How many lies, errors, gaffes and distortions can Bob McDonnell make in one video? A LOT, apparently; here are just a few.
1. Before we even get to Bob McDonnell, Faux “News” host Neil Cavuto claims, erroneously, that cutting the gas tax by 17 cents per gallon would be passed along, 100%, to the price at the pump. That’s utter nonsense. See this article, for instance, in which economists from right, left, center, you name it, rip this idea a proverbial new one, including a libertarian Cato Institute economist who says, “gas taxes would be cut, but pump prices wouldn’t go down, service stations would just continue charging what they are charging.”
2. Presumably it’s a gaffe when Bob McDonnell says “it’s primarily…a lot of use of our general fund money.” Of course, that would mean taking money out of education and health care. Is that really what McDonnell meant to say?
3. McDonnell outright lies when he claims he’s converting the gas tax “revenue neutral to a sales tax.” Of course, if it really WERE “revenue neutral,” there would be no more money for transportation, except for whatever McDonnell managed to raid from the general fund. But it is NOT – repeat, NOT!!! – revenue neutral. That’s just a blatant, outright, pants-on-fire lie. See Robert McCartney’s demolition of that one.
4. As for the gas tax being in a “long-term state of decline because of fuel efficiency,” etc., there’s some truth to that, but it could be compensated for simply by converting to a tax based on miles driven, or by raising the gas tax proportionate to the increase in fuel economy, or whatever. This is just an evasion of responsibility, as is so typical with Bob McDonnell.
5. McDonnell claims “a number of major endorsements,” but of course they’re almost all from the usual suspects. Meanwhile, almost everyone else, from Grover Norquist (on the anti-tax right) to newspaper editorial boards to smart growth folks to Senate Majority Leader Saslaw, etc. are not fans. Most likely, this plan is not going anywhere, but we’ll see soon enough…
6. McDonnell says taxing consumption as opposed to income is the ways to go, yet he’s proposing REMOVING a direct tax on consumption – the gas tax. Huh?
7. McDonnell says he’s trying to create a “conservative, principled way” to address transportation, but in reality, this proposal is nothing “conservative” at all, unless a tax increase is now considered “conservative, principled.”
8. McDonnell completely rejects the notion that you tax things because you want to reduce their consumption, yet Econ 101 teaches us that, ceteris parabis, if the price of something increases, the consumption of it will go down. Has Bob McDonnell repealed the laws of economics, is he an ignoramus, or is he just pulling stuff out of his butt? You decide. (Also, I’d note that taxes and subsidies are used all the time to discourage consumption of “bad” things, and to encourage consumption of “good” things.)
9. McDonnell claims the goal here is to create a “sustainable method of funding our roads and bridges and other transportation assets for the future.” The problem is, this “plan” does nothing of the sort, as it’s not even CLOSE to adequate to the amount of money needed, even IF you count the supposed money we’ll be getting from Congressional action sometime in the future on taxing internet sales. Is anyone holding their breath on that one? If so, what were you smoking before you held your breath? LOL
10. McDonnell appears to take credit for Virginia’s relatively low unemployment rate, which of course is utter nonsense. In reality, Virginia’s unemployment rate is relatively low due to its proximity to Washington, DC, as well as to the huge amount of federal spending and income (federal and military employees, contractors, etc.) that flows into this state every year. For McDonnell to take credit for Virginia’s relatively low unemployment rate is simply laughable.
11. In the last minute, McDonnell switches topics to the national debt ceiling. I’m not going to debunk every lie and distortion here, other than to refer you to the phrase, “How can you tell if Bob McDonnell’s lying? His lips are moving!” Wow, I mean didn’t Pat Robertson teach “Bobby” that lying is a sin? Apparently, “Bobby” missed that lesson.