Well, the last week has been interesting.
On the news that Virginia for the first time in twenty-seven years made a significant contribution to transportation, fiscal conservatives across the Commonwealth are up in arms about the tax increases and are decrying the betrayal of the Republican Party.
Cool story, bro.
In Congress, as our nation fights a $16 trillion dollar debt, Social Security and Medicare are spiraling out of control, fiscal conservatives across the nation are up in arms about avoiding tax increases.
Cool story, bro.
Can we have a reality check?
The failure of the Republican Party over the past three decades to be fiscally conservative has decimated this Party. Decimated. Obliterated. Destroyed. Our leaders lead us down this road, both in Virginia and in Washington, and we sat on the sidelines. We were so happy to have a Republican in the White House, a Republican in the Governor’s Mansion, a Republican controlled House, a Republican controlled Senate, a Republican controlled House of Delegates and a Republican controlled State Senate that we just let every dumbass piece of legislation sail on by.
Everyone NOW wants to stand on principle? Give it a rest.
Where was this outcry in 82 with Reagan’s tax hike?
How about from 93 – 97 when Allen was Governor and did nothing for transportation?
How about from 97 – 2001 when Gilmore did nothing for transportation and put in place a tax cut without paying for it?
How about from 2000 – 2002 when President Bush and the Republican controlled Congress oversaw Medicare Plan D, No Child Left Behind and the Department of Homeland Security? And passed a tax cut with no way to pay for it.
How about in 2004, when the Republican-controlled House and Senate passed the Warner tax hikes that did nothing for transportation?
How about in 2008 – 2009 when Republicans supported TARP, the car bailout, etc?
How about in 2009, when we regained the Governor’s mansion with a majority in the House and proposed little in transportation?
I get it. The Republican Party doesn’t raise taxes. Ever. That was cute in the 1980s. Here we are thirty years later, the majority of a nation that is center-right, where we are, says that they would pay more in taxes to pay down the debt/deficit/etc. The majority of the Commonwealth says raise the gas tax to get me out of traffic, congestion, tunnels, etc.
If you think we’re going to get out of the crippling national debt we have, reduce an annual $1.5 trillion deficit without raising revenues in some form…there’s no polite way to finish that statement.
We put ourselves into this mess. We elected leaders who fell into the traps of big government. Who raised the amount of spending in Richmond and Washington. And then we reelected them. And again. And again. And again. And again. Then we nominate them for office again once they lose. We’ve fallen under a spell of Republican leadership for the past three decades that has been a sham. Our Republican leaders failed us and failed the state when they did nothing for transportation. Our Republican leaders failed us and failed the country when they passed trillions in tax cuts with no way to pay for it. Was the extra $300 a year worth the thousands you, I and the next generations to come will have to pay in order to solve our fiscal crisis?
Yes, let’s cut spending. Yes, let’s find creative solutions. Yes, let’s stand on principle. Republicans in Congress can’t keep giving in on tax increases while Democrats sit on their hands with entitlement reform. THAT is where you stand on principle.
I’ve been a Republican since I can remember. I’ve been a fiscal conservative for as long as I can remember. But I’ve only been active in the Party for officially four years this month. I remember during Tim Kaine’s administration begging for ANYTHING to be done on transportation. Their solution was shit but at least it was an idea! The same thing with the transportation compromise now. It sucks.
But where is the alternative? We’ve had a Republican majority in the House of Delegate for FIFTEEN years now. In fifteen years, the best two passable proposals the Republican Party has to offer has been regional authorities in 2007 and this year’s transportation compromise.
Doing nothing is/was no longer an option. Blame Bob McDonnell? Okay, but only so long as you’re also blaming George Allen, Jim Gilmore, the Republican House and Senate 2001 – 2005 who dropped the ball and left this session to fix the mess they left us. Blame the House who has had fifteen years to put together a transportation proposal. Blame the General Assembly who refused to pass ABC privatization, reducing the size of government and bringing in new revenue to state without raising taxes (two core Republican principles) at the same time.
We are losing the PR battle, and losing badly. This isn’t about minority outreach. It’s not about votes. We as a party have allowed the Republicans leaders we elect to do or not do whatever they wanted without any ramifications. There were no consequences to the votes our elected officials have made that spent, raised and put the nation further in debt. That let our roads literally crumble and dissolve. That let traffic back up for miles on a daily basis.
If you want to make people pay now, then that’s fine. But calling it betrayal? Sellouts? How dare they?
They were forced into this position by the failures of Republican leadership in the past three decades. Two wrongs do not make a right, but a certain point for the public good, something has to be done. Our leaders are elected to serve the public, putting something before themselves in order to make a better Commonwealth, a better nation, a better government.
We’ve pretty much let our Republican leaders destroy any chance we had at a better government. Now hopefully we can salvage a better Commonwealth and better nation.