Wednesday, October 14, 2009
The Virginia Governor's Race - Here We Go Again.
Polling indicates that Virginians are about to be taken for a ride. Again. I keep waiting for Creigh Deeds to make it clear -there is no free lunch, the Legislature raises the revenues necessary to make ends meet. The legislature represents the will of the people and if Virginians want roads, schools, and public safety then they will demand that their legislature find a way to pay for it.
When Bob McDonnell promises to fund transportation, grow Universities, give teacher raises, etc. without raising taxes he wants you to ignore how he plans to pay for it. Bob will borrow the money to run Virginia from Wall Street bond traders. He will use the bonding authority already given the governor by a cowardly "no tax" legislature. And they will give even more! Guys like Delegates Matt Lohr, Todd Gilbert, and Steve Landes who don't have the courage to make the tough votes and provide sensible tax legislation to pay for Virginia's financial obligations.
So instead Bob McDonnell will borrow the money and Virginians will be obligated to pay with interest to distant loan sharks. There will be no vote, it will just happen, like an "act of god". Sound familiar? It should, this is exactly what Jim Gilmore did to Virginia when he was governor. He borrowed Virginia into a $6 billion dollar Wall Street bond debt, risking Virginia's bond rating as he struggled and failed to eliminate the "Car Tax". Ask a Supervisor, County Manager, or City Councilman how that worked out. It took a mutiny by his own Republican Party and the election of Mark Warner to stop the binge. And localities continue to beg Richmond for revenue.
Creigh Deeds knows that the governor doesn't raise or lower taxes, the legislature does. And after all those years in the legislature and the Attorney General's office Bob McDonnell knows it too. Virginia didn't become the nation's best managed state by borrowing money to fund public services. If the legislature does it's job and decides that tax legislation is preferable to borrowing money to pay for highways, then a prudent Governor should sign it. Creigh Deeds has said he would do so. Bob McDonnell wants to put it on the State credit card. He is betting that you aren't paying attention.