same day, McDonnell bent to the will of the left on abortion and changed the tax code so that anyone who does online shopping will now “more efficiently” be taxed.

    You can say it’s not raising taxes – fine. I won’t argue semantics with you.

    What I do know is that in a tough economy, more people are now going to be paying more taxes to the government – something McDonnell campaigned against.

  • http://www.bearingdrift.com Brian Schoeneman

    DJ, it’s not a tax increase. Taxes aren’t going up. We’re just changing when the tax is collected. How is that an increase?

    Fine, it may not be revenue neutral, but all that means is that we’re all not criminals anymore.

  • Brian Kirwin

    Wow…the first time Ann’s been wrong

  • Brian Kirwin

    Bet Amazon is really glad they expanded into Virginia now.

  • http://bearingdrift.com D.J. McGuire

    Why wouldn’t they be, Brian? The tax hike affects all on-line retailers, not just Amazon, and even the bill’s authors admit the other onlien retailers may simply refuse to sell to Virginians.

    In other words, Amazon just got the state the put up a barrier to entry to Overstock and anyone else who dares knock them off their perch.

  • http://bearingdrift.com D.J. McGuire

    Ann and Schoeney (to distinguish from Kirwin),

    If the government collects more revenue under the same economic conditions, it’s a tax increase.

    This is half the reason Greece is so messed up. The push for tax compliance was just seen as a revenue and legal issue rather than an economic one. Thus, Greece has been crippled by tax increases. That which is a tax increase by any other name still damages the economy and alters consumer decisions.

    If compliance was more important than mere revenue, why not couple this with a reduction in the sales tax to make it revenue neutral?

  • Steve Vaughan

    D.J.- And by barrier, you mean the state’s new refusal to subsidize online retailers in a way they don’t subsidize our local brick and mortar retailers? If that keeps them out, then good, more business for the locals, which now include Amazon.

  • Brian Kirwin

    I can’t believe we are favoring the poorly staffed, understocked, inconvenient old economy over the new economy.

    Next we’ll be favoring candles

  • http://bearingdrift.com D.J. McGuire

    Again, if that was all this was about, then it should have been coupled with a sales tax reduction.

    Besides, brick and mortar stores have advantages over onliners, such as lack of shipping cost and immediate purchase versus shipping delays. Are we going to ban shipping charges now to “level the playing field” for consumers? Is that next?

  • http://www.bearingdrift.com Brian Schoeneman

    DJ, you might as well argue that if my employee is stealing from me and I catch him and stop him, I’ve just cut his pay.

    Yeah, no.

  • Ann Flan Kirwin

    If someone wants to put in a bill that specifically exempts online purchases from sales tax, I’m happy to support it. Currently there is no exemption and citizens are obligated to obey the law.

  • http://www.i-bmw.com James “turbo” Cohen

    Has anyone taken the time to ask the gov, as in you JR or BD staff, for some clsrificstion?

  • Brian Kirwin

    Is this a transvaginal sales tax? That seems to make a difference lately.

  • http://www.bearingdrift.com Brian Schoeneman

    I’m pretty sure DJ and Jim are going to say that any kind of tax involves penetration, Kirwin.

  • http://bearingdrift.com D.J. McGuire

    OK, Ann and Schoeney, kindly refer to us the particular language in the code that has this requirement?

    I’m no lawyer, but I’ve gone through the relevant section (58.1-600 thru 639) and I’m not seeing it.

  • Steve Vaughan

    Kirwin: “I can’t believe we are favoring the poorly staffed, understocked, inconvenient old economy over the new economy.”

    I can’t believe it’s the governments role to favor either type of company. If the “new economy” is at much better as you seem to think then it doesn’t need a government subsidy to win.

    Look, Internet sales tax breaks made sense when online commerce was a new and fragile industry, when a lot of people had their doubts about it. That’s far from the case today. I don’t think Amazon is going to suffer by being forced to play by the same rules as Richmond’s Chop Suey Book Store.

  • http://bearingdrift.com D.J. McGuire

    And after you find that provision (and I’m sure it’s there somewhere, I’m just saying I can’t find it), answer for me how many Virginia consumers have been pursued by the Commonwealth to pony up their “fair share” of sales taxes?

