Home Virginia Politics Back in Virginia, Bob McDonnell Goes on Massive Borrow-and-Spend Spree!

Back in Virginia, Bob McDonnell Goes on Massive Borrow-and-Spend Spree!

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With this news, I think we can all conclude that there remains no serious possibility that Bob McDonnell has: a) any credibility as a “fiscal conservative”; b) any shame at being a complete hypocrite; or c) any clue of what to do as governor of Virginia. That’s right, Bob McDonnell has embarked on a “massive” borrowing-and-spending spree, the likes of which would have conservatives absolutely outraged – outraged, I tell you!!!! – if a Democratic governor (or president) had proposed such a thing (note that Virginia’s fine “conservative” bloggers are largely silent on this so far…hmmm).

McDonnell (R) will press lawmakers to approve a series of statewide projects he said would be paid in part through Virginia’s $403 million budget surplus, $337 million in higher-than-expected tax revenue, and $192 million generated through cuts and savings.

And in stark contrast to other governors, who are cutting budgets and slashing payrolls, McDonnell told The Washington Post that he plans to borrow nearly $3 billion over the next three years for transportation projects and intends to spend an additional $400 million to fix the state’s ailing roads, $58 million to help state colleges and universities, and $54 million to create jobs.

The only problem with this “plan?” There’s no money for it. And no, don’t give me this baloney about Virginia having a “surplus,” because we absolutely do not. Unless, of course, you consider a “surplus” legitimate when it’s built overwhelmingly on raiding the retirement system (did McDonnell get that idea from his pal Fred Malek or what?!?) and from the federal stimulus Republicans claim to hate so much? Other than that, what does McDonnell have to offer? Offshore oil drilling revenues and ABC privatization, neither of which has a chance in hell of happening. All of which leaves…nothing, basically, except for a bit of Bush-o-nomics – borrow money you don’t, and spend like mad, and let your supposed “conservative” principles be damned.

P.S. The comments on the Washington Post article are highly entertaining. For instance: “not very Republican of you to spend like this;” “not a whimper from the Tea Baggers about all this spending from a Republican,” “And who does this moron think is going to pay for all this?”; “Budget Surplus? What?”; “More of borrow-and-spend Republican ideas. They NEVER learn”; “It took Gov. McDonothing an entire year to come up with a spending proposal that is so idiotic that the legislature will never approve it”; “Wow! He sounds like a Democrat. I like it!”; “This from a governor who ran as a fiscal conservative???”; “Virginia Republicans should IMMEDIATELY issue a recall campaign! This Gov has just betrayed everything that the GOP stands for!”; “Sounds like what Republicans call a ‘big spending, big government liberal'”; and “Whaaa? McDonnell sounds like a Democrat. Big programs, big spending — am I reading this article right?” LOL

UPDATE: Libertarian blogger Doug Mataconis weighs in, urges Republicans in Richmond to “[s]top  this irresponsible spending spree.”

  • Catzmaw

    he should probably drop his demand that the Virginia State Bar turn over $5 MILLION in Bar dues to be placed in the general fund.  Looks like a tax on a professional class to me, but I’m sure he’d beg to differ.

  • Given that the qualifications for excellent bond ratings are hard to come by these days, where is Virginia going to be after this?

    Unless you are Bob Marshall, it isn’t as though Virginia can print our own money or manipulate our monetary plan the way the federal government can.  

  • Elaine in Roanoke

    ran up to New York in order to get assurances that his “plan” to borrow and spend wouldn’t jeopardize the state’s AAA bond rating. Yeah, I wouldn’t put much credence in that report that the raters gave the O.K.

  • Steve Vaughan

    …there’s absolutely nothing wrong with planning to use bonds to build roads and this is a great time for it, both interest costs and construction costs are at a generational low.

    However, a responsible plan for bond financing would include a dedicated stream of revenue to service the debt. For the governor and the legislature to leave that issue unresolved, tossing the burden on future governors and legislators, is irresponsible.