An Introspective of GOP Virginia
August 11th: Mitt Romney is introduced to a crowd in Norfolk by economic champion Bob McDonnell. McDonnell has been the GOP Governor of Virginia for two years and is held by most in the GOP as “the reason why Virginia has survived the recession so well”. Of course the GOP’s rationale for why Virginia’s Governor has been so successful has been deregulation, business friendliness, beneficial tax policies, and investment. They point to policies towards individuals from President Obama, call it wealth distribution, and demonize “big government”.
This has all been a facade. The GOP is whole heartily in favor of wealth distribution at all levels of government. Why else would net economic drains on our economy like Mississippi, South Carolina, Kentucky, and Arkansas continue to be bastions of Republican power. More importantly, if someone actually does their homework, they can find out that our supposed capitalist Governor McDonnell, is in reality, a socialist.
For years Northern Virginia has been blamed for wasteful spending and scapegoated as funneling all of Virginia’s funds. This wasn’t always the case. In the 1980s Governors Robb and Wilder invested heavily on the future of Northern Virginia, understanding the unique growth potential as the economic engine of the state. Improvements such as transit funding, school investment, and infrastructure advances took what was an affluent sleeping community to DC, and turned it into an economic force which now competes on its own merit.
The slide to socialism began under Governor George Allen, who due to the changing demographics and political leaning of Northern Virginia, began the trend of defunding, or rather slowing the spending growth, of Northern Virginia. While asking Fairfax to do more with less, revenue from Fairfax was being sent to rural regions. The trends continued, and regrettably included both parties robbing the coffers of Northern Virginia to pay for obligations elsewhere. In the 1990s it is estimated that 55 cents on the dollar was returned to Northern Virginia from the State. In the 2000s this number sank to 25 cents on the dollar.
Today, under Governor McDonnell; Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William pay $5.74 billion towards general funds via individual incomes and corporate taxes. These jurisdictions also send $5.50 billion in payments to the State via non-general funds from sales taxes, car tax, and several other forms of user taxes. This totals $11.24 billion of revenue to Virginia from NOVA of the total $41.6 billion State revenue. It is immediately apparent per capita (1.8 million residents out of the 8.0 million Virginia, 22.5%) NOVA pays much more than the rest of Virginia (11.24 out of 41.6 billion, 27%). Revenue is only one part off the disparity.
The return on our payments is far more indicative of where Socialist party Governor McDonnell stands. The direct funding shows;
|Jurisdiction||Direct Funding From State|
|Prince William||$474 Million|
The other largest expense of the State is the operation and capital projects from VDOT (who based on the GOP platform doesn’t actually “build” anything). Luckily, for data trackers, VDOT has a separated district specifically for NOVA, which includes the above jurisdictions. VDOT’s future funding shows approximately $100 million per year are anticipated in NOVA. Additionally, with 17,000 lane miles of road, maintenance of $20,000 per mile on average equals $340 million in operation costs in Northern Virginia. Lastly, VDOT operates toll systems in Northern Virginia, which accounts for more than half of the $350 million in statewide operations (approximately $200 million per year). In total VDOT’s funding of Northern Virginia comes to $640 million annually.
Summing all of these elements indicates Northern Virginia attains $2.2 billion in funding from Virginia annually.
Let’s pause here. NOVA sends $11.24 billion to Richmond; Richmond sends NOVA back $2.2 billion. Where does it all go? To projects in areas of the state that can’t sustain themselves economically; rural regions, Richmond, portions of south and central Virginia, for projects like the 460 truck highway or the Charlottesville bypass (something that is actually opposed by most C’Ville residents). We as NOVA residents get back 19 cents on the dollar. Let me put this in another way, WE GET BACK 19 CENTS ON THE DOLLAR from a governor who is “against” wealth distribution.
In the absence of assistance, or rather the out right robbery by our state, we have to turn our roads into private toll systems, indemnifying ourselves for a century to pay the whims of Fluor and MWAA. This year alone Virginia has gathered $500 million in surplus, which in a non-socialist government would be sent back to those who rightfully deserve it. We requested, or rather BEGGED, the state house for $150 million to create one of the most important transit projects on the east coast, Dulles Rail. We have no ability to create a very popular extension of the Orange Line, a metro line which is self-sustaining in revenue, and has created the powerful economy of Arlington. We have NO funding source for a much needed additional rail crossing and bridge crossing of the Potomac, which could connect our residents to DC, Bethesda, and Rockville where many jobs have been relocated due to BRAC.
If we had the $9.04 billion that disappears in Richmond every year we would be able to do all of these popular improvements AND more. We could connect our residents in ways they have never been connected, finally attaining high-speed travel corridors with multi-modal uses. We wouldn’t have to sell bonds or wait 10 years to expand or create new schools in our far over-capacity education facilities. We wouldn’t need to force our businesses to pay substantially higher tax rates in special districts to create infrastructure. Instead we would ACTUALLY be “business friendly”, encouraging innovation, by paying for these traditional public elements ourselves.
It is time for us to tell our Socialist Governor McDonnell, and the rest of the Statehouse cronies who have robbed from NOVA to pay for bad decisions in their constituents backyards, that enough is enough. 19 cents on the dollar is a theft. Scapegoating Northern Virginia as the problem is a travesty. We are the economic engine of Virginia, and it has been a long time since Richmond spent some money on maintaining us.
Sourceshttp://www.pwcgov.org/government/dept/budget/Documents/13BUD–05–Revenue%20Summary–00.pdf http://www.arlingtonva.us/departments/ManagementAndFinance/budget/file84937.pdf http://alexandriava.gov/uploadedFiles/budget/info/budget2013/FY13%20Proposed%20Section%207%20Revenue%20Summaries(1).pdf http://va-loudouncounty.civicplus.com/documents/45/2356/2366/2012%20Budget.PDF http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dmb/fy2013/adopted/overview/10_budget_summary_new.pdf http://www.virginiadot.org/news/resources/Statewide/sectran/Combined_Master_1-13-11_V10_SOT-No_Phase.pdf http://www.fcta.org/fcta-news-