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Archive for October, 2010

In this last minute election fever, we’ve seen some Democrat mailers big on rhetoric and thin on information.

A particular illusion being peddled is that because this year’s budget was smaller than the 2008 budget, Democrats in the State House shrank the size of state government.

While we’re happy to see Democrats embracing conservative, small‐government principle, this is a myth.  Here are the facts:

In order to balance the Fiscal Year 2010 budget, Democrats in the State House increased taxes and fees to raise $206 million dollars.

These included: Raising the Personal Income Tax, and even raising the rate of personal income taxes on families making less than $25,000 a year.

No one likes to pay taxes, but raising taxes on lower‐income families during a recession is simply irresponsible and threatens the economic life‐line of the community.

In addition, The General Assembly re‐instated the Estate Tax on Delaware’s families.

The Democrat‐controlled legislature raised the Gross Receipts Tax (also known as “Delaware’s Hidden SalesTax”) on our small businesses, the engines of our economic recovery.

According to Representative Greg Lavelle, “The state’s budget grew 6% last year, 3% of it from tax and fee increases, and the other 3% from one‐time federal stimulus money. They balanced the budget on the backs of families and on federal debt. In the middle of a recession, that’s not fiscal responsibility, its insanity.”

The Delaware House of Representatives also had to meet an un‐expected $800 million budget shortfall this year.

One final and particularly compelling statistic compiled from Caesar Rodney is the Spend‐O‐Meter.

Take a look below and see just what is going on here in little Delaware.

Ask yourself: Is your family as careless with its money as Dover is?

Facts & Figures compiled from the Caesar Rodney Institute
http://caesarrodney.org/index.cfm?ref=30200&ref2=52
http://caesarrodney.org/index.cfm?ref=27100

The Caesar Rodney Institute’s “Spend‐O‐Meter” is calibrated to the total budget passed by the General Assembly for Fiscal Year 2010:

Spending per month = $284,285,817
Spending per week = $65,604,419
Spending per day = $9,346,383
Spending per hour = $389,432
Spending per minute = $6,490
Spending per second = $108

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According to their latest email, the Brandywine GOP is going on the radio and cable TV with the following GOTV commercial this weekend.    Already heard it while listening to WDEL online today:

 

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The Senate Leadership has decided to build a “wall of separation” between the leadership office and the public. Construction on a new Pro-Tem Leadership office in Dover began 2 weeks ago when Legislative Hall was closed for Columbus Day.

For over 40 years, the Leadership Office has opened onto the first floor hallway. Evidently, this configuration brings the  average citizen too close to our Democrat Senator Leadership. I guess Senators DeLuca & Blevins don’t want citizens to have convenient access to them. Better make average citizens walk through a gate keeper while keeping the office out-of-sight. With the office out-of-sight, who knows what “hanky-panky” the leadership might get into.

In this era of unemployment, budget cuts, service cuts, home loss, the Senate Leadership is spending tax dollars to create their own little monument to narcissism. My understanding is that PVC pipe isn’t even good enough, only copper.

How much more out-of-touch can they get. Shame!!

 

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When Governor Markell ran away from Velda Jones-Potter during the Democratic Treasurer Primary, he didn’t stop running until he hit Rhode Island. There, he paused long enough to turn over $500,000 of Democrat Governors Association money to the Democrat Gubernatorial candidate and hold a press conference — which is where he was called to the carpet.

Reporter Katherine Gregg of the Providence Journal actually asked some pertinent and tough questions of Governor Markell. Maybe the reporter could do a guest stint in Delaware? The whole article can be found here.

It seems that at the press conference our Governor attacked the Democratic candidate’s opponent for proposing a $320 million tax increase to close a budget gap. But didn’t Governor Markell propose and support a $200 million in tax increase in Delaware asked Ms. Gregg? According to Markell:

The revenue increases that you talk about, first of all they were all sunset …. They will be going away … and most of that is going to have no effect on the people of Delaware [because] $130 million of that is on companies that incorporate in Delaware.

Oh… Those tax increases will be going away… Golly, I feel so much better now. Of course the gross receipts tax, a temporary tax put in place in the 1970′s, is going away, too. Sunset provisions are just as easy to remove as changing the tax rate. This “sunset” ruse is a difference without meaning. A simple majority vote from each legislative chamber along with a Gubernatorial signature is all that is required to raise/lower taxes or remove sunsets.

