Monday, March 06, 2006

Penny Wise and Pound Foolish

Things have taken a peculiar turn in the Old Dominion; old line Republicans have lined up with progressive Democrats to try to pass a spending bill that makes sense. Opposing them are young very conservative Republicans, mostly in the House of Delegates, who want to raid the surplus and the general fund. This happened two years ago but finally after having to meet in a special legislative session, cooler heads prevailed and a reasonable budget was passed. This year it looks as though the radical right is standing fast and we in Virginia may not have a budget by the time fall arrives.

What makes little sense about this whole mess is that the single most important task facing the General Assembly is the issue of transportation. All agree that roads in both Northern Virginia and The Tidewater Area is a disaster and the rest of the state is not in much better shape. Both areas need huge expenditures to build new roads and increase public transportation options, which require long term commitments of funding. The no new taxes radical right refuses to recognize this fact and would rather take funds from support for education, the elderly, the poor, the infirm just so they can go back to their district and say look I didn't raise your taxes

How this one shot funding is going to solve the long-term requirements for funding remains a mystery which even the conservative Republicans cannot answer. Anyone who has ever seen road construction and public transportation projects being built know that these are projects can take many years and require a constant and usually an increasing supply of funding.

These tactics I believe are going to backfire on these idiots. Citizens of Virginia, in a recent poll, have identified transportation as the most important issue they want their elected officials to solve. Failure to do so in this legislative session can clearly and unambiguously be laid at the feet of this group of do-nothing delegates. Moreover if this group of cretins succeeds in raiding the general fund, critical services which help the entire population of Virginia are going to be seriously affected. With these issues to run on the Democrats should have a good chance in terminating the political career of these no-tax Republicans. Maybe enough Virginians will recognize that taxes are the price we pay for having a civilized and orderly society.

David Goldberg