Flat-Earth Society Rides Again
fiscal geniuses who brought us the VDOT retirement
fiasco and the state's largest budget shortfall are
lining up to attack Gov. Warner's tax reform.
case you didn’t catch this week’s absurdities,
playing at newsstands everywhere, herewith a recap.
First a disclaimer:
No, I do not make this stuff up.
Times Dispatch political savant Jeff Schapiro,
(see ‘Allen Played Key Role in Virginia’s Fiscal
Chaos’, Sunday, February 1, 2004) on Senator
George Allen’s closed door meeting with House and
Senate Republicans in Richmond, during which he laid
on no-new-taxes hands:
lacks credibility on fiscal issues”
bill of particulars on the Allen administration
comes down to just that:
no-car-tax plan and the run on the state’s credit
card that accelerated under back-to-back Republican
governors has rattled Wall Street and could cost
Virginia its cherished AAA bond ration, the highest
is now reprising his act in
helping pump up the national debt.”
is that some House and Senate Republicans could
barely keep a straight face during the lesson on
Allen math. Allen
retire a VDOT employee making $18 an hour, put him
on the state retirement dole, and then hire him back
as a $30-an-hour consultant and call that saving
who never met a bond issue he didn’t like, was the
original architect of
new GOP fiscal strategy:
borrow and spend.
to be out done, former Gov. Jim Gilmore, the
co-patron saint of Virginia’s flat-earthers,
weighed in with a clunky piece on the Times
Dispatch’s op-ed page, castigating wild-eyers
everywhere—presumably including that well-known
bunch of reckless spenders who gather under a banner
that reads ‘The Virginia Chamber of Commerce.’
he didn’t realize that the Virginia Chamber —
and nearly ever other clear-eye, pure heart group in
the state, down to the Girl Scouts — has endorsed
Gov. Mark R. Warner’s proposed budget and tax
reform package. No
didn’t dwell on it long.
Couldn’t wait to get to bragging on the
Bush administration’s record on job.
that be the same Bush administration under which
more manufacturing jobs have been lost since the
presidency of Herbert Hoover?
Come down to southside
and go over that one with us again.
of the T-D op-ed page.
Did you catch the McKenzie-Wilder
tit-for-tats a week or so ago?
I declare to goodness I thought the by-lines
must have been switched.
Wilder said (think ‘The Boss’s’ Glory
Days tune here) hold the line.
And McKenzie, bless his heart, hemmed, hawed,
and finally unequivocally equivocated:
spending where you can, raise taxes where you must.
Now there’s a profile in conviction, in
courage, for you.
then there is the Christina Nuckols piece in the Virginian-Pilot
GOP Firm On Taxes, Loose on Spending.’
of the House of Delegates have recommended $263
million in cuts to the governor’s plans.
At the same time, they’ve submitted ideas
for spending another $8 billion.”
not, however. She
reports that House Republican leaders, including
Speaker Bill Howell, “warn the 67 percent increase
in spending requests should not be viewed as a sign
their members are open to tax increases.”
Bill, what are ya’ll going to do?
How you going to pay for all this stuff?
Clip coupons? Use
to Nuchols, John Berthound, president of the
National Taxpayers Union, offered up a little text
and depth, and meaning to the aforementioned:
“Republican majorities in the General
Assembly and in Congress have failed to make good on
promises to keep government small.”
a news flash for you.
these admirable near-misses, however, The Dope of
the Week award must go to members of the 1st
Congressional District Republican Committee, who, by
resolution, asked Senate Finance Committee John
Chichester to leave the Republican Party.
Davis, reporting for the Free Lance-Star,
caught the good senator’s reaction:
a fiscal conservative in every way, I have examined
out options, and as chairman of the Senate Finance
Committee, it falls my lot to make the decisions
with the information that I possess, which I have
checked and re-checked.
To do nothing, as the 1st District
would have me to do, would be a gross
will not be deterred by a small, vocal minority of
my party, whose apparent goal is to impair
traditions of excellence and example-setting
that must have cooked up a little ‘what if’
thinking here and there.
It did with me.
Fact, I said it out loud, to no one in
on over, Senator. There’s
plenty of room.”
February 2, 2004