On January 18, Governor McDonnell said in his State of the Commonwealth speech, “Certainly the national and global economy has had a significant impact on the revenues and the budget in Virginia. But that is only part of the story. Ronald Reagan used to say ‘Government is too big and it spends too much.’ He was talking about the federal government at the time- but it applies to the state government as well….Since I got elected to this body in 1991, state spending has more than tripled, far beyond the rate of growth in population and inflation. We can do better.” Gov. McDonnell’s words sum up the problem. Virginia along with many other states has a spending problem that has been growing for too long. Both the legislature and the Governor need to approach the budget process understanding that the problem is too much spending.
Some seem to have trouble recognizing that voters were rejecting higher taxes and spending in November, one them who seems to have a disconnect is Sen. Janet D. Howell (D-District 32). Sen. Howell has introduced SB 466 that would cost taxpayers $68.7 million over the FY2011-2012 biennium. This tax would be levied on the profits insurance companies make from premiums. Whether it is taking from the private sector business or from the individual, this is the wrong approach to solving the estimated $4 billion overspending problem. If the senator considers the Virginia Public Safety Fund a true priority, she should seek funding from a different area of government that is a lesser priority.
The right way to correct the problem would be to find savings and cut spending rather than looking to the taxpayers to bail out the overspending. Sen. Howell apparently did not hear the message Virginia voters sent in November 2009, they are tired of tax and spend politicians.