  • Brian Kirwin

    Steve, you’re implication is the retail stores indeed are fragile if they are so worried about this

  • Nathan Miller

    @James

    The Governor is too busy sucking up to Mittens to field a call from BD.

  • http://www.bearingdrift.com Brian Schoeneman

    § 58.1-604, DJ. It’s the whole point of the use tax.

  • JayD

    @Shaun Kenney:
    “The sonogram bill is a common-sense bill. HB 1 on personhood is a common-sense bill that’s withstood a SCOUTS challenge for crying out loud.
    Say what? Upholding “life begins at conception” seems to have missed the front page in my town. Which SCOTUS ruling are you referring to?

    According to James Bopp, the federal courts would almost surely declare a personhood amendment (HB1) UNconsitutional, since it contradicts a woman’s current right to an abortion in the early weeks of pregnancy. Bopp: “From the standpoint of protecting unborn lives it’s utterly futile and it has the grave risk that if it did get to the Supreme Court, the court would write an even more extreme abortion policy.”

    So what is it YOU know that seems to have escaped the General Council of National Right to Life organization (since 1978)? Name the case please…or is this another one of your truth-according-to-Shaun isms?

  • http://www.bearingdrift.com Brian Schoeneman

    Kirwin, it’s large amounts of sales they’re losing to Amazon and other retailers because of the sales tax alone.

    Why would anybody buy something in a store when they can get it cheaper online and at their front door the next day?

    This is a big deal for brick and mortar retailers, who all inherently have a larger economic impact on their communities than a mail-order company does.

  • Brian Kirwin

    Brian, people shop online because of the shortcomings and prices of local retailers, believe me. Paying for next day shipping isn’t a cost saver worth skipping the sales tax over.

  • http://bearingdrift.com D.J. McGuire

    Brian S,

    There is, however, *no* provision in the code requiring consumer responsibility to report the tax. The subsequent code is full of requirements that *dealers* report it, but not consumers.

  • rtwingtroll

    What a sad, stupid debate.

    You lefty-Rs don’t care about “bricknmortar” stores. If you did, and weren’t liberals, you’d favor leveling the field by repealing the sales tax.

    But you don’t. In fact, you cringe at the idea of cutting government, rather than expanding it.

    And that’s what the on-line sales tax is all about, more money to pay for more government … and exactly why the dear Governor and so many GA squish-Republicans (and a few who really should know better) support it.

    It isn’t too late to stop, if folks holler.

    The pro-aborts screaming about the invasiveness of the ultra-sound (before invading the womb to kill a child) proves that.

    Cheers

  • http://bearingdrift.com D.J. McGuire

    Whoops! Never mind, found it (58.1-612, B4).

    Still, how often has this been enforced, if at all?

  • Steve Vaughan

    rtwingtroll: I was wondering how far along in the thread we’d bet before somebody made the charge that Bob McDonnell wasn’t a conservative. If your party is everybody to the right of Bob McDonnell, you don’t belong to a party, you belong to a cult.

  • http://bearingdrift.com D.J. McGuire

    Steve,

    That’s the same idiotic logic that defines Emmett Hanger as a “conservative” because all you look at are social issues.

    On economic matters, there is plenty of room to McDonnell’s right. The political spectrum is not one-dimensional. Pull your head out of the 20th century.

  • rtwingtroll

    SV: If you think not-cutting government, is shrinking government, and adding more tax revenue is not growing government, you are a lunatic.

    Ciao

  • http://www.bearingdrift.com Brian Schoeneman

    Repealing the sales tax? Okay. Sure. Let’s do that.

    We now have to cut $3 billion to make up the difference.

    What gets cut? Roads? Schools? Health? Public safety?

    Virginia is running as lean a state government as they come. While taxes are an evil, they’re a necessary evil. We have to fund government somehow. Sales taxes are among the most fair.

  • Ann Flan Kirwin

    DJ – so we get to pick and choose what laws we obey based on whether or not it’s enforced? Is that how the law works? Seems a moral question to me.

