The other day, some of us were batting around some conversation here on ‘Howlings and the subject of a drive through tax came up. I said I had never heard of anything like that. I called a family member who works in the city and would have reason to know about drive through taxes. She said the city had a meals tax and that was all.
I came back with that response. Another reader came along and told me I must never go to McDonalds and told me politely that I was incorrect. There was a carry out tax. Ok. Me wrong? Not the first time and won’t be the last. I retracted, corrected and did what normal people do in situations like that. So today I swung into McDonalds to see what I was missing (other than heartburn). There it was, TAKE OUT TAX, right there on the receipt.
I was madder than hell at those supervisors for sneaking a tax through on us. Then I got mad at myself for being so unaware. Then I contacted a friend who works for the county in high places. I was told there was no PWC ‘TAKE OUT TAX’ and that I had been robbed.
Do places other than McDonald’s charge a TAKE OUT TAX? How dare a restaurant call something a tax that is clearly a surcharge on their services? Well, they don’t. I sent Mr. Howler out bright and early for one more McD’s trip. i told him not to come home without a receipt. Myth.
McDonalds is not charging a tax. They have stupid words in front of the word tax, like TAKE OUT. Some are marked EAT IN. It is simply the 5% VA sales tax. Panic over. Prince William County does not have a meals tax. Past referendums have not passed. The City of Manassas does have a meals tax. McDonalds does not have a special tax.
I hope this clears up this misconception. Feel free to dispute. If someone knows something I don’t, I am all ears.
UPDATE: 4/10/10 The 4 remaining miners at Montcoal have been found dead.
One has to ask, why doesn’t MSHA (Federal Mine Safety and Health Agency) do more to insist on safer mines? It makes no sense that the feds govern mine safety and the state can also. Yet a company has over 600 violations from one mine? How about the feds going in, shutting down the mines when they have glaring violations like ventilation systems not working and forcing the mines to pay the miners for time spent off the job until the mine is in compliance?
A current theme of mine is “this is 2010.” Coal mining has been unsafe since men first went into the bowels of the earth. Companies have gotten rich off the backs of miners. Part of our language comes from the dangers of mining (Canary in a coal mine). There are so many songs and films about the dangers of mining. Still we have companies that have zero regard for the ultimate safety of their workers.
Should we insist that the federal government protect miners by holding the companies’ respective feet to the fire about violations? Should mining safety be turned over to the state? Probably those who would battle any attempt to reform coal mining standards enforcement would be the coal miners and their families. They are a hard, tenacious group held together by the danger of the job. The key word here is J-O-B. A coal mine brings jobs to an undeveloped, economically depressed area. Mining is hard dangerous work but it pays well, especially when the unions are involved. Where are the unions during all this talk of violations?
Mining is good money if you live to spend it. Massey Energy and its CEO Don Blankenship might have a great deal to answer for once the dust has settled, the dead buried, and the lost found. We simply cannot have mining accidents like this in 2010. These miners aren’t our canaries!