That’s Wonderful Governor, Now How Are You Going to Pay For It?


    It’s great that Bob McDonnell’s commission on this subject is coming out today with a call for “‘landmark higher education legislation’ to put Virginia on a path toward increasing degree attainment, providing stable funding for public institutions and making college more affordable and accessible to state students.” The question, as always, is how Virginia’s going to pay for this, particularly given Gov. McDonnell et al’s near-theological aversion to raising revenues, aka “taxes.” Also, I love how the commission’s interim report “won’t assign costs to its recommendations,” and also how the long-term funding model “won’t be ready when the General Assembly convenes in January.”

    In other words, this sounds like the education version of the liquor privatization fiasco, the offshore oil drilling fiasco, etc., etc. I hope I’m wrong about this, but frankly, until Republican’ts start getting a lot more pragmatic about the core function of government, which is to raise revenues and spend money, I can’t see anything productive happening in any area.  Until then, it’s all magical thinking, smoke and mirrors, and nothing more.

    • Dan Sullivan

      I am sure Kaplan would be interested in one or two of the campuses if they can spin off all those classrooms, libraries, and research facilities.  

    • Elaine in Roanoke

      “We do not propose quick fixes or a massive infusion of cash…The commission’s interim report won’t assign costs to its recommendations.”

      Oh, I get it. Another meaningless “report” that McDonnell can file next to the ABC privatization one and the government reorganization one.

      I hate to point out the obvious to Republicans. 100,000 more college graduates will require classrooms, professors, financial aid to students not able to pay the outrageous tuition hikes of the past few year. If there will be no “massive infusion of cash,” then this “plan” is based on the same “economic principles” as the McDonnell transportation plan. Smoke and mirrors. or if you prefer, voodoo economics.

    • After nearly a full year in office, it’s great to see the Governor turn his attention to Virginia’s education system. Finding more funding for our colleges and universities and their students is an indisputably noble goal. Unfortunately, the Governor’s announcement this morning betrays the same ‘pie in the sky’ approach to government that led to the downfall of his first plan to privatize the state’s ABC system.

      If the Governor really believes in making investments in education, our crumbling transportation system or any other priority, he cannot continue to play shell games with a budget that would be in deficit had he not balanced it on the backs of Virginia’s retirees. Until Bob McDonnell points to a new, sustainable source of revenue for his many shifting priorities, it is impossible for Virginians to take these announcements seriously.

    • libra

      No pony for every classroom?