The Times West Virginian

West Virginia

July 19, 2008

McCain proposes $2B for clean coal


One of McCain’s pledges is to seek a permanent ban on Internet taxes, saying the Internet is a vital economic engine. However, what exactly he means by no Internet taxes he didn’t make clear. West Virginia is one of several states that has streamlined its sales tax policies in recent years with the hope that Congress may one day allow it to collect sales taxes from online, out-of-state retailers.

McCain said simply that he opposed Internet taxes, although he did concede that state sales taxes are left up to the states.

“I just don’t want to tax the Internet and get into areas of should you tax this part, should you tax that part,” he said.

Pork-Barrel Spending

The issue the candidate spoke most passionately about during the interview was stopping Congressional budget earmarking, more popularly known as pork-barrel spending.

Every year, billions of tax dollars are diverted to local projects across the nation in what critics contend is simply a bid by members of Congress to buy votes. The Washington, D.C.- organization Citizens Against Government Waste reported that $17.2 billion was diverted to pet projects in 2008 alone.

West Virginia has long been one of the top recipients of pork. The state ranked fourth in the nation in 2008, receiving $179 for every man, woman and child within its borders, according to CAGW.

McCain proudly points out that he has never directed a dollar of pork spending back to his home state of Arizona. He also has pledged to veto any bill containing pork, regardless of the bill’s overall importance.

Pork-barrel spending has a corrupting influence on Congress, with former members now sitting in jail as a result of earmarking money in return for favors, he said. It also is patently unfair because federal money is not divvied according to the worthiness of projects but rather because of political connections.

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