Bob McDonnell's Scrooge Budget: Keep Giving to the Rich, Take from Kids, Seniors, etc.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Gov. Scrooge Bob McDonnell just finished presenting his budget for Virginia, and it's as bad or worse than most of us thought it would be. A few lowlights:*There are no new revenues in the budget {UPDATE: I'm informed that there's an increased drivers license fee, which could raise a few million dollars a year -- still utterly inconsequential in the context of an $85 billion two-year budget, but it's worth mentioning for accuracy's sake) which means that everything's a zero-sum game. Remember that, as you analyze the budget: if there's an increase in one area, there has to be a decrease in another.
*No new revenues also means continuing to starve transportation (have fun stewing in gridlock for many more years to come), failing to replace federal "stimulus" funds that are now ending, and absolutely nailing Medicaid ("$258.6 million saved by not funding inflation costs for hospital rates under Medicaid").
*The budget hurts kids, foolishly and counterproductively taking "$81 million from gutting Democratic former Gov. Tim Kaine's Virginia Preschool Initiative." That's really, really stupid, as pre-k is one of the most effective ways to get kids learning early. Why on earth would McDonnell cut that?
*Meanwhile, note that the wealthiest Virginians and most powerful corporations aren't asked to pay any more. And note that there are no cuts to corporate welfare (e.g., coal, movies, wine, you name it -- even the space industry gets some holiday goodies!) in this budget, despite the fact that this largesse costs Virginia tens of millions (or more) per year, for mostly no good public policy reason. Priorities, priorities, I suppose.
Bottom line: this is a classic Teapublican't budget -- hurting the poor, the elderly, the young, the most vulnerable, while protecting the gravy train rich people and corporations are riding on. It's disgusting, but it's also not surprising, given that this IS the Republican Way after all. Ebenezer Scrooge had nothing on these guys when it comes to cold-heartedness and selfishness.
P.S. The House Democrats' press release is on the "flip." I'm not sure how they can "vow" anything, given that there are only 32 of them in the 100-member House of Delegates, but alrighty...