The economic recession has been causing stress for everyone with layoffs, company closures, and cutbacks occurring throughout America. With unemployment sitting at 9.7 percent and even with layoffs slowing, there has been quite a pinch on the job searching front.
According to the New York Times, job seekers are exceeding new job openings in record numbers. Job seekers are outnumbering job openings, causing more competition and added stress. “According to the Labor Department’s latest numbers, from July, only 2.4 million full-time permanent jobs were open, with 14.5 million people officially unemployed.”
Adding to the stress, many employers are reluctant to hire due to the uncertainty of whether or not the economy will improve in the near future. If things look bleak now, predictions are that the current economic situation could become more gloomier, thus resulting in more layoffs, business closures, etc. The competition will only continue to grow.
Republican Party of Virginia Chairman, Pat Mullins, along with House Speaker Bill Howell and Del. Terry Kilgore, have called on Democratic candidates to declare whether or not they support Creigh Deeds in his promise to raise taxes if elected. Deeds wants to raise $1 billion in taxes, and this will cost you at the pump with a higher gasoline tax.
“This is just the absolute wrong time, as Governor Kaine has recognized, to be raising taxes – when you’re in a deep, deep recession. Particularly the gasoline tax, which is a very regressive tax that impacts the people who can least afford to pay it the most,” said Speaker Howell. “I would be interested in knowing where the other Democrats are on this. Do they support their gubernatorial candidate or not?”
“I think it’s a clear defining issue between our candidates and their opponents,” said Kilgore. “Particularly in my part of the state, where people have to drive long distances just to get to work, raising the gas tax at this time is just the wrong idea. But we want to know where the House candidates stand.”
Deeds is facing opposition to his proposed tax increases. State Sen. Edd Houck (D-17), in an email to constituents, said the worst thing would be to increase the burden on the taxpayer during these troubled economic times. “Fortunately, Governor Kaine’s proposals contain no tax increases,” Houck wrote in an e-mail that largely dealt with efforts to balance Virginia’s budget. “With salaries remaining stagnant or worse individuals losing their jobs, a tax increase is unneeded.” Also, Democratic challenger to Del. Steve Landes (R-25), Greg Marrow, said he does not support tax increases.
In this economy, people can not afford additional taxes. Deeds’ plan only adds to the economic burden that many families are facing, and there are other viable solutions that do not involve raising taxes, like cutting an unnecessary department or a program that has no proven impact on Virginians.