  • http://www.shaunkenney.com Shaun Kenney

    It’s a tax increase.

  • Ann Flan Kirwin

    rwtroll – the true “conservative” policy is usually eliminating income tax (which punishes people for their success and initiative) and having state revenue through sales tax (consumption based and at the consumer’s discretion). That argument gets a lot farther with conservatives than elimination of the sales tax.

  • Darrell — Chesapeake

    I don’t buy stuff in a store anymore. As many people that are in dire straits, you can get the same thing much cheaper at a garage sale. Or you can go to one of the auctions that people are using to downsize from their soon to be foreclosed underwater homes.

  • Darrell — Chesapeake

    “DJ – so we get to pick and choose what laws we obey based on whether or not it’s enforced? Is that how the law works? Seems a moral question to me.”

    Just following what the big boys are doing. Not only do they get to pick and chose which laws they obey, they get the hired help to pass new laws giving them the right to not follow the law. Why should the little people be left out?

  • John Jackson

    Master Jedi Schoeneman,
    Why don’t our government get out of the real estate business? They suck! If they weren’t into purchasing all that property, there would be alot more to go around. In other words, get Mike Barrett off the public dole

    Social engineering on a scale of Mao is expensive! Why wasn’t social engineering one of your choices?

  • Mike Barrett

    John fails to understand that I run a private property management and development company. Never once have we relied on condemnation or eminent domain to obtain property; we have of course had parcels or easements taken fro public use. That is just part of the business. If you are implying that by receiving payment for our land or an easement on our land, you accuse me of being on the public dole, I would think you are nuts.

  • rtwingtroll

    BS: As predicted, you little liberals cringe at the idea of cutting government revenue.

    AFK: Sweetie, sales tax is the MOST regressive and least “conservative” of all taxes. It punishes most people for buying things they need. And it is the easiest for governments to ratchet up. Only stupid conservatives want VAT taxes, national sales taxes and higher state sales tax.

    As predicted, the liberals are all aflutter at the thought of solving the so-called “problem” of unfairness to bricknmortar stores by repealing the sales tax for them.

    QED

    Chippers

  • rtwingtroll

    Oh, and BS, VDOT running a “lean” operation?

    hahahahahaha

    What a maroon.

    Chuse

  • Mike Barrett

    Since Norquist’s goal is to starve the beast, and to “cut the arms and legs off government so the carcass can be drained in the bathtub”, I am sure he will say this is a tax increase since it raises revenue and allows government to continue to function.

    That said, it does not seem to me that it is a tax increase; it is simply enlisting on line retailers to collect the tax on sales that is already due the Commonwealth.

  • Susan G

    Ask a Republican what his tax rate is? He doesn’t know. Ask a Republican how much he paid last year in state income tax, he doesn’t know. FICA? he doesn’t know. Federal income? Nope
    Sales tax on that hamburger? Nada. If your individual tax contributions are so onerous, one would think you’d know the specifics of that burden.

  • VA Patriot

    Once again showing why righties fail compared to lefties.

    Lefties RAM THEIR AGENDA THROUGH, and don’t care one iota about what righties say or think.

    What do righties do? Listen to the wailing and capitulate. This year is for righties to SEIZE their opportunities in the GA. We’re in a war, but righties haven’t yet fully come to terms with that.

  • http://www.shaunkenney.com Shaun Kenney

    Amen, VA Patriot… amen…

  • http://www.bearingdrift.com/author/jrhoeft/ JR Hoeft

    That’s a good point, Susan G. But if it were easy to answer, there probably would be a problem.

    With sales tax, property tax, personal income tax, personal property tax, fees, tolls, federal and state taxes, FICA – it adds up. It’s not a simple number folks can readily remember.

    But you do make a good point and we will add, as best we can, those numbers to our sidebar to remind everyone what they are paying in taxes. Thanks for the idea!

  • http://Www.bearingdrift.com Brian W. Schoeneman

    Susan, the sales tax rate is 4%. I paid about $31,000 in federal income taxes, about $9000 in social security, $3000 in Medicare. Paid about $9100 in state income taxes, about $4500 in real estate taxes, and $800 or so in the car tax.

