- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
- U.N. warns of Muslim ‘cleansing’ in Central African Republic
- Senate blocks change to military sex assault cases
- Drug mix may have cured child born with HIV, doctors say
- De Blasio’s wife irks former mansion chef with ‘servant’ remark
- Russia’s neighbors shiver amid Putin’s Cold War moves in Ukraine
- New SAT: The essay portion is to become optional
- Military group can’t march to honor the fallen at Boston Marathon due to security changes
- Senate passes bills deleting ‘retarded’ from laws
- China announces biggest military hike in 3 years: We are not ‘boy scouts with spears’
The master robbers
Gov. McDonnell perfects the craft at the gasoline pump
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell could give lessons in economics to Willie Sutton, the famous bank robber who, when a psychologist asked him why he robbed banks, famously replied, "Because that's where the money is." But bank robbery is work; the easy money is in the pockets of taxpayers. After pretending to target only millionaires and "the rich" for new taxes, politicians such as Mr. McDonnell are going after the middle class.
The tax-the-rich mantra has vanished in a number of states with the discovery that lower-income taxpayers can be hit hardest with an increase in gasoline taxes. New Hampshire's Democratic majority is forthright about its thievery, enacting a straight increase of 15 cents a gallon. Massachusetts voted Wednesday to approve a relatively modest 3 cents per gallon increase.
But Mr. McDonnell is the king of tax sneaks. He and the Virginia General Assembly first eliminated the 17.5 cents-per-gallon tax on gasoline, which gave him cover he thinks by appearing to "cut taxes," but he offset this with a far more pernicious tax on the wholesale price of gasoline. This is expected to raise $3.5 billion in new revenue. Motorists will pay more when prices rise, as the state of Virginia collects the spike in wholesale prices every time a sheik sneezes in Riyadh. Marylanders fare little better with a $3.4 billion increase that includes inflation adjusters, a wholesale tax and a per-gallon levy.
Commuters aren't the only taxpayers who will feel the pain. Even bicyclers will shell out more every time they blow past stop signs and race through red lights, pedaling to Whole Foods for the special on arugula. That's because all produce and just about every other product sold in stores comes in on the turnip truck. Fuel is one of the biggest expenses for transportation companies, and as their costs rise, consumers pay more.
Not so long ago, this would have been a major headache for the pols. When George W. Bush sat behind the desk in the Oval Office, the blame for high gasoline prices hung around his neck with the weight of an anvil. Nancy Pelosi, who was then the speaker of the House, blamed the "two oilmen in the White House" George W. and Vice President Dick Cheney for one particularly nasty spike. Mrs. Pelosi, with practiced tears in her voice, described how groups such as the Boys and Girls Clubs would have to cut programs to absorb the cost to the economy. Shopkeepers would have to turn out the lights early, and visiting nurses would stay home and let Granny freeze alone.
The price of a gallon of gasoline has doubled, from $1.79 to $3.61, since President Obama took office, but Mrs. Pelosi has gone silent. A Texas oilman is easier to blame than a Chicago community organizer. But motorists, and that includes just about everybody, will discover who is to blame. Willie Sutton was an accomplished bank robber, but politicians like Bob McDonnell are the master heist artists.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
TWT Video Picks
By Tammy Bruce
Get Breaking Alerts
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- DELAY: A revolution for the Constitution
- BRUCE: Obama's bizarre immigration rules
- Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine
- PRUDEN: Likening Putin to Hitler on Ukraine shows Hillary's shaky grasp of history
- R-S-P-E-C-T: Find out what it means for Obama
- Otter attacks, kills alligator at Florida wildlife refuge
- Unemployment insurance vote could happen next week
- Russian lawmaker wants to outlaw U.S. dollar, calls it a Ponzi scheme
- Senate rejects Gillibrand's overhaul of military's handling of sexual assaults
Recent Letters to the Editor
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Turkey not committed to Cyprus peace
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Spoiled-kid culture creates greedy adults
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Obama's flawed Mideast 'peace' plan
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Foreign policy would distract Obama from social hour
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Hit Putin where it hurts over Ukraine