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Editor’s NotebookEditor's Notebook: Right on, George Harrison!

Editor’s Notebook: Right on, George Harrison!

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The story goes that when George Harrison, the most outwardly placid of the Beatles and who this weekend would have turned 78 years old, was incensed when he realized that, way back in the 1960s, the top marginal income-tax rate in the United Kingdom was a whopping 95 percent.

The result was “Taxman,” a skewering of the indefensible tax policy of the era. (In a twist of irony, because the song enjoyed success, Harrison got a good amount of cash in writing royalties, which only added to his tax bill …)

We’ll embed that song down below, and we’ll dedicate it to Fairfax County Executive Bryan Hill, who earlier this week was out with his budget proposal … one that provides no cut in the tax rate despite the fact that the average assessment on residential real estate is up nearly 10 percent.

To borrow another Beatles lyric (“you say you want a revolution?”), it wasn’t all that long ago in Fairfax where the audacity of sticking it to homeowners in such a wanton way would indeed have resulted in a firestorm of outrage, and of supervisors (Republicans and Democrats alike) promising tax relief if not calling for the scalp of the county executive.

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But time has moved on, and today’s supervisors, at least on the Democratic side, feel themselves immune from the public, which in any event no longer seems to care one way or another about the increasing tax burden. Until some of them decide they’ve been priced out and depart.

Sending out a budget with no tax-rate cut under these circumstances is a clear indication that officials in Fairfax think the government is more deserving of that money than those who earn it in the first place. And given that there will be little to no pushback from the apparently inperturbable residents, why shouldn’t they think that way?

To borrow the famous line from Margaret Thatcher, eventually the Fairfax government is going to run out of other people’s money to spend. But it may take a while.

RIGHT ON, CHRIS PLANTE: WMAL talker Chris Plante yesterday noted that he hated the newish phrase “DMV” to describe the Washington region.

I’m with ya, Chris, but we are fighting a losing cause, brudder. The newbies that started arriving here over the past decade have picked up on and embraced it, and those of us who have been around the block and find the acronym dumb are becoming the minority.

A MISSED OPPORTUNITY: The Arlington Connection newspaper this week had a front-page photo of a large poodle and an article inside about the county being home to many of that breed of dog.

But the editors missed an opportunity. “Oodles of Poodles” would have been the perfect front-page headline.

AND HEREWITH, GEORGE HARRISON (WITH ERIC CLAPTON)! Enjoy “Taxman” below. As the product of the (shudder) conjugal love of two people who married while employed at the national headquarters of the IRS, it’s close to my heart.

And happy birthday, George, wherever you are up there in the great beyond. You are missed.

  • Scott McCaffrey
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