Taxes are the price we pay for the services we receive from our government organizations - local, state, and national. It's customary to complain about the high cost of taxes, no matter what level we are paying. It's also traditional to complain about the efficiency and effectiveness of government services, and to assume that the taxpaying "customers" are not getting a fair return on their investment because lazy government workers lounge at the office, eating chocolates and watching Oprah rather than doing their jobs with energy and creativity...
Cutting out the presumed waste in government spending is not a simple process. What you perceive to be a "scandalous misuse" of tax dollars may be a "wise investment" in the eyes of someone else. Cutting government costs without reducing services that are appreciated by the voters islike trying to find the fat marbled through a piece of steak. One solution may be to avoid fueling the development of fat in the first place, even at the cist of reducing some muscle too. Some people advocate putting the cow on a diet, and reduce taxes at the start of the digestive process.
For example, the campaign for governor in 1997 turned on a "No Car Tax"
slogan. The Republican candidate and ultimate winner, Jim Gilmore, claimed that
the state could eliminate that tax without cutting essential services. By the
end of his term, there was serious splits in that political party over the budget
cuts required to maintain the tax reduction, and the Democratic candidate in
2001 won election largely as a result of the intra-party dispute.
In 1998, Virginia collected $10.5 billion in taxes, an average of $1,552 for each person in the state. We were 36th in the nation in the per capita tax burden that year. (Connecticut earned the dubious #1 ranking, with $2,869 in taxes per capita.) Virginia's taxes were just 6% of average personal income, 43rd among the states.
The national average for state tax revenues was $1,761 per person, 7% of their personal income. If you worked for an economic development office trying to attract more businesses to your community, think you would be highlighting how Virginia is a low-tax state?