While most states are experiencing debilitating budget deficits, Virginia is “feeling flush” after turning a $1.8 billion deficit into a $403.2 million budget surplus at the close of the fiscal year. In a celebratory speech before the Virginia legislature Thursday, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) credited higher tax revenue, state agencies’ fiscal responsibility, and serious budget cuts for the state’s ability “to balance the books.”
MCDONNELL: "Well it took a lot of work and a lot of bipartisan support in both houses of the legislature but I think we took a very conservative, fiscal, practical approach to budget. You can’t spend what you don’t have."
According to a Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis report released this week, last year’s Recovery Act provided $2.5 billion in stimulus relief to “maintain crucial services for [Virginia] citizens” and “help close the state’s budget shortfall in 2010-2012.” Virginia legislators relied on $1.3 billion in enhanced Medicaid funding, $1 billion in funding for K-12 and higher education, $39 million for public safety, and $200 million in general support to reduce “what would otherwise have been a $5.4 billion budget hole.”Two important points not mentioned in the story by Think Progress: In Wisconsin, the Democratic legislature balanced its budget with $4 billion of stimulus. Republicans here are calling that SPENDING, because the state didn’t cut spending and used the one time stimulus to plug the hole. In Virginia, it’s just the opposite, because there they used a “very conservative, fiscal, practical approach to budget.”
Second, Think Progress skipped over Gov. McDonnell’s advocacy of CORPORATE GOVERNMENT DEPENDENCE, while trying to wean actual people from getting assistance. Check it out;
MCDONNELL: Everybody knows … this is an unsustainable level of spending. What we need to do is incentivize the free enterprise system which has been the strength of American democracy … And we can’t keep adding a trillion and a half dollars to the national debt every year with this deficit, you’ve got to be fiscally prudent and incentivize the free enterprise system so you don’t have more government bailouts and more dependence of people on government.You can’t make it any clearer than that. Government needs to assist free enterprise, incentivized with tax cuts and hand outs, while reducing the dependence people have on government. Free enterprise needs help, people don’t. An incredible admission and insight into the conservative ideology of “freedom and liberty.”