We’ve Been Betrayed for Three Decades and People Just Now Notice?PolicyPoliticsVirginia

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.

  • http://www.brianschoeneman.org/ Brian W. Schoeneman

    I think that’s the best thing you’ve ever written DJ.

    • http://www.facebook.com/shaunkenney Shaun Kenney

      I would agree… even though I disagree with the thrust of the post, it’s great writing!

  • http://twitter.com/icanhasbailout Alexis Rose Bank

    It’s not just now happening out of the blue. The people hit their “fed up” point years ago and elected officials who campaigned on putting a stop to the abuses of government. So when those same officials are given a mandate for lower taxes and smaller government, and turn around and do the opposite, that absolutely is a betrayal.

    The “It’s Bush’s fault” excuse doesn’t work for me when Obama says it and it doesn’t work for me when McDonnell or any other pathetic excuse for a Republican says it.

    We’re supposed to be the responsible adults in the room.

    • http://www.facebook.com/djspiker D.j. Spiker

      Who elected/reelected the HoD? Allen? Gilmore? Bush? Etc.

      We assume everyone will be responsible adults. Then they’re not. So we reelect them.

      Every Republican campaigns on stopping the abuses of government and lower taxes. When they fail to do it, we reelect them.

      That’s not responsible.

      • EricMcGrane

        Awesome. So we’ll no longer have to suffer through any “you’re splitting the vote” bullshit. No longer will have to endure republican hatred for not “falling in line”. This is an EXCITING development.

      • http://twitter.com/icanhasbailout Alexis Rose Bank

        “When they fail to do it, we reelect them.”

        Not any more. We are very very serious about wanting smaller government and wanting it now, not as some vague never-to-be-achieved promise in the future. Anyone who is going to promise that then backtrack when the going gets rough is going to catch holy hell for it.

        Message to Republican officeholders/aspirants: You vote for higher taxes, you vote for an end to your political career. This is non-negotiable – this is our WILL and it is your role to represent our will. If you fail to do so, we will find someone who will. We have zero attachment to you personally and if we have to suffer under a term in opposition in order to get rid of you, we will readily do so, without hesitation.

  • http://twitter.com/gopaulblair Paul Blair

    So essentially your argument is that everyone has blown their opportunity to be the fiscal conservatives they campaigned as and no one prioritized transportation so the largest tax hike in Virginia history is okay now? Got it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/djspiker D.j. Spiker

      “Their solution was shit but at least it was an idea! The same thing with the transportation compromise now. It sucks.”

      Pretty sure nowhere do I say it’s ‘okay’. I say that if you’re going to blame McDonnell, you have to also blame thirty years of failed Republican leadership.

      We can’t stand on thirty year old principles as Rome burns around us, and we lit the fire. It has to be fixed.

      • http://twitter.com/gopaulblair Paul Blair

        I do blame legislators for refusing to prioritize transportation spending for years. But the explosion of state government is not something that has to be continued year to year. One example: privatize the ports and the state government gets a $1 billion check up-front. Doesn’t even require cutting spending (god forbid we do that). Nothing nuanced there. The idea that we had to raise taxes because the GA screwed up for 30 years is a farce.

        • http://bearingdrift.com/ J.R. Hoeft

          We also punted on Uranium mining this year too. Not to mention no movement on offshore energy development via the feds. Lots of revenue there – gone.

          • pinecone321

            I’m all for privatizing the ports and roadways, however, not when we lease them to the Chinese, or other foreign governments with 99 year leases.

            The transportation funding mechanisms put in place over the years have always been raided for things such as “education.” How many dollars can you throw at education and still have some horrendously failing public schools. I believe some of the Charlottesville public schools in the last few years were still on the failing list. I’m sure they weren’t the only ones across the state. And imagine that, we are a right to work state. Part of the transportation plan declares more dollars for education. Another fold to the Democrats.

            As to the energy development off the coast of VA., that was actually one of the things I really was excited about in McDonnell’s campaign. When surveys/polls are released, my top priority is always energy policy. It would create more jobs than anything else, it would bring a profound amount of prosperity to the country, and we could in fact be independent from the middle east who hates us. I am even all for clean coal technology without the crippling EPA regulations, and the promise that Obama will kill of that industry, and he has. So, McDonnell writes a letter to Salazar, one of Obama’s bootlickers, asking if he could go ahead with the lease sales. Nope was the expected answer. So what does McDonnell do, he says OK, I go all out for wind and solar. What a tremendous waste of VA taxpayer money for something that is not cost effective, or reliable.

