Green Room

On McDonnell’s tax debacle in Virginia

posted at 9:29 pm on February 25, 2013 by

I’m not as conflicted as Erika is over Gov. Bob McDonnell’s new tax-and-spend gambit in Virginia.  It’s a disaster, both politically and on policy.  The Wall Street Journal editorial to which she links post lays out the case succinctly and persuasively:  In short, Virginia Republicans — led by the governor — have lent their imprimatur to a budget package that increases spending, funds “green” boondoggles in addition to needed infrastructure projects, makes a muddled tax code even murkier, and will very likely amount to a net tax hike.  And that doesn’t even touch the Medicaid cop-out.  The feeble spin from McDonnell’s supporters is that he had no choice but to strike a bargain with Democrats in Richmond, who control half of the state senate.  Reaching some accommodation with the opposition party is a reality of governance; this capitulation, however, represents a collapse of leadership and principle.  As for conservatives’ reaction, Red State’s Erick Erickson gets needlessly personal by branding McDonnell a “liar,” but Jennifer Rubin’s whitewash of the situation is far too forgiving.  One needn’t be an unflinching “purist” (to borrow her word), to reach that conclusion.  I’ve been an admirer of McDonnell since his 2009 campaign — and his stewardship of my adoptive home state has been infinitely preferable to the mess I experienced in my former digs.  But this “path forward,” as he calls it, is a major disappointment.

UPDATE – I neglected to describe the politics of all this.  Again, back to the Journal: “This fiasco will haunt Republicans in a state that holds elections in November.  Probable Democratic nominee for Governor Terry McAuliffe endorsed the bill knowing it erases any GOP advantage of taxes and spending.  Mr. Cuccinelli, the likely Republican nominee, opposed the bill but must now find a way to rally a splintered GOP and demoralized conservatives.”

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The arguments supporting the right of a state to determine how to fund its management are OK in isolation, but ultimately fail in today’s reality with the continued creep of the federal government.

I am disappointed, but hopeful.

Recently McDonnell collaborated with the two Carolina governors to advocate for opening energy reserves in the three states.

22044 on February 25, 2013 at 9:35 PM

McDonnell’s been a good governor, but this is a big mistake.

Guy Benson on February 25, 2013 at 9:38 PM

Pathetic.

But there’s this –

“Mr. Cuccinelli, the likely Republican nominee, opposed the bill but must now find a way to rally a splintered GOP and demoralized conservatives.”

Cuccinelli is the man to watch.

rrpjr on February 25, 2013 at 10:01 PM

2016:

Christie
Rubio
McDonnell
Jindal
Walker
Rand Paul

NEXT!

Gingotts on February 25, 2013 at 10:12 PM

If there’s anyone who can unite Virginia conservatives, I’d say Cuccinelli is likely up to the task. I’m more concerned with the role Bolling might play than with Cuccinelli. Stay tuned on that over the next 2 weeks or so.

That said, what’s happening to Virginia (other than the obvious N. VA sprawl)? Hopefully McDonnell doesn’t see a need to water himself down, but in our current age of GOP soul searching, the VA GOP is and should be very actively working to remain relevant as we move forward. I just got an email response from Sen. Kaine on his 2nd amendment positions, and it chilled me to the core. Hopefully McAuliffe isn’t never becomes the second of two former DNC chairs holding statewide VA office.

ElwoodBlues on February 25, 2013 at 10:44 PM

He pulled a Boehner. If there is one area a future conservative leader can NOT screw up on, it’s tax hikes.

Daemonocracy on February 25, 2013 at 10:46 PM

The Virginia GOP has always been a statist, hacktastic bunch. This is about what I’d expect from them. And from that charlatan Jenn Rubin. Why does anyone care what she has to say? She spent all of 2012 beclowning herself and looks to be continuing the foolishness in to 2013. I care more about what the local 7 year old selling Girl Scout cookies has to say about politics than what Jenn Rubin has to say.

besser tot als rot on February 25, 2013 at 11:51 PM

He pulled a Boehner. If there is one area a future conservative leader can NOT screw up on, it’s tax hikes.

Daemonocracy on February 25, 2013 at 10:46 PM

As I keep saying, I’m convinced most of the GOP quietly agrees with the Democrats and just pays us lip service these days. The GOP is totally useless these days as a vehicle to oppose the Democrats and efforts at internal reform are probably not going to yield fruit.

We’ve seen a lot of promising new politicians from the 2010 elections fall apart on us.

Doomberg on February 26, 2013 at 9:47 AM

bargain with Democratsdeal with the devil

FIFY

RedInMD on February 26, 2013 at 10:16 AM

2016:

Christie
Rubio
McDonnell
Jindal
Walker
Rand Paul

NEXT!

Gingotts on February 25, 2013 at 10:12 PM

Er, yeah. I don’t think the majority of conservatives and/or Republicans in the primary electorate are nearly as disenchanted with Rubio as the vocal minority of “deport-em-all” conservatives who post on this board.

However, I tend to agree that this manoeuver by McDonnell is a major disappointment and will likely kill any prospect he ever had of becoming the GOP nominee in 2016. He remains in the VEEP running, though – but only because the GOP needs VA to win.

DRayRaven on February 26, 2013 at 11:49 AM