    My effective federal tax rate was about 15%, like Mitt Romney.

    Most Republicans know what they’re paying in taxes.

    Like I said, I think the Virginia is a responsible state with a lean government that doesn’t more than it takes in and can’t even if it wanted to. The federal government is an entirely different animal.

    Conservatives want taxes to be low. We don’t want them abolished all together. That’s idiocy,

  • Susan G

    So how has the socialist Obama caused you so much economic distress? I can’t see it in those numbers, but I’m sure you can explain precisely the bad times that have befallen you since Obama took office. Fifteen percent under a socialist regime, are you sure? Something must be wrong. Some government agency must have stripped you of a large portion of your grand wealth and redistributed it somewhere. Double check those numbers, Brian. Fifteen percent with nearly four years under the Socialist. Please, please, check again. You can’t be making that much money and allowed to keep it.

  • http://Www.bearingdrift.com Brian W. Schoeneman

    Well, he did fire me, and I was unemployed for nine months after he took office…

    But that’s not the point. I have never said Obama has caused me economic distress, nor do I call the Administration socialist. I was responding to your ridiculous hyperbole that Republicans don’t know what they pay in taxes. You are wrong and I just proved it.

    And I don’t need to check those numbers again. The IRS can do that. I am not complaining about how much I pay in taxes. My philosophy has always been that we need to keep taxes low – not abolish them altogether. That’s partly the reason I keep getting called a RINO.

  • http://bearingdrift.com J.R. Hoeft

    Whoa…wait a second Kimosabe. Did Susan just say the $50k+ you pay in taxes was not an issue?

    Dude…you paid almost in taxes what my wife makes. A little more than half of what I make.

    And way more than the annual BD Budget!

    I know you don’t mind paying for government service, but let’s be realistic. Or at least take me out for beers more.

  • Brian Kirwin

    Let me make one thing clear. I am not interested in “fairness” – fairness means losers gain as much as winners.

    I HATE fairness.

    i LOVE freedom.

  • John Jackson

    WOW Brian Sch! You make a lot of money up there in DC to be paying that much in taxes. …and your totally oblivious to that. You pay more in federal taxes than I make…and you spend most of your time on this blog!

    @Mike B, I’m talking about your fascist organization, HREDA: http://www.hreda.com/images/uploads/2010%20Annual%20Report.pdf

    They’re taunting 1,212 new jobs last year and bragging rights are: ACE Hardware, Astute Electronics and Batterien-Montage-Zentrum GMBH. Really? That’s the best you can do!

    …and for SteveV: signed by a United Nations Cult Member

  • http://Www.bearingdrift.com Brian W. Schoeneman

    John, my wife and I are both working professionals. I am a lawyer. And if you ask Jim, I barely spend any time on the site at all.

  • Brian Kirwin

    …and when he does, he’s wrong :)

  • Conservative gal

    McDonnell has spent way too much time campaigning with RINO Romney, so now he has turned into one too.

  • Mike Barrett

    John, generally when a poster herein makes an obviously ridiculous and absurd post, it is best to just let it go. But in this case, your absurd and ridiculous post concerns an organization that has performed extremely well, and yet you call it is a fascist organizaiton.

    The HR Economic Development Alliance is a public private, non profit, regional agency that markets Hampton Roads to the World. We bring corporations and/or their representatives here for a face to face meeting with us and the cities/counties who can meet the firm’s requirements.

    Last year, we had eight announcements totally over $200 M in capital investment, over 2,000 jobs, and the largest of those was Green Mountain Coffee. But the value of the organization in bringing in smaller, international corporations, is proved by subsequent expansions of firms like Canon and Stihl, both of which had recent expansions near 1,000,000 SF for advanced manufacturing projects that could have located anywhere in the world, but they chose Hampton Roads.

    Fact is, economic development is a team sport; the city, the region, the Port, and the Commonwealth, and public and private partners, all with the goal of bringing new business to Virginia. How you could call this fascist is beyond me, but regretfully, that kind of post does a great disservice to most of the participants herein who are rational, committed, and forward thinking.