            Uranium mining is gone for only one reason. The environmentalist are now in control of energy policy in VA. along with the Richard Windsor, and Obama. But hey, it brought a whole lot of federal dollars to the state for McDonnell.

            I wonder if McDonnell has yet funded the state employees pension and health care funding. He brought forward state surpluses by not funding them the last I heard.

  • Nathan Miller

    Fantastic article!

  • Doug Knack

    DJ, very well done. I hate both parties, since each seems to do nothing except complain about the other. I have regularly disagreed with what you have written because it has had that same bent. This writing would have been better only if more blame had been laid at the foot of the Democrats in Richmond, for their share of our tranportation debaucle.

    I hope the good news will be that our other infrastructure issues will be addressed sooner than later.

    Well done

    • http://www.facebook.com/djspiker D.j. Spiker

      I think you’d agree that based on previous writings I’m always inherently blaming Democrats, stated or unstated sir.

  • pinecone321

    Uhhh D. J. Spiker- The “cool story bro” reference was started at least a few years ago by someone else on a different website. At least you could put it in quotes, or acknowledge the guy that coined the phrase.

    • EricMcGrane

      Its actually an Internet meme thats worldwide…far larger than any regional websites.

      • pinecone321

        “Cool story, bro is the ultimate shut down to faggotry, obvious trolling, incoherence, and tl;dr infecting the internets, to which there is no response. It simultaneously acknowledges the given failure, shows moderate approval, and conveys the fact that nobody cares. Some believe that the meme originated from /v/, while others believe that it originated from the YouTube Poop forums, however nobody cares about that either.

        The primary intent behind the use of this meme, is ordinarily to
        antagonise the target, via an expression of apathy. This works
        particularly well, if the target’s story involves something genuinely
        disastrous or shocking.”

        You are correct Eric McGrane. The above definition is one I found on the web which explains the term. Not sure that the phrase is one that either you, or Spiker have really wanted to use. Words have meanings.

        • http://twitter.com/icanhasbailout Alexis Rose Bank

          Cool story, bro.

          • http://www.facebook.com/djspiker D.j. Spiker

            +1

  • http://bearingdrift.com/ J.R. Hoeft

    The views expressed by a contributor to Bearing Drift do not necessarily express those of other contributors or the publisher. ;-)

  • EricMcGrane

    Its weird, but I don’t see anyone giving the past GOP leaders a pass on this.

    Eventually though, there needs to be a “stop” point. And now that people are finally saying “stop”, you rail against them for not saying it sooner.

    Cool story, bro.

    I’d like to offer a hand of “welcome” to those of you here that are finally “getting it”.

    Before you know it you’ll all be “racist hate mongering tea party radical extremist terrorists”….that simply want sound fiscal policy; to stop spending into oblivion.

    • http://www.facebook.com/djspiker D.j. Spiker

      If you took this as a yay tea party article, you’re drastically missing the point

    • http://bearingdrift.com/ J.R. Hoeft

      Dare I say, “count me in”?

      • EricMcGrane

        :)

    • http://www.brianschoeneman.org/ Brian W. Schoeneman

      Here’s my question for you, Eric – where was the Tea Party during this fight? Seemed like a fat lot of nothing until after the thing was already a fait accompli.

      • EricMcGrane

        Which fight? The fight over the bill language that wasn’t available for review until right before the vote? That fight?

        So far from you we’ve gotten “So where’s YOUR plan” and “where were YOU earlier on” from you as your arguments. Yes, we’re the problem here. Clearly.

        • http://www.brianschoeneman.org/ Brian W. Schoeneman

          Yes, you are. There were plenty of people out there arguing loud and long about the way this bill was going – if there was time for a bunch of bloggers to put together a letter condemning the direction of the negotiations, where was the Tea Party? Where were the rallies? The protests? You all were able to whip things up on Obamacare before we ever saw a final bill, so don’t give me that nonsense about language not being available.

          This is one of my biggest criticisms of some in the Tea Party – they love to fight but they don’t like to govern. Their policy proposals are unworkable and unpassable and they are very good at knocking down things, but not so much crafting things. And, if I was a cynical and paranoid as some folks farther to my right, I could make an argument they sat on the sidelines to give themselves an issue to run on.

          • http://www.facebook.com/david.eggleston.963 David Eggleston

            You’d be giving them too much credit, Brian.

          • EricMcGrane

            How do you fit such a broad brush in your closet?

            And yes, we all got together and plotted for a way to make Gov McDonnell break from his promises so that we could stay up all night begging him to simply govern as he campaigned. Its all going according to plan.

