John Unger II

West Virginia State Senator, 16th District, Democratic  



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  • jim lambert said

    treat school sevice personnel fairly in the pay bill
    03/03/2011
  • drpropst said

    MESSAGE RELAYED BACK TO SEN. JAY ROCKEFELLER CONCERNING THE TAXATION OF SUGAR BASED BEVERAGES
    **********
    Mr. Unger, please see below
    **********
    Mr. Rockefeller,

    You wish me the very best but only offer us the very worse. I’m sorry, sir, but I am totally disgusted and angry beyond belief that BIG GOVERNMENT thinks it needs to step in with its Socialist Foot because they think that I am not capable of taking care of myself, or my family or cannot make decisions on my own. I am appalled and totally insulted! Am I in Russia – Communist China? Am I where I not only have to be told when & where I can do things but also how! BIG GOVERNMENT, I request you PLEASE get the hell out of my house and LET me make decisions for ME & MY family. Let me have the dominion over my own life and my family’s. Isn’t that what The Constitution dictates, or did I grow up with a different Constitution than you? You’re making me seem like I’m a stupid man that doesn’t know what to do and has to be led like cattle … yeah, like cattle right to the slaughter. Maybe instead of taxing us to death why don’t you just cut people’s arms off so they can’t actually take a drink in the first place (& face it, the taxing is really just an avenue to make extra money for deficits you have elsewhere, because truly you could really give a hoot about OUR health care reform, because it doesn’t concern you or yours since you’re and yours have coverage from a different plan – so, all you are really just worried about is WHERE’S THE EXTRA MONEY WE NEED COMING FROM ANYWAY – oh, I’ve got an idea, let’s just make up something idiotic and tax the heck out of it! Seems to be your solution more times than not for that type situation where there’s a short-fall.)? Give us some credit of having just a fraction of intelligence as to be a able to make decisions for ourselves. Hell, why did I even go to school if the Government was just going to step in and make ALL my decisions for me, why should I even think … and then to force it upon me if I don’t adhere with reprimands of taxation. Is BIG GOVERNMENT also going to tax other items that ‘might’ lead to obesity and might be deemed to be bad for us too … like bacon, hot dogs, French Fries, pasta, etc., etc., etc. What other things will BIG GOVERNMENT decide is bad for me that we may have to pay extra for and not let us make our OWN choice; especially if we want to try and save money, since now I’m now paying about 300% more for groceries than I was paying a year and a half ago; and with oil readily available that we could go after and get that’s under the Bakken, where we could sever our want/need for foreign oil; yet we don’t take advantage of this and I continue to pay a ridiculous amount of $3.29/gal. for gas in Martinsburg, WV just the other day (while the most expensive County in Northern VA [where I have to work – and which is usually always $0.10 to $0.15 more expensive than us] was only $3.09 - $3.19/gal. – WHY???) ! Yes, I am extremely ticked-off and tired of BIG GOVERNMENT using MY money to try and save this, to try and save that, but doing NOTHING to save me or mine - nor the future of our children (AND needlessly adding endlessly to their future burdens). Everything around me is going sky-rocket high, except for my pay-check. I make $60K a year (before taxes), also working out elsewhere part time, and I STILL can barely make ends meet – BARELY! But I suppose that you can make ends meet with no problem in your high echelon position; so why should you worry about peon’s like us – except for our vote? These decisions you’ve been making are not what the majority of the people want – it’s what BIG GOVERNMENT (that’s turned Socialistic) want and has decided it’s what we need. Well I say STOP IT!!! Try just once to come down to our level and live like us – put yourself in our shoes – struggle to make ends meet while BIG GOVERNMENT wastefully spends and wants to tax us and raise our taxes, our prices more, and more and more - try to live like we live – suffer like we suffer, and you’ll see a lot of the decisions you’re making are asinine and not in the best interest of the every-day-working class people. All I can say is I just hope this doesn’t fall on deaf ears and pray that God may save us, because you guys surely aren’t. You’re slowly squeezing us around the throat more & more, choking us to death, controlling us as much as possible, telling us what we can & cannot do and digging a deeper hole – grave, as it were – for each and every one of us. I pray God will continue to bless West Virginia and the United States of America.

    David Propst

    From: senator@rockefeller.senate.gov [mailto:senator@rockefeller.senate.gov]
    Sent: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 11:23 AM
    To: Propst, David R (IS)
    Subject: EXT :Letter from Senator Jay Rockefeller

    Dear David,

    Thank you for contacting me about a proposed tax on certain soda products and health care reform. These are important issues, and I am glad you have been in touch. I sincerely apologize for the delay in my response.

    At the state level, West Virginia has made efforts to limit the amount of soda being consumed in the state. Currently, West Virginia has a three percent tax on soda. In addition, the West Virginia school system prohibits the sale or serving of soda during the school day, except in individual counties that allow soda sales at high schools.

    At the federal level, taxing certain soda products was one proposal being considered to pay for the costs of health care reform legislation. While not ultimately included in the final health reform bill signed into law, the proposal would have imposed a federal excise tax per 12 ounces of sugar-sweetened beverage. The definition of sugar-sweetened beverages would have included a variety of carbonated and un-carbonated beverages, such as non-diet soft drinks, fruit and vegetable drinks, functional drinks such as energy and sports drinks, iced teas and iced coffees, and flavored milk and dairy drinks. The tax would have applied to beverages sweetened with sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, or other similar sweeteners. The tax would not have applied to beverages sweetened with non-caloric sweeteners. Sugar-sweetened fountain-drink syrup would have been taxed at a higher rate per ounce, such that the rate per ounce of fountain drink would have been roughly equivalent to the tax rate on ready-to-drink soft drinks.

    Proponents of the soda tax argue that there is a legitimate reason to look at taxing soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages because of their impact on health care in this country. Soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages can lead to higher rates of obesity – especially among children. Opponents of the soda tax counter that such a tax would disproportionately impact lower income individuals who are more likely to purchase such beverages. I certainly understand the concerns of both sides and believe that, should the Senate consider legislation on this issue in the future, careful consideration must be given to all arguments on the matter.

    On December 24, 2009, I voted to support passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590). My vote reflects the urgent need to improve the health care coverage people have today, expand access to affordable care for the uninsured, control runaway health care costs, and end unfair health insurance industry practices. H.R. 3590 was subsequently passed by the House of Representatives on March 21, 2010, and signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010. A second bill which included improvements to our health care system - the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (H.R. 4872) - was signed into law by President Obama on March 30, 2010. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, together with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, will provide Americans with more affordable and comprehensive coverage options, improve the quality of health care that all Americans receive, and reduce the federal deficit by $143 billion over the next ten years.

    Thank you again for writing. I wish you all the very best.


    With Warm Regards,

    Jay Rockefeller

    02/15/2011
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