McDonnell/Malek Commission a Debacle, As Predicted

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    As I pointed out several weeks ago, when the McDonnell/Malek faux-“reform” commission “interim report” came out, this whole thing turned out to be a complete debacle.  As I wrote at the time:

    First off, even Malek himself only claims savings of $100 million – apparently total, not annual – from his commission’s recommendations. That’s $100 million total out of a Commonwealth biennial budget of about $75 billion. To put it another way, that’s about one-thousandth of the biennial budget that this great “reform” commission has come up with in “savings,” ostensibly leaving the other 999-thousandths of government spending intact. Wow, that’s quite an accomplishment there by our intrepid crusader against “government waste”, Bob McDonnell!

    But wait, it gets even less impressive. That supposed $100 million in savings (no details or evidence offered, of course – just take them at their words on that one!) needs to offset the losses from McDonnell’s biggest boondoggle, his DOA ABC privatization proposal. If the latter were ever passed, and thank goodness it probably won’t be, it would put Virginia about $47 million a year into the hole every year. That’s $94 million lost from the biennial budget, so even if you assume that the $100 million “savings” Malek and McDonnell claim are biennial – and there’s absolutely no evidence to back that up – it barely covers the revenue lost from the liquor plan.

    Other than that, what does this supposed “reform” commission offer us?  Basically, that state government employees should work 4 days a week, 10 hours a day. Wow, that will accomplish a lot. Oh, and they also managed to sneak in some stealth anti-government crap in there, like item #97 (buried deep in the report), which calls for “set[ting] t a statutory limit on government spending expressed as a percentage of Gross State Product (GSP) ora similar benchmark.” Also, item #97 (buried deep in the report as well), which calls for “reduc[ing] all budget baselines by 2% as a compulsory productivity dividend each financial year.”

    Now, the final report is out, and it continues to be a really bad joke on the people of Virginia. But what else would you expect from a commission headed by a corrupt slimeball who used to count Jews for Richard Nixon when he wasn’t barbecuing a dog for dinner?

    So, that’s bad enough. But what the heck were any Democrats doing on Malek’s sham commission? As NLS correctly points out, all this accomplished – predictably – was to give the Republicans “cover for a sham commission.” Just like when several Democrats voted for Bob Marshall’s “health care freedom act” and gave “bipartisan” cover to Ken Kookinelli for his anti-“Obamacare” jihad.  Will this idiocy ever end? Are Democrats destined to be perpetual patsies for the Republicans’ latest maneuver? Unfortunately, these days it sure looks that way. With “friends” like these, who needs enemies?

    • Democrats have nothing to gain and everything to lose by working with Republicans.  

    • 4 day work weeks are actually a great idea on a lot of levels. But to pretend they’re anything more than a needle in the haystack of the budget savings you’d need to offset Republicans’ dogmatic refusal to ever raise taxes is silly.