          • http://www.brianschoeneman.org/ Brian W. Schoeneman

            I just borrow the one you guys use when you’re whining about RINOs.

            I didn’t say it was a plot. But I see a few people who otherwise would have been up in arms about this stuff who sat on their hands and only now are going nuts.

          • EricMcGrane

            Exactly. It was timed on purpose. Everyone totally expected something like this to come from a republican-dominated legislature, so we totally saw it coming. It was totally expected. And stuff.

            Spoken like a true apologist. Which is completely ok, of course. If we didnt have people touting bad policy, it would be harder to identify good policy….so I thank you for the role you play.

          • http://www.brianschoeneman.org/ Brian W. Schoeneman

            Eric, come on. Everyone in this site saw it coming – we were complaining about it for over a week before it happened.

            I have yet to see a good policy you guys have identified beyond “everything everyone else is doing is wrong.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.eggleston.963 David Eggleston

    D.J., you cannot just blame the GOP leadership when they were pandering to the whims of the “grassroots” and the greed of the electorate. There is enough blame to go around on this one.

    • Darrell

      Really? Pandering to the whims of the grassroots?

      “The adults are back in charge of the party.” Remember that?

      • http://www.facebook.com/david.eggleston.963 David Eggleston

        Yes, all those Virginia politicians signing Grover’s pledges were doing nothing but pandering. Everyone in the Party, from the top to the bottom, is to blame for these problems. You can’t expect the leadership to behave better than their constituencies.

        • EricMcGrane

          I know right? Because clearly the only way to solve problems is to require more and more tax revenue. Grow it. Increase it. More more more. There’s literally no other options.

          More more more.

  • Loudoun GOPer

    First, Reagan didn’t raise taxes in ’82, dumbass. He cut them. Second, as soon as you used the Democrats language of “put in a tax cut without paying for it,” you demonstrate your total lack of understanding of economics.

    Tax cuts, by their very nature, pay for themselves because they spur new economic growth, which leads to new jobs and better wages, which create new taxpayers, which leads to INCREASED tax revenue. Check your history. This principle is proven true over and over again.

    Third, what do you mean nobody did anything about it?!?!? When George H.W. Bush raised taxes in 1989/90, he spurred Ross Perot to get in the race, which siphoned off millions of disappointed conservatives and led to the election of Bill Clinton.

    When Republicans in VA voted for Warner’s tax increases in 2004, conservatives ran primaries against Republicans who voted for it like Russ Potts and Joe May, and those challengers were attacked as being disloyal, then lost when the incumbents chose open primaries and invited Democrats into our process to help them win the primaries.

    When Republicans passed the horrible “unelected taxing authorities in 2007, Republicans Like Bob Marshall and Dick Black challenged them in court. Former Republican Supervisor Mick Staton in Loudoun got the County of Loudoun to join that suit as well, and that law was ruled unconstitutional.

    Don’t say that you have only been active in politics for four years and complain that nobody has tried to do something about the RINO’s in our party. You are insulting those of us who have been fighting for decades to elect GOOD Republicans and you demonstrate your own level of ignorance.

    • http://www.facebook.com/djspiker D.j. Spiker

      It sounds like you need to read more history, dumbass.

      Gilmore’s tax cut? Crushed the state. Bush’s tax cut? Crushed the national debt.

      Tax cuts have to be offset with cutting in spending.

      Oh, and Reagan?

      http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/12/05/reagan-s-deal-with-democrats-for-tax-increases-paired-with-spending-cuts-is-a-myth.html

      Sucks to suck.

      • Loudoun GOPer

        Son, your first mistake was to try to re-write Reagan’s legacy by pointing me to a liberal blog. Your second mistake was to try and tell someone who not only lived through the Reagan years, but was actually present at his 1981 Inauguration, that Reagan was a big tax raiser. It’s just not true.

        Reagan dropped the top marginal tax rate from 90% (yes, that’s NINE-ZERO) down to 28%. As a result, revenue to the federal government increased dramatically. Go check the facts for yourself.

        Also, explain to me how Gilmore’s car tax cut crushed the state budget when Virginia is Constitutionally required to have a balanced budget? Why don’t you check the revenues coming into the state after Gilmore cut the car tax. They went up.

        Same thing with George Bush’s tax cut. Revenue to the federal government increased after the tax cut. It always does. It always will.

        Your profile says you are going to school for Public Policy. You should ask for your money back because it doesn’t sound like they taught you anything worthwhile.

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