Today's Washington Post has an article about Governor McDonnell getting unexpected support
from some Virginia Democrats on his transportation plan. Sen. Ralph S. Northam (D-Norfolk), Charles J. Colgan (D-Prince William), R. Edward Houck (D-Spotsylvania), Phillip P. Puckett (D-Russell), and William Roscoe Reynolds (D-Franklin) have all agreed to be sponsors of the legislation. On the other side of the issue, Virginia State Party Chairman, Brian Moran, is seriously concerned about an explosion of debt in Virginia. Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax) and House Minority Leader Ward L. Armstrong (D-Henry) "...have accused McDonnell of trying to buy infrastructure on the state's credit card[,]" according to the Post.
Come on, Democrats, use the argument Republicans are using against Democrats at the national level - that digging ourselves deeper in debt is not positive for Virginia's future. Remember what happened when Republican Governor Gilmore did away with the car tax and tax revenues fell precipitously causing him to have to gash state agencies. This time, agencies have already been trimmed to the bone, and there is little or nothing left to cut. And, if we try to borrow massive amounts, we are going to be in crippling debt unless there is a remarkable, though unlikely, economic recovery. Republicans lately have been nothing more than 'borrow and spend,' so that the succeeding state leader (usually a Democrat) has had to deal with their irresponsibility.
We all know that Virginia is badly in need of transportation upgrades and updates, but the major problem I see with McDonnell's plan is that it is piecemeal. What we need is a comprehensive, long-term plan that will not only work to solve today's problems, but also, will be a blueprint for the needs of the next generation. Democrats need to be serious about solving problems. I don't know that it's a bad idea to borrow some funds when interest rates are low, but I do know that Democrats are completely buffaloed about raising state taxes. Call it investment as President Obama is discussing in his State of the Union address, but all the citizens of Virginia who use transportation, and that's just about everyone, must take some responsibility for improving it. The other issue is taking earmarked funds from other state accounts to pay for transportation. We are still a long way from passage of this legislation, but I for one think we should pressure our representatives not to go along with a half-assed plan that McDonnell has cobbled together just to have an accomplishment on his way to a try-out for the Republican nomination for Vice President.