Flat-Earth House Republicans to Virginia: Drop Dead

Thursday, February 4, 2010

That's essentially what flat-earth Republicans are saying when they reject any and all sources of funding to keep our Commonwealth from crumbling.
[Thomas Davis] Rust, R-Fairfax, was the sponsor of HB971, a bill to raise new revenue for Virginia's crumbling transportation infrastructure. The measure would have phased in a 15-cents-a-gallon increase in the gas tax statewide, plus a half-cent hike in the sales tax and a new fee on the recordation of deeds in traffic-choked Northern Virginia.

A parade of supporters testified for the bill, among them the Northern Virginia chambers of commerce, the road-building industry and Northrop Grumman Corp., one of the state's largest employers.

All to no avail. The subcommittee knows the state's transportation system needs fixing, one of the members, Del. Matthew Lohr, R-Harrisonburg, told Rust, "but the voters told me in November we need to get the job done without higher taxes."
That's right, the flat-earth, far-right-wing ideologues in the Virginia House of Delegates rejected a revenue bill proposed by a Republican (Tom Rust) and supported by the chamber of commerce, Northrop Grumman, and the "road-building industry." All to maintain their anti-tax purity, even if it means Virginia's roads and bridges crumble into dust, while commuters sit in traffic and businesses no longer choose to locate here. But not to worry, Virginia House Republicans would never let something like good government and keeping our state the "#1 place to do business" from their absolute refusal to raise urgently-needed revenues. I'm sure Grover Norquist is smiling, but the rest of us are screwed.

Then there's this gem, which I found to be highly revealing.
Perhaps most quixotic of all was Del. David Englin of Alexandria, a member of the subcommittee's Democratic minority. He had a sheaf of tax-hike bills including HB271, a proposal to redraw Virginia's income-tax brackets. The measure would have raised the top rate from 5.75 percent to 7 percent for incomes over $400,000 and used the revenue to cut taxes for lower-income taxpayers and small businesses.

No can do, said another panel member, Del. Mark Cole, R-Fredericksburg: Those wealthy taxpayers "are the movers and shakers of the economy. They're the ones who invest money and create jobs."
That's right, David Englin proposed a bill which would have taxed the wealthy more in order to cut taxes for working people and small businesses. Flat-earth House Republicans not only said "no can do," they point blank admitted that they're the "I've got mine so @#$@# party" by declaring that wealthy people are the ones "who invest money and create jobs." The message to the rest of us (unless, of course, you believe in trickle-down/supply-side Bushonomics)? Drop dead!