Two national news sources came out this week against the massive new tax increases in Virginia, the National Review and the Wall Street Journal.
The National Review’s headline was “McDonnell’s Bad Transportation Deal”. The article may read here.
Among other things, the article explains how this massive tax expansion will hurt Ken Cuccinelli’s chances in the fall,
“Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, the conservative favorite to replace the outgoing Governor McDonnell, is fiercely opposed to the transportation plan and its tax increases, while his likely Democratic opponent, former Clinton henchman Terry McAuliffe, favors it. Cuccinelli is now put in the position of running against the Republican governor and the Republicans in the state legislature as well as the Democrats. Cuccinelli and McAuliffe are currently in a dead heat in the polls, and he could have used an assist from his party rather than another hurdle. It is harder to gun as a small-government conservative when your party is enacting large tax increases.”
Thanks Governor McDonnell! Perhaps he’s supporting Bill Bolling?
The conclusion by the National Review,
“Virginia does indeed suffer from serious traffic congestion, particularly in the northern part of the state, where the bloated work force of the ever-expanding federal government lolls in the D.C. suburbs like the world’s most contented occupying force. But the cure for Big Government in Washington is not Big Government in Richmond, and Governor McDonnell should know as much. It is no secret that he is testing the presidential waters for 2016, and we suspect that he felt some pressure to produce a hallmark bill after the failure of some of his better ideas, such as privatizing Virginia’s ridiculous state-run liquor soviet. The resulting legislation must be regarded by conservatives as a black mark on the governor’s résumé. What remains to be seen is not whether this is a bad deal but how bad a deal it is.”
The Wall Street Journal article is entitled “A Cavalier Fiasco” with a subtitle “Virginia Republicans try to elect the Next Democratic Governor”. You can see where this is headed! Unfortunately you can’t see the article without a subscription to the WSJ. The way around that, go to google and type in Cavalier Fiasco. That will bring up the article, click on it and read the whole thing. It’s well worth the trouble to find it. The article begins,
“There’s one thing uglier than a Democratic tax-and-spend spree. A Republican one. On Friday Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and a GOP-run legislature approved a five-year, $6 billion transportation bill financed almost entirely with higher sales and car taxes. The big winners are unions, real estate developers and the transit lobby.
Taxpayers didn’t fare so well. The sales tax rises to 6% from 5% in Hampton Roads and populous Northern Virginia and to 5.3% everywhere else. The hated car tax (which Republicans once vowed to eliminate) rises to 4.3% from 3%, meaning a new $30,000 car or truck will come with a $1,290 tax bill. Then there’s a new 0.25% sales tax on homes in Northern Virginia, plus a new hotel tax.
Mr. McDonnell claims that “with this bill gas prices will be reduced” because he’s eliminated the 17.5 cents a gallon gas tax. Yet he’s replaced it with a more hidden 3.5% tax on the wholesale price of gas. With wholesale prices nearing $4 a gallon, this is a 14 cents a gallon tax. This new levy will automatically rise with inflation and oil price spikes, which means over time the McDonnell gas tax “cut” may be an increase.”
Some say it will mean an increase in gas prices by September when gas prices usually rise.
On McDonnell’s expansion of medicaid,
“Mr. McDonnell even cut an 11th-hour deal with Democrats over the expansion of Medicaid under ObamaCare. Last Wednesday Mr. McDonnell issued a press release declaring: “I cannot and will not support consideration of an expansion of Medicaid in Virginia until major reforms are authorized and completed, and until we receive guarantees that the federal government’s promises to the states can be kept without increasing the immoral national debt.”
Two days later, to secure Democratic votes on his tax increase, he agreed to let a bicameral commission decide if the state will expand Medicaid. He agreed even though his attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, issued an opinion that this is an unconstitutional delegation of authority. Mr. McDonnell says the commission means Virginia won’t expand Medicaid as long as Republicans control the legislature, but wait until the hospital lobby gets done working the same Republicans who raised taxes.”
After the betrayals by our delegates this session, I’d say the republicans’ loss of the legislature is likely to happen within one year, two at the outside. With Bill Bolling entering the Governor’s race, we could lose that office as well, paving the way for a huge expansion of medicaid, among many other things.
The Wall Street Journal concludes with this:
“This fiasco will haunt Republicans in a state that holds elections in November. Probable Democratic nominee for Governor Terry McAuliffe endorsed the bill knowing it erases any GOP advantage on taxes and spending. Mr. Cuccinelli, the likely Republican nominee, opposed the bill but must now find a way to rally a splintered GOP and demoralized conservatives. At least Republicans can erase Mr. McDonnell’s name as a national candidate or VP choice in 2016.”
I can’t help but agree. McDonnell will never run for another office as a republican. Perhaps he will form a coalition with Bill Bolling in a new ‘Democrat Lite’ party.