How about those companies that just “incorporate in Delaware”? How many of those companies incorporating in Delaware will start to move their incorporation elsewhere as a result of Delaware’s repeated fee increases over the last 6 years? A simple check of incorporation statistics from a handful of other State’s shows that Delaware’s competitiveness is slipping, and the Democrats Dodd-Frank bill has increased the slope.

The Governor went on:

“There was an increase [in] the income tax,” he acknowledged, “but at the highest level.”

The highest level? Absolutely true. A 17% income tax increase was applied to anyone earning $60,000 or more. That would be working families, teachers, fire fighters, retirees, etc. Those high earners! Shame on them for wanting to keep their money rather than let the Governor and his Legislative cronies spend it…

But then comes the big whopper…

83 percent of the people in our state are untouched by our proposed tax increase… a very different situation [from Rhode Island].

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2008 Delaware’s median household income was $58,380. Which means that almost 1/2 of Delaware’s households were affected by the income tax increase. Now, maybe the Governor is playing cute since the quote above says “proposed” not “passed”. Perhaps the Governor’s “proposals” only affected 17%, but the Governor signed a bill that actually directly taxes almost 50%. Hmmm…

After the news conference, the Democrat Governors Association was incensed that anyone had the audacity to question Governor Markell’s hypocrisy:

DGA spokeswoman Emily Bittner denounced questions posed to Markell about his own tax moves as a sign of reporter bias, and said: “The percent sales [tax] on groceries, medicine, clothes is very different than what he [Markell] did. You know that …. Let’s start with the cigarette tax. You don’t have to buy cigarettes to live. You do have to buy groceries.”

Reminded that Markell sought increases in the gross-receipts taxes paid by grocery stores and other retailers, contractors, manufacturers and “occupations requiring licenses,” she said: “It’s not a direct tax on consumers. It’s completely different.”

So, now we know what counts as intelligence at the DGA. To them, increasing costs on businesses does not increase costs on consumers. Gosh, fundamental microeconomics simply rewritten with the utterance of “political authority”.

And you wonder why voters are frustrated, angry & scared?

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The News Journal is reporting that Christopher Bullock, pastor of Canaan Baptist Church in New Castle, and three other reverends are endorsing Coons and Carney:

Four prominent African American pastors from New Castle County endorsed Coons and Carney at press conference Monday in Wilmington. Reverends Christopher Bullock, Larry Wright, Sheldon Nix and Sam Lathem briefly discussed their endorsement of Coons and Carney over their Republican opponents, Christine O’Donnell and Glen Urquhart.

“We cannot afford to be victims of voodoo economics,” said Bullock, equating O’Donnell and Urquhart’s economic policies to those of former President Ronald Reagan.

It was just a few years back, in March 2006, that Rev. Bullock was “preaching” at a Republican campaign training seminar.   He talked about how the Republicans “have the best program and the best policies to bring about change.”   At one point he got the room to chant “Together we can turn Delaware around” and told them that Democrats have money too but they don’t have ideas.   He also discussed how he ran for office in Chicago as a Republican and then ended the speech with a big hug from Terry Strine who then asked the crowd “Aren’t you glad he’s one of ours?”

Watch the video and see for yourself:

He may be two-faced, but he was right about hope and change.   Maybe he sold that line to Obama?

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Just in case you missed this…

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/10/21/politics/washingtonpost/main6978068.shtml

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Andye Daley, the republican challenger for the 6th district New Castle County Council seat, is hitting her opponent hard with some serious radio time on WDEL.

She has the commercial posted on her website – you can listen to it here.

 

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Objective Panelists?

I have heard most of the two O’Donnell/Coons debates.  I give the panelists credit; it must be very difficult to come up with so many softball questions for Chris Coons.  What is left for the next debate?  In case they are stuck, here are some that the previous panelists did not get to:

  • What is your favorite color and why?
  • What did you name your favorite pet and how did you come up with something so cute?
  • Do you like long walks on the beach (in Sussex County for example) and what do you like best about them?

