Prosperous Regions v. Poor “Jack”

The House version of the budget cut some of Gov. Warner’s proposed spending on economic development for Southside and Southwest. This Roanoke Times editorial assigns blame:

Then there’s the “I got mine, Jack, and I want more” attitude among some legislators from thriving areas. Riding high on technology, services and federal spending, and with unemployment rates as low as 2 percent, they’re far more concerned with passing new tax cuts than helping to revive less-fortunate regions where joblessness runs as high as 14 percent.

They are not their country cousins’ keepers.

The Times editors call Warner’s “Virginia Works” proposals “promising, proven and often business-approved development tactics.”

If I’m not mistaken, this week Gov. Warner will make two more in what has become a series of positive economic development announcements for Southside and Southwest. Somehow, existing economic development organizations and programs appear to be doing pretty well.

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  1. Barnie Day Avatar
    Barnie Day

    You’re right, Will. Some of these things are working well. Interestingly enough, I am presenting,in an appearance with Gov. Warner, a $300,000 contribution of tobacco commission funds to a Carroll County project this afternoon in Hillsville.

  2. Jim Bacon Avatar

    I don’t make this argument, but some people do: Major Virginia spending programs — especially those for transportation and education — are engines for a massive redistribution of wealth from Virginia’s wealthy regions to Virginia’s poorer, mostly rural, regions. NoVa boosters continually complain that the region gets only 70 cents back for every dollar it sends to Richmond. Of that 30 cents they’re short-change, I’d wager, only 10 cents stays in Richmond to support the state bureaucracy — most of the rest winds up in rural Virginia.

    I’m not arguing that it’s OK to short-change rural economic development. Au contraire, I believe that putting people back to work is far preferable to sending them transfer payments. But I am suggesting that the Roanoke Times has a myopic view.

  3. Speaking of papers…the Times Dispatch has been REALLY pro-Warner over the last couple of years. Did something change down there (I lived in Richmond 5 years ago and haven’t read the thing regularly for a while) or is Warner just that good?

  4. Will Vehrs Avatar
    Will Vehrs

    I think the RT-D gets a bad rap as some sort of right-wing mouthpiece. I find much more divesity on their editorial page and op-ed page than I find in a lot of other Virginia papers.

    Warner, like any elected official who has to make choices, is praised for some and taken to task for others.

  5. With all of the talk about the donor/donee relationship between NOVA and the poorer regions, we lose track of the real problem:

    Richmond gets whatever it wants.

    While Governor Allen prioritized route 288 above every other highway project, the Wilson Bridge Project and the Mixing Bowl project continued to be delayed and underfunded.

    The problem will only get worse, as Republicans will continue to court Wilder’s support by throwing money at Richmond, and Democrats try to out do them.

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