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Entries for April 2006

27
Before Iraq, there was Vietnam.   Before America got bogged down in a war in the Middle East, we got bogged down in a war in Asia.   Bef...

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Posted in: General
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25
Gary Praises the President

Brace yourself. I have something good to say about George W. Bush.

But I’ll probably end up taking it back.

Bush went to Orange County, California, Monday.  He talked about immigration.  And he spoke out clearly against the anti-immigrant demagogues in his own party: 

 

“I know this is an emotional debate…but one thing we cannot lose sight of is that we’re talking about human beings, decent human beings.”

 

He’s right.  Right many Republicans have lost sight of that.  

Bush went on.  He dismissed one of the demagogues’ favorite proposals:

 

“Massive deportation of the people here is unrealistic.  It’s just not going to work.”

 

Way to go, George.  I give you an atta-boy.

But here comes the part where I take it back.

It turns out he was talking to 300 business owners.  It turns out he was telling them they shouldn’t be penalized for hiring illegal immigrants.

In other words, this wasn’t a heartfelt speech about immigrants who are “decent human beings.”  It was about a key political constituency that makes decent political contributions.

Well, I tried to say something nice.

 

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24
How much trouble does President Bush think he is in over Iraq?   A lot.    Witness three news items:   Bush’s photo op in...

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21
I’ve posted several items about anti-immigration politics.  And immigrant-bashing clearly is the strategy of at least one wing of the Republican ...

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Posted in: General, Issues
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19

Someone once quipped the two greatest lies are ‘the checks in the mail,’ and ‘I’ll still love you in the morning.’ He might have added, ‘We’ll tax someone else.’

 

The great debate over ‘Impact Fees’ is underway in the Raleigh City Council.

 

The smallest amount being considered to increase this tax is 72%.  Even that doesn’t suit Mayor Meeker, who wants to increase the tax a whopping 400% (to an average of $3,500 for a single family home).

 

The fiction here is that the politicians aren’t going to tax you, or me, or most homeowners – they’re going to tax ‘developers.’

 

But people who buy new houses are going to ultimately be the ones paying those new taxes – not developers. And those taxes are going to drive up the costs of housing. So, the next time there’s a property tax ‘reevaluation’ the government is probably going to decide your house is worth more – in part, because of that tax – and your property taxes are going up.

 

And what about the millions in new tax revenue those ‘fees’ will generate? Are they going to pay for schools? Or teachers? Mayor Meeker’s answer to that is still no.

 

The problem – fiscally – city government faces in Raleigh isn’t that tax revenues aren’t high enough. The problem is Mayor Meeker – and some of the other City Council members – are spending money like sailors on a binge. They’re not only spending millions on convention centers, they’re subsidizing four star hotels, five star restaurants and up-scale super markets with taxpayers’ money.

 

Before the City Council makes a case for raising taxes on developers, new homeowners or anyone else it needs to set better spending priorities and put its fiscal house in order.

 

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Posted in: General, Raleigh
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18
There are two ways to keep score in politics: polls and money.   By the money measure, Democrat Richard Moore and Republican Bill Graham should...

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18
Whether or not you agree with Congressman Walter Jones you have to admit he has a rare trait among politicians. There are many elected officials who a...

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Posted in: General
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17
The Charlotte Observer reports (3-9-06) there will be no election at all in almost half the 170 races for State House and Senate this fall.   I...

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14
My old friend and adversary Jack Hawke sponsored a conservative gripe-a-thon in Durham last week."It is a travesty that North Carolina is controlled b...

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14
The Raleigh City Council has approved Mayor Meeker's new underground parking deck - to go with his downtown Hotel and Convention Center. This $45 mill...

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Posted in: Raleigh
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