Magic money will pay off debt in McDonnell’s plan

Published 9:30 am Saturday, November 6, 2010

To the Editor:

I thought it amazing that our governor could find a $400 million surplus during these tough economic times.

However, I was just as amazed when it turned out not to be a surplus but instead a delay in making payments to existing programs that are obligations of the commonwealth.

Now, the governor is proposing an even more amazing program to privatize the ABC stores for $500 million (maybe), and it will only cost the citizens $22 million a year forever and ever.

Having observed the accuracy of past government estimates and financial analysis, I hope that it will only be $22 million. My estimate is at least two to three times larger than $22 million.

Then, the governor astounds me with a statement that he intends to use the $500 million to finance billions of dollars in new road construction. To date, I haven’t seen or heard how we are going to pay for these billions of dollars of debt, and since we citizens do not want to pay for our roads, our elected officials avoid the dreaded words “tax increase.” Therefore, I expect some magic method will be used to pay for the billions of debt.

I would suggest that the governor and state legislature use the taxation vehicle that was created years ago. Increasing the gas tax would be the best and least expensive method if we want to support the Virginia system of roads properly.

I’ll bet this does not happen because we citizens expect everything for free, and the individuals wanting to get elected will promise no new taxes.

Edmond Easter