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McDonnell says Washington could learn something from Richmond

Anita Kumar

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) said in an interview on FOX Business Network that Washington could learn some lessons from Richmond, where he announced a budget surplus of $403.2 million Thursday.

"They sure could,'' he said. "What we need to do is incentivize the free enterprise system which has been the strength of American democracy for hundreds of years to grow. I hope Richmond would be a model for Washington."

McDonnell spoke to anchor Gerri Willis about what he attributes Virginia's surplus to, and about the state's economic outlook.

"We took a very conservative, fiscal, practical approach to budgeting. You can't spend what you don't have," he said. "There is some light at the end of the tunnel but there is a lot of uncertainty. We're not at all out of the woods."

See the full interview here:

By Anita Kumar  |  August 20, 2010; 10:30 AM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Next: McDonnell refutes Saslaw's claim that ABC privatization plan is DOA


The SEC should be investigating Virginia’s Governor Bob McDonnell and attorney general Ken Cuccinelli. McDonnell is deferring scheduled payments for the state employees' pension fund by $137 million in the fourth quarter of 2010 and $620 million in the 2010-12 budgets. He is stealing the interest income on $757 Million from the state employee’s pension fund so that he can claim to have a balanced budget. This is criminal fraud and corruption.

Posted by: Airborne82 | August 20, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

McDonnell's surplus that isn't

A budget surplus on the eyes of the poor (Peter Galuszka)

"Gov. Robert F. McDonnell is hailed nationwide for managing to turn a $1.8 billion budget deficit into a $220 million surplus just after taking office.

But critics noted that McDonnell apparently used smoke and mirrors tricks to achieve his surplus, such as deferring scheduled payments for the state employees' pension fund. Now comes the latest blow: McDonnell, a Republican, achieved his budget surplus on the eyes of the poor. The state's new two-year budget saves $764,000 by cutting routine vision checkups for those on Medicaid. That not only affects poor people, it also cuts at optometrists who handle about 70 percent of all primary eye care in the state. Their lobby, the Virginia Optometric Association, wants McDonnell to put back the funding which he could do if Congress approves more funding for Medicaid.

The strange thing about the budget surplus business is not so much that McDonnell is trying to gain a national reputation by pursuing ways to do it. The odd part is that he's doing it through tricks that are so easy to spot.”

It didn't take very long for my Local Blogger Network colleague Paige Winfield Cunningham to call McDonnell on deferring state budget payments of $137 million in the fourth quarter of 2010 and $620 million in the 2010-12 budget.

Crafting an accounting house of cards is one thing (although CEOs face jail time if they do it). But getting your name all over the country as a successful, budget-cutting Republican governor, a rising star, by denying the poor basic health care is, frankly, creepy. A spokesman for McDonnell says he is studying restoring the cuts. The governor should do the right thing and do just that.” (Peter Galuszka blogs at Bacon's Rebellion.)

Posted by: Airborne82 | August 20, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Calling this a budget surplus is a Big Lie because it's based on not paying required money into other accounts, and delaying that action for 2012 when the bill comes due. McDonnell is deferring scheduled payments for the state employees' pension fund by $137 million in the fourth quarter of 2010 and $620 million in the 2010-12 budgets. As for Taxes, Virginians are raking in the dough, $118 Billion a year in Federal salaries and spending, while Americans are paying historically low taxes that are the lowest since 1950. No one pays their tax bracket rate as write offs allow everyone’s federal, state and local income taxes to average less than 9%/year and for the more wealthy landowners it’s often 0%.

Tax bills in 2009 at lowest level since 1950:

“Federal, state and local income taxes consumed 9.2% of all personal income in 2009, the lowest rate since 1950, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports. That rate is far below the historic average of 12% for the last half-century. The overall tax burden hit bottom in December at 8.8.% of income before rising slightly in the first three months of 2010.”

Virginia can thank the Federal government for $118 Billion/year in Salaries and Investment even without the stimulus. VA workers receive $118 Billion a year in Government spending and Fairfax County VA is the 2nd richest county in the nation, but the state refuses to raise taxes on Gasoline enough to pay for basic Road and Infrastructure improvements. See: Virginia's love-hate relationship with federal spending

“Ten cents of every federal procurement dollar spent anywhere on Earth is spent in Virginia.”

Posted by: Airborne82 | August 20, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

mcdonnell takes political dishonesty to a new level.
not only is he shamelessly pretending virginia's budget gimmicks give the state a "surplus" but he arrogantly suggests washington can learn from him.

Learn what? how to lie? How to force businesses to submit their taxes early like a payday loan to the state?

i don't understand how anyone could be stupid enough to fall for his distorted vision of fiscal reality.

Posted by: MarilynManson | August 20, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for exposing Gov. McMuffin and AG Koo-koo-neli for what they are- modern flim-flam artists, ripping off the public. this is like street entertainers who take your money for trying to guess which nut shell has pea under it, plus a dose of their atemtps to take Va back to the 17oo's

Posted by: 10bestfan | August 20, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

McDonnell is the only governor I know who can take a $230 million/year in revenue stream because of Virginia’s ABC stores bulk purchasing power “in Virginia, where whiskey and every other kind of liquor is sold in state-run stores, more than $13 of the retail price goes to the state.“; and turn it from a $2.2 Trillion Plus in 10 years, to a negative within one year.

Though, to his credit, a liquor store on every corner will fill the streets with DUIs and violence and the jails with the unfortunate drunks of McDonnell’s lazy and misplaced policies. Private prisons and alchohol abuse will get a boon while worker productivity, real estate values, and society peace will go down.

Whether it's Taxes on Liquor, Tobacco, or Gasoline to encourage less consumption and fund repairs for the damages they cause; McDonnell will not raise taxes on these GOP staples. Liquor, Oil and Tobacco are like Mothers Milk to McDonnell. He may sell them all in Grocery stores and Nurseries, but he will not Tax them to fund state priorities like Roads, Infrastructure, Alchohol treatment, Police for increased alchohol related crimes and DUIs, etc.,

Va. liquor profits set a high bar for McDonnell privatization plan

“RICHMOND -- For drinkers, a fifth of Jack Daniel's costs about the same wherever they buy it -- about $25 in Virginia and the District, a couple of bucks less in Maryland. But for the governments that regulate that bottle, the difference is as stark as a sip and a chug. In the District and most of Maryland, just a dollar or two from a fifth of Jack Daniel's goes to government. But in Virginia, where whiskey and every other kind of liquor is sold in state-run stores, more than $13 of the retail price goes to the state. “

Posted by: Airborne82 | August 20, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Clearly he doesn't understand DC or its budget "problems". DC has its finances under control and the only reason there has been a deficit is because of lower revenue (which is why we have a rainy day fund--to smooth over the bad years with prudent planning from the good years). Maybe he should be preaching to California.

Posted by: crzytwnman | August 20, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

McDonnell is an idiot. He's of the GOP ilk that thinks the District is their plantation.

Posted by: jckdoors | August 20, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

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