Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Is it Moral to Keep Loading Debt on our Children?

In recent years Virginia has borrowed money to be able to build more than would be possible through traditional pay-as-you go funding.

Paying the interest on these borrowed funds consumes an increasing share of $$ available for construction:
In 1989, debt service required 1% of construction funds
In 2005, debt service required 14% of construction funds
In 2010, debt service will require 20% of construction funds

This is without the added debt payment of $200,000,000 (two hundred million dollars) per year that the Republican plan intends to add in order to fund two and one half billion dollars of DEBT....

How can these politicians look us in the eye?


Ed Hale said...

A sad fact of human nature is that people are much more captivated by Benny Neal and Anna Nicole Smith than the issues raised on this site.

I am concerned about the ever increasing use of debt.

The politicians you speak of however simply don't care what else may happen as long as they hold onto power.

Reminds me of the constant and ongoing power struggle in South Viet Nam. The country was dying and all the leadership could bring themselves to think about was being the ones in charge.

Better to be the captain of a sinking ship.....

BMH said...

Where are the true fiscal conservatives? You know, the ones that actually believe that the bills need to be paid on time? The irrational fear of "raising taxes" has become the ideology in control of these folks. They've repeated the "no new taxes" pledge to themselves for so long now that they've lost sight of what those taxes actually do. Seems that they are willing to accept or impose any unintended consequences that may occur in the future. Can we just spend some time talking about the consequences of debt service as opposed to fiscal honesty? It's our children's debt, but what about right now? Gov. Kaine is working at it but is there more we can do. I challenge this blogging community to start working on the list of "unintended consequences" that will begin to occur if the "no tax" folks continue to prevail. Let's keep this list up front and in the spotlight.

Rockdem said...


Example # 1...

In the early 90s in upstate NY, one bridge, and then a second bridge on I-90 collapsed. Reason? Neglect of infrastructure.

People driving when it happened couldn't tell soon enough to stop and drove off into nothingness.

Where are we in Virginia?

According the American Society of Civil Engineers:
26% of Virginia's bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.

BMH has offered up a very reasonable challenge.

C'mon folks, step up and participate!

Anonymous said...

All right, this is a beautiful complaint, but what's the solution?

Griping and whining is good, but come on, you can do better than this.

bmh said...

Dear Anonymous,

Blogging, participating, questioning, seeking, inquiring. It takes a group effort to accomplish results. Make a list, write a letter, nudge the public a little closer to a realization of the severity of the problem. I know some in the local organization are following the transportation issue closely. I know that hidden or unintended consequences will ensue if faulty policies are allowed to become the law of the commonwealth. Picking the brain of this collective is a constructive way to support a comprehensive, efficient policy.

So far, there's one item on the list concerning maintenance on the highway. What are the unintended consequences of using the general fund to pay off the debt? What services will be compromised? What will be the true cost of using the Commonwealth's credit card? Help me out here Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Who cares? My kids won't know the difference and I won't be here.
Screw 'em. I've gotten them this far, let them deal with it.