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Virginia State Senator Richard Saslaw Wants Higher Taxes, Gets It Wrong on the Pledge


Posted by Will Upton on Wednesday, April 4th, 2012, 4:48 PM PERMALINK


Appearing on PBS affiliate WVPY in Harrisonburg, Va. Virginia State Senator and Democrat Minority Leader Richard Saslaw (D – Fairfax) blamed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge and it’s signers in the House of Delegates for Virginia’s transportation woes.  Senator Saslaw stated, “The no tax pledge in the House has prevented us from doing anything with roads. Pretty soon it's [The Taxpayer Protection Pledge] going to start to weigh on our ability to attract businesses to the Commonwealth.”  Saslaw added later in the interview, “I don't think any thinking person would sign that [The Taxpayer Protection Pledge].”

Senator Saslaw’s comments represent what is wrong with Virginia Democrats. They not only want their cake, they want to eat it too – and have hardworking Virginia taxpayers and businesses pay for it.  In his nearly thirty-two years in the Virginia State Senate, Richard Saslaw has been a vocal advocate of raising the gas tax, among other taxes, all-the-while voting for the state’s ballooning budget – especially spending on transportation and education. 

In Saslaw’s nearly thirty-two years in the State Senate, Virginia has overspent at an unsustainable rate.  Between 1981 and 2009, the Commonwealth of Virginia has spent 378.5 billion taxpayer dollars.  If spending had been capped by the rate of inflation and population growth, lawmakers in Richmond would have spent one-third less, saving Virginia taxpayers $113.7 billion.  In Saslaw’s nearly thirty-two years in the State Senate, Virginia has overspent at an unsustainable rate. 

This year alone, Senator Saslaw and his fellow Democrats in the State Senate refused to pass Governor Bob McDonnell’s budget.  Instead, they forced the Senate to restore what were responsible and badly needed spending reductions – kicking the can down the road for future generations to pay for the Commonwealth’s overspending problem.  

“Virginia Democrats are like a broken record, whether it is Senate Minority Leader Richard Saslaw or former-Governor Tim Kaine – tax and spend is all they know how to say,” stated Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, “Senator Saslaw’s latest tantrum is the result of him being unable to cobble together a tax increase on gasoline and soak the taxpayers of Virginia for more of their tax dollars.  While Governor Bob McDonnell is trying to promote economic growth in Virginia, Senator Saslaw is busy trying to drive businesses out of the Commonwealth with higher taxes.”

Norquist continued, “Senator Saslaw is not alone in his support for Left-wing tax and spending policies.  A few Senate Republicans have also bought into the higher taxes and higher spending ways of Senator Saslaw and former-Governor Tim Kaine.  Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment, Senator John Watkins, Senator Harry Blevins, Senator Walter Stosch and Senator Frank Ruff voted for increasing the gas tax this year.  Senator Frank Wagner, a Republican, even sponsored the bill.” 

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