Ken Cuccinelli likes to go around telling Virginians that he’s really “Frugal Ken,” as opposed to big-spending Terry McAuliffe I suppose. Except for one problem: when Cuccinelli actually had a chance to run an arm of Virginia’s government – the Attorney General’s office – spending there not only wasn’t “frugal,” it grew by leaps and bounds. Check this out.
The state attorney general’s office has grown dramatically under Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who is campaigning for governor with a call to get government off the backs of the public. Much of the gain has come from federal dollars to combat Medicaid fraud.
The office plans to spend $42.7 million this year, up nearly 25 percent from $34.3 million the year Cuccinelli took office, state budget documents show. That outpaces the 15.7 percent growth in the total state budget over the same time, including the 13 percent increase in the governor’s office or the 1.4 percent decline in funding for the state’s main law enforcement agency, the Virginia State Police.
Staffing is set to rise 19 percent, to 381 positions.
So, let’s get this straight: at a time when funding for the Virginia State Police was falling, and at a time of general austerity in Virginia’s budget (Bob McDonnell brags that he cut $6 billion from Virginia’s budget during the first year alone!), Ken Cuccinelli was using taxpayer money to crank up the Attorney General’s office spending and staffing much faster than the overall state budget or even spending by the office of Gov. McRolex. And yet this hypocrite has the cojones to go around Virginia telling voters the exact opposite, that he’s some sort of paragon of frugality? I mean, seriously, does he think we’re all imbeciles?
Of course, this is a guy who idolizes Ronald Reagan, a president who cranked up government debt (from $700 billion to $3 trillion during his 8 years in office), taxes (he raised them 11 times after initially cutting them), government employment (by “more than 60,000 people during his presidency”), and spending (“continued to increase during his time in office”), all while pretending to be some sort of Ayn Randian, free-market, small-government hero. He wasn’t. Nor is Ken Cuccinelli, at least not based on the rapid growth in the Attorney General of Virginia’s office.
By the way, you’ve got to love the irony that a lot of the increase in spending by Cuccinelli’s office was funded by…yes, the despised (by him) federal government (“federal dollars to combat Medicaid fraud,” to be exact). Given all this, I think we can definitively conclude that Ken Cuccinelli is full of crap when he says: a) that he’s “frugal” and b) that he acts in accordance with his beliefs. He’s not, and he doesn’t – at least not when it comes to government spending.
P.S. In stark contrast, under Terry McAuliffe’s close friend and ideological soul mate Bill Clinton, the U.S. budget not only was balanced but saw a large surplus the last couple years. Progress that was, of course, quickly undone by George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Tom DeLay, etc.