Tuesday, January 26, 2021
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Tag: Bob McDonnell. Bob Purkey

McDonnell’s Maladroit Manipulation

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Governor McDonnell's consistently inept fumbling in each state finance proposal should be an object lesson for tax cut cultists. Privatization of the ABC stores and the VRS budget slight of hand are prime object lessons. But even so, the unchallenged persistence of insistence is a convincing argument maintaining the illusion.

Privatization of the ABC stores is a case study in a political promise without foundation that has morphed from a windfall for transportation to a simple implementation of free market orthodoxy. Underfunding the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) has gone from the illusion of a budget surplus to the realization that a "loan" was made without consideration of or requirement for a practical repayment plan. In both cases the obligation can is being kicked down the road with a rationalization that some fundamental principle is being employed that trumps reality. Adjust your meme and say it often enough, and so it seems, it is remembered as your original justification.

Try this at home: run your credit card balance up a limit that was established in different times. Then, don't pay the bill and inform the company that due to the fact that the limit was set under conditions unlike today's (a fact beyond your control, after all), you have no obligation to pay the full balance and the card company must cover the difference PLUS let you defer your payments. That's how the state is treating its obligation to its employees. It has allowed the obligation to state employees to exceed its current projected ability to pay, is asking them to pay the difference AND deferring funding the obligation. This is worse than robbing Peter to pay Paul. It is robbing Peter to pay Paul and telling Peter to match our payment to Paul on the promise Paul is holding it all for Peter.