So, let’s get this straight — Bob McDonnell thought he could propose hiking taxes on restaurants and not expect a reaction like this?
Industry insiders hope restaurants will conclude that the price benefits of privatization will mean they’d come out ahead, even after paying the new tax, but some restaurant owners have already said they are unconvinced.
“Before we heard any details, the idea of privatization was appealing,” said Randy Norton, chairman of Great American Restaurants, about to open its 11th eatery in Northern Virginia. “Our minds only went to what good could come out of it. . . . But if our taxes are going to be raised at all, we’re going to fight this thing very hard.”
It’s funny, in a pathetic kinda way, but it does raise serious questions of Bob McDonnell’s competence and honesty. On the competence part, does this guy think anything through before he throws it out there half-baked? So far, it seems like almost all of McDonnell’s great revenue-raising plan (“End Gridlock, Create Jobs: Get Virginia Moving Again”) from the 2009 campaign – most of which were criticized by Democrats as smoke-and-mirrors at the time – have turned out to be…well, smoke-and-mirrors!
“Dedicate percentage of revenue from future offshore drilling to transportation?” Nope. “Take percentage of sales tax collected in Northern Virginia and put in regional transportation account?” Nope. “Dedicate percentage of new revenue growth to transportation?” Nope. “Spend 75% of future surplus funds on transportation?” Nope. “Protect Transportation Trust Fund?” Nope. “Enact border tolling of traffic coming into Virginia from North Carolina along I-85 and I-95?” Nope. “Seek federal approval for use of 2nd and 3rd year stimulus dollars for transportation projects now?” Wait, did someone say “use STIMULUS dollars?” WTF? “Employ smart traffic technologies, light synchronization and new traffic management systems?” Nope. And of course, “Privatize Virginia’s Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) and dedicate proceeds to transportation?” Nope.
Maybe McDonnell’s plan should have been called “Permanent Gridlock, Create No Jobs: Drive Virginia Right Back in the Ditch Again?”