Gov. McDonnell sat down with Chuck Todd to discuss the electoral college, transportation funding and whether Ken Cuccinelli should resign as AG to run for governor:
I listened to it; this Governor is a master of obfuscation. Speaking just about transportation, he made it appear as if the gas tax is dying when in fact it is still going up. Here is a unique perspective. Even if it starts to go down, the rate can be increased to compensate for that, just like what occurs for real estate taxes. There is now need to shift to the sales tax.
This proposal is convoluted, complicated, the math does not work, it steals for education, and it is funded in large measure by taxes on internet sales that have not even passed the Congress and probably won’t. Just like financing transportation with royalities from off shore drilling. Does this guy never learn?
In the meantime, stop with this legacy talk. McDonnell has cut government; big deal. He has continued the destruction of transportation infrastructure, he has cut public schools by over 12%, he has cut employees and their pensions, tuitions are so high only the rich can attend without punishing loans, and local governments have been cut dramatically. Legacy, yeah, the worst Governor in decades.
Best Damn Governor in America. Yes, I said that.
I have read the Governor’s proposal and in the words of Secretary Connaughton….“We encourage all Virginians to become better informed on the issues facing Virginia’s
transportation funding challenges and to learn about the bold, innovative solution proposed by Governor McDonnell.”
Frankly, his plan is tepid, does not cover major projects, it requires us to believe that Congress with approve internet sales tax rebates to the states (which has not passed Congress), it takes funds from general fund programs like K-12 education and public safety which have been dramatically cut already, and ignores the fact that increasing the gas tax and then indexing it for inflation will do the job much better and faster.
That said, this proposal may be salvageable if a nonpartisan commission is formed such as what occurred in 1986 to deal with the reality that is not dealt with in this proposal. It needs to be much bigger, it needs to deal with major projects that represent our economic future, it should not take revenue from the general fund, it should not
be speculative in regard to internet sales revenue, and it can’t be “revenue
neutral” or what is the point? Our infrastructure is crumbling and the
Governor won’t agree to added revenue?
If time is short, raise the gas tax now to $0.40/gallon but establish the commission to come back with a reform bill in the next session. We are in crisis, and waiting another five years as the Governor has proposed is an insufficient response.
The fact that some business associations have signed on is more an indication of desperation rather than support for this particular proposal that does more harm than good. This can be made acceptable, but not if it is support in its current form.