And maybe they could come up with some for O’Donnell.  I don’t feel sorry for her, she volunteered for what she is getting.  But the panelists could, at least, give some appearance that they are not in the tank.  Perhaps a little less glee and piling on when one of them draws blood would be a start.

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Former State Senator John Still reminded me of the following letter. It was sent by the Republican Minority Caucus of the State Senate on May 9, 2007. I believe that the Governor’s response was a polite “brush-off”. Of course, Lt. Governor Carney was silent.

To bad the Democrats failed to respond. Their failure led to a 17 % personal income tax increase, increased State debt & repeated budget crises.

For your reading enjoyment, a Republican warning from the past….

May 9, 2007

The Honorable Ruth Ann Minner

Governor

Dover, Delaware

Dear Governor Minner,

The Senate Republican Caucus hereby requests that your financial staff compile a broad-based recommendation for cost-savings by state government to mitigate the looming shortfall of revenues to support needs the government has promised to meet.

In recent days, there have been revelations from your department heads of another half-billion dollars needed in the next few years for upgrades in corrections and for school construction.  Added to the over $1.5 billion needed for transportation projects previously brought to light, the scale of the projected shortfalls makes immediate action to control spending imperative in our view.

At the same time, there is much talk about “enhancing” revenues by a variety of devices, including tax and fee increases.

For the last several years an increasing number of our Caucus have been concerned with Delaware’s ability to sustain our budget expenditures.  Our concerns only continue to grow.  Last year, for the 4th time in the last 6 years, your administration has spent more per person than the government has taken in.

Therefore, it is our strong and unanimous position that the first step should be to immediately tighten the state’s belt, and we consider this a prerequisite to any discussion of increasing revenues by adding to the burden on Delaware’s taxpayers by any means.

Once action is taken to identify cost-saving plans for the remainder of this fiscal year and the coming year(s), we pledge to sit down in a cooperative effort to make the tough choices that clearly will need to be made.

It is notable that when this year’s budget bill was passed ten months ago a majority of the Republican Senators voted NO.  There were many reasons for voting against that budget, but for most of us the overriding concern was that the budget grew government at a rate far above the growth in the general economy.

Annual budget growth that is out of line with the real economic world has been the trend in Delaware for too long.  We anticipated that this would catch up with us before long, and the consequences are now apparent.

Some government services and activities are obviously more critical than others to the public safety, health and welfare of our citizens.  We think prudence requires a broad-based strategy to manage expenditures across state government in those areas where spending is discretionary and controllable.

As you know, working families in Delaware have suffered significant loss of disposable income in recent years due to economic stagnation in Delaware.  People have cut back in their household budgets, modified their expectations and changed their spending habits on items that are within their discretion and ability to control.

State government should demonstrate a sincere and comprehensive effort to similarly tighten its belt to ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness in the use of public resources.  We suggest that a meaningful plan should achieve a minimum cost-savings of 5% (over $150 million) with a goal of at least 10% (over $300 million).

Once that process is accomplished, it will be appropriate to explore all options to cover critical revenue shortfalls, and we are committed to working together to make the difficult choices required.

Sincerely,

Charles L. Copeland                         Liane M. Sorenson                        Steven H. Amick
Senate Minority Leader             Senate Minority Whip                        Senator, 10th District

Colin R. M. J. Bonini                        Catherine L. Cloutier                        Dorinda A. Connor
Senator, 16th District                         Senator, 5th District                        Senator, 12th District

F. Gary Simpson                        John C. Still
Senator, 18th District                         Senator, 17th District

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Thanks to the reader who sent this in to the tip line.     The marketing geniuses at DSEA apparently don’t realize that senate and house districts overlap.  Or they just don’t care.  Either way doesn’t say much for their endorsements.

She was impressed with the Bryon Short postcard but then got the same exact thing the next day for Cathy Cloutier and wasn’t so impressed.    Seems like they are using the same template for all candidates and their “Priorities” don’t involve giving specific reasons for endorsing a candidate.   If you’ve gotten one in another district, scan it and send it to news@resolutedetermination.com.

UPDATE FROM THE 20th RD: “We also received identical fliers for Nick Manolakos and Dave Sokola a few days apart from one another. Did the same double take.  They are identical aside from names to the two posted on your blog.”

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