Surplus rankles GOP leadersWhat enrages me about this bit of news is that, throughout the days when Governor Mark Warner was making dire predictions about fiscal calamity and every Democrat in the state of Virginia was crying out for a tax increase in order to stave off disaster, I knew they were lying through their teeth. The $500 million surplus - a portion of which had been set aside for my grandchildrens' college fund but instead was confiscated by the state - proves it. This travesty is - and should be - the primary issue in the upcoming race between the two main rivals to replace Governor Warner, Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican Jerry Kilgore. And where do they stand?
By Michael Sluss, Roanoke Times
Republicans say the surplus undercuts the reasons the governor gave for raising taxes.
RICHMOND - Republican leaders in the House of Delegates said Monday that a projected budget surplus raises questions about the accuracy of Gov. Mark Warner's revenue forecasts and the need for tax increases that Warner championed in 2004.
Republicans on the budget-writing House Appropriations Committee expressed frustration with the Warner administration's financial forecasts after Secretary of Finance John Bennett explained why general fund revenue collections for the first 11 months of the current fiscal year were 15.2 percent greater than the total for the same period last year. The committee's chairman, Del. Vince Callahan, R-Fairfax County, said the state should finish the fiscal year June 30 with a surplus of at least $500 million. "I think most would agree that forecasting is not an exact science - or an art, for that matter," Callahan said. "But it seems that our ability to forecast has got to get better." (link)
The tax debate has become a friction point in the campaign to elect Warner's successor. Republican nominee Jerry Kilgore trumpets his opposition to the tax increases. Democrat Tim Kaine argues that the additional revenue was needed to adequately fund education, public safety and other essential services.For the love of God. Would someone get to Tim Kaine and explain to him that a surplus involves money left unspent after education, public safety and other essential services obligations have been met?
I want an apology. I want a promise that they'll never do this again. And I want my grandchildrens' money back.