Do as I say, not as I do.
Well, well well. Lookee what we have here. Not hardly a blip about this on the local talk radio scene (that I was able to tell).
Wyoming County Delegate Rick Staton, seems to have a bit of a problem paying his taxes and is going to have to declare bankruptcy. He doesn't have any problem spending YOUR tax money, but just can't seem to find any extra at the end of the day, to pay his own.
How convenient. And typical. Remember, Wyoming County is the same place where Bob Graham likes to spend your tax dollars building himself hot tubs, and paying Senator Billy Wayne Bailey 25 bucks an hour to spoon out oatmeal to the Wyoming County Senior Citizens. That is, when he's not driving around in his brand new SUV, purchased for him by the Wyoming Senior Citizen, er, I mean, you and me. And don't forget those new $10,000 roofs that keep getting put on the center every couple of years. I know my parents' house has had 2 new roofs in about 30 years. I wonder why Bobby needs a new one every 5?
It looks like Staton is making about $4,000 per month (take home pay). That's $48,000 take home pay, per year. And he has to pay about 6 grand to his ex-wife per year. So, he gets to keep about $42,000 per year, for himself. I know a ton of hard working West Virginians that manage to live on a lot less than $42,000 (take home) per year. And they also manage to pay their income taxes. Something that Ricky doesn't seem to have the time or the money to do. He owes the state about $1500 in personal income taxes, and owes the Feds about 25 grand in income taxes (personal and business). Funny, he never seemed to have any problem raising my taxes or spending MY money that I paid to the state. I always hear stuff about how people need to live within their means. Hell, I even remember Papa Joe saying that state employees need to learn how to shop at Gabe's, if they don't have enough money to live on. Maybe Ricky could take Papa Joe's advice, and learn how to live a bit more frugally. I know he doesn't seem to mind that everyone else has to tighten their belts, thanks to his actions in the legislature.
But, maybe even MORE disgusting than this scofflaw's blatant disregard for the very laws he votes on, is the fact that his buddy, Bob Kiss (or evidently, any other legislators), doesn't really see any problem with not paying your taxes. In Phil Kabler's column the other day, Kiss stated: “It’s certainly something that’s not unusual among large cross-sections of society.” Kiss then goes on to state, that it's not really a big deal, because when businesses get in trouble, the first thing they decide to skimp on, is their taxes. He then goes on and gives the Mullens' flood of both Staton's house, and law office in '01 as the reason for his getting behind. While that IS a tragedy, he's still taking home, over $40,000 per year. And he still has the time to serve in the legislature? He ran for re-election twice, in 2002 AND 2004, after the July 2001 flood. If he's so strapped for cash, that he's going to declare bankruptcy, maybe he should have stepped down from the legislature, to concentrate on his finances and actually work for a living instead of sucking off the government for his legislative paycheck (not to mention all the expense checks he got for food, lodging, and mileage, that aren't even part of this income analysis). Besides, how can the rest of us be sure he's giving his full attention to his legislative duties, if he's in such horrible financial trouble? I know it would sure as hell worry me to death, to the point I couldn't concentrate on anything else.
And Kiss later gives us this little gem: “In some ways, it’s indicative of the financial sacrifice many make to serve in the Legislature.” Kiss means Staton works more than 3 months a year for the legislature, and therefore, loses all those billable hours in his law office. Well, like I said above, that's easy enough to remedy. DON'T RUN FOR OFFICE. Stay home and get your finances in order. Hell, it's not like someone is standing there with a gun to his head MAKING him run. PLUS, let's not forget, that for the 3 months or so he spends in the legislature, he GETS PAID (plus expenses). So, it's not like the time he's in Charleston, he's doing it out of the goodness of his heart. So Kiss can take this "oh, us poor, poor, legislators are making such a financial sacrifice" crap and stuff it where I'd like to stick Danny Jones' Worker Tax.
This "who cares?" attitude by the number 1 guy in the House of Delegates, is pretty disturbing, along with the lack of outrage from the other members. I'm sorry Staton's run into hard times because (partly) of the Mullens' flood, but the cold fact of the matter is this. These guys are sent to Charleston to supposedly, "do the right thing." And they have absolutely NO hesitation in sticking a gun in my ribs for increased hotel motel taxes, or cell phone fees, or allowing Danny "Worker Tax" Jones to slap a tax on working people who can't even vote on the matter, but they can't even get their OWN financial obligations to the state taken care of? Staton should at the very least be removed from his leadership position as Majority Leader, if he owes the State delinquent taxes.
Like I said, I guess it's just another case of "do as I say, not as I do." I hated it when my parents said that to me growing up, and I sure as hell shouldn't have to take that crap from "my" elected officials. And neither should you.