Home Virginia Politics Scott Surovell: “Harry Byrd Rolls Over”

Scott Surovell: “Harry Byrd Rolls Over”

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For anyone who wants to understand how messed up the recently-passed Virginia budget really is, see Del. Scott Surovell’s superb analysis at “The Dixie Pig”. Here’s an excerpt:

Going into this budget cycle, we were faced with a $2.1 billion hole to plug after $7 billion of cuts already if we rejected Governor Kaine’s proposal to eliminate car tax relief and increase the state income tax. The budget that the House & Senate just passed on Sunday night was “balanced” by using the following maneuvers.

[…]

There are some problems with these methods. The Virginia Retirement System is not our Rainy Day Fund. I do not view “borrowing” monies allocated for retirement as balancing a budget. While it is not technically “debt” borrowed from a third party, it is borrowing from the future. It perverts our state’s pay-as-you-go history.

[…]

The reality is that Virginia’s Budget suffers from significant structural deficits that we did not address this session. Our annual expenses exceed our annual revenue. The FY 2010-2012 hole was plugged with one-time fixes that papered over a problem instead of dealing with it. While I am glad that we fought and lessened the impact today, I am very worried about the future.

Other than that, heckuva job the Virginia General Assembly and by Bob McDonnell!  Not.

  • Peter 2010

    As usual, Scott Surovell nails it. My suggestion to Scott: Convene a group of like-minded Democrats to quantify more precisely the magnitude of the long-term structural deficit in Virginia’s budget, and develop alternative revenue- raising proposals to fix that long-term structural deficit. Then, let’s use that baseline to challenge Virginia Republicans and reluctant Democrats to face the facts, and stop pretending that this year’s budget and future budgets like it are “the best we can do in challenging economic times”.