As the fall campaign continues I am having one of those moments where I focus on what the candidates are not saying. In doing so, they are finding common ground, but it is not good ground for the state.
Both candidates say Virginia needs more money to solve transportation problems.
McDonnell talks about selling ABC stores (which as Norm Leahy pointed out, is not nearly as bad an idea as the Demos make it out to be) for immediate cash.
Deeds says we need a billion dollars or more which will be found through the magic of a bi partisan committee.
I keep waiting for each or either of them to say how much is needed to deal with transportation. I don’t mean these general estimates, but a real dollar number. Something that says:
1. We need x to meet our transportation needs, and here is how we are going to specifically spend that money…
2. We currently get/spend y amount…
3. We are going to make cuts, administrative or otherwise (z)
4. Based on x-(y-z)=how much we really need to meet our transportation goals.
And this is before we get to issues like zoning and land use and all the ancillary issues that impact transportation.
Many say that government should run like a business. I disagree-I say government should run like a household.
In families across Virginia, budgeting goes on. Real budgeting…how much income you will have, and what expenses. Is there enough? If yes, how will you use the balance. If no, how will make up the deficit. Maybe you renovate, maybe you don’t. Maybe you take a vacation, maybe you don’t. But you have to budget.
Government-and in the last 18 years or so, especially Virginia Government-functions on the idea that we have what we have and the only question is how much more do we want to get? I find it interesting that despite the budget shortfalls of the last several years years-you know, the ones that Jody Wagner and her team repeatedly failed to forsee, and despite the heroic efforts of the GOP HOD delegation to keep taxes down, there have been no enraged reports of fundamental government responsibilities going unfulfilled.
The obvious exception is the showboat closing of the various rest stops by The Gov, a move meant to draw ire up on the GOP for not agreeing to a tax increase but that instead drew ire upon The Gov….who I am sure has a cocktail with his father-in-law each weekend to commiserate how neither of them got/gets proper appreciation.
No, neither of them has offered the hard line numbers on what it will take to get where they want to lead us…and I doubt either of them are going to do that before election day.
More is the pity.