Thank goodness someone in the MSM is going after Bob "Taliban Bob" McDonnell's smoke and mirrors fraud of a "plan" to fix Virginia's seriously broken and crumbling transportation system.
McDonnell's house of cards "plan" is more of the "no new taxes" mantra that the Kool-Aid drinkers now in control of the GOP love. That it is precisely this kind of BS that has put the state in its current mess is lost on the GOP base that increasingly lives in some bizarre alternate reality.
The Northern Virginia and greater Hampton Roads areas need hundreds of millions of road and transportation expenditures - will be an evacuation disaster if a major hurricane ever hits - yet Kool-Aid Bob thinks this money can come from cost reductions in already cannibalized programs and from selling the state's ABC stores which to date have had a 100% monopoly on hard liquor sales.
After the jump are highlights from a Washington Post story:
ROBERT F. McDONNELL, the Republican nominee for governor of Virginia, takes every opportunity to tout his 20-page, single-spaced transportation plan. But a close reading of the plan yields only disappointment.
Much of the plan relies on wildly optimistic assumptions, brazen exaggerations, gauzy projections and far-off scenarios: budget surpluses and revenue growth that may not materialize; interstate tolls that the federal government may not approve; royalties from offshore oil and gas wells that may not be drilled; borrowing that the state may not be able to afford anytime soon. Lump all that in a file called "Don't Hold Your Breath." Insert some of his other proposals -- such as diverting some sales tax revenue from schools, public safety and human services statewide to pay for Northern Virginia road improvements -- into a file called "Politically Dead on Arrival." Quite simply, much of what Mr. McDonnell has in mind would almost certainly not come to pass during his four-year term as governor, if ever.
[T]here is one idea in the McDonnell transportation program -- by far the biggest one in dollar terms -- that has attracted more favorable notices: his contention that Virginia could raise the alluring sum of $500 million simply by privatizing the state's hard-liquor sales. The problem is, Mr. McDonnell's revenue estimates are invented or, worse, an intentional distortion.
[T]the idea that privatization would generate significant money for transportation is a pipe dream. And the notion that liquor sales could provide a steady source of revenue for new road projects is even less plausible.
Bearing in mind that all but a few of those [ABC] outlets are leased, not owned, and that many are in rural areas where customers are sparse, it is wildly unrealistic to think the state could squeeze out $500 million by peddling 334 licenses or franchises to sell booze. The last states to sell off their liquor monopolies -- Iowa, West Virginia and Ohio -- didn't get anything close to that.
Mr. McDonnell's proposal to address the state's most critical long-term problem, transportation, appears to have heft; in fact, it crumbles under close scrutiny. Far from fixing the state's roads, Mr. McDonnell would leave them in the lurch -- and Virginia commuters along with them.
Bob and his fellow Kool-Aid drinkers just cannot accept the reality that the huge road and rail expansions that are needed can only be funded through new revenue sources - that are generally referred to as new taxes.
Bob, get your head out of Pat Robertson's butt and wake up to the real world.