Take my governor, Bob McDonnell of Virginia, who grassroots conservatives are ashamed of after this weekend. The Virginia legislature "reached across party lines" (meaning - both sides come together to screw us all) to approve a transportation bill that will raise taxes on citizens of the Commonwealth during these down economic times, regardless of the fact that McDonnell has pledged previously not to raise taxes.
May I remind you? (On the Issues.org).
I will veto any bill or budget which raises taxes Virginians are struggling with the worst economy in generations. We will not turn our economy around by taxing Virginians more. To do so would ignore the indisputable truth that the fiscal fortune of any government is tied to the economic prosperity of its people. Therefore, if you pass a bill in this recession that raises taxes on the hardworking families of Virginia--I WILL VETO IT. And if you pass a budget embedded with those same tax increases--I WILL NOT APPROVE IT.
Source: Virginia 2010 State of the State Address , Jan 18, 2010
Use general funds for transportation bill, not new taxes
Bob McDonnell has pledged not to sign a transportation bill with new revenue. His approach is to pay for transportation with money from the general fund. As The Post has reported, "general funds can be spent at the discretion of the General Assembly and the governor. The majority of the money in the general fund goes to education (45.9%), with the rest to health and human resources (24.2%) and public safety (11.1%)."
Republicans and Democrats in the General Assembly are on record opposing taking funds from these critical priorities to pay for roads. McDonnell's idea of using general funds for transportation is not new. In 2007, an editorial in the Daily Press of Hampton Roads said that McDonnell urged "the General Assembly to exploit the gap in state road funding as a rationale for reducing state spending on education, public safety, health care and conservation. That such an ideological purpose lies behind the Republican transportation proposal has been implied all along. McDonnell made it explicit.
Source: Creigh Deeds editorial in Washington Post , Sep 23, 2009That was then, this is now. McDonnell has praised the "compromise" (read: sellout).
Erick Erickson has more at RedState:
On Friday, March 15, 2013, at 8:00 a.m. Bob McDonnell will go to CPAC and address the Faith & Freedom Coalition Prayer Breakfast. For those of you who attend this event, you will be sitting staring at a liar.
If you are a conservative, remember Bob McDonnell thinks you’re an idiot.
That’s the only explanation I can think of for what just happened in Virginia this week. That, and that McDonnell is an unprincipled fake conservative whose promises are without value, an exemplar of the kind of big government pro-tax Republican who ruined the party’s stature with fiscal conservatives.
Bob McDonnell promised when he ran for governor that he’d never raise taxes. He talks a good game to conservative audiences, about principled leadership and the like. He can pretend he’s one of you. He’s got great hair. He’ll speak at the Faith & Freedom Coalition Prayer Breakfast at CPAC as if he is one of us.
But when push comes to shove, when the time comes that being a conservative demands that you stand up for what’s right and reject the easy way out, Bob McDonnell is not going to stand on principle. He’s going to cave to what the media calls “leadership” which is really just big government liberalism.
Bob McDonnell was getting all kinds of praise on the Sunday shows for his big transportation tax hike, which passed the Virginia legislature this week. He was getting praise from big government liberals like Tim Kaine and Terry McAuliffe and Martin O’Malley for his evenhandedness, his leadership, not like those troublesome conservatives in Washington who refuse to wheel and deal.But part of this "compromise" is that McDonnell is surrendering on the expansion of Medicaid exchanges as part of the Feds implementing Obamacare, as Erickson points out.
But we already know McDonnell’s word is meaningless. So he wrote a letter saying he’d support a state commission to expand Medicaid instead, paired with “cost cutting reforms” and impossible-to-enforce commitments from the government and the like. It was just more meaningless talk to get political cover for expanding the worst-run entitlement program in the country. Leadership on both sides will make sure the bicameral commission will be nothing but a speed bump towards expanding the program and exploding the same program whose outcomes are so awful, a University of Virginia study recently found you were more likely to die on the table as a Medicaid recipient than if you had no insurance at all.
In other words, Bob McDonnell was so desperate to raise taxes, he was willing to sell out on Obamacare, too. He was willing to sell out his party, his base, and his principles. And he did it with a smile.
The plan all along was to tax people more. The Medicaid expansion will do that too, adding in huge tax increases in future years when federal funding drops. And McDonnell got what he want. He passed his tax hike with a higher percentage of Democrats in the General Assembly voted for it than Republicans. He passed it despite the opposition of every Republican running statewide this year, including Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.Never mind that McDonnell had written on letter on Feb. 20, in which he stated:
"Please understand that 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. To do so would be irresponsible and place crushing financial burdens on future governors and legislatures. The country is broke, and I will not support policies that make it worse."Just like his "read my lips...no new taxes" pledge when running for Governor, McDonnell surrendered on ObamaCare just days after writing those words above.
Smitty at The Other McCain notes:
Laughing hysterically at all this: Mark Warner, who could have faced a significant challenge on his record from McDonnell in 2014, but now will do to McDonnell what Smilin’ Timmy Kaine did to George Allen, or, if you will, what Obama did to John McCain. Or Romney.
What a pile of bollocks. If there is some rationale or strategy to jacking taxes and spending when what’s needed is a downsizing of government, I’d be interested in hearing such.Compromise is one thing, but surrendering your principles is not compromise....it is cowardice. Why? For praise by the liberal activist media? Liberal partisans like Fartin O'Malley, who has run Maryland into the ground?
So much for any chance of higher office.
Congratulations Bob McDonnell, you've just become the GOP's newest version of George H.W. Bush.