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McDonnell's Budget a Job Destroyer

by: Elaine in Roanoke

Thu Feb 18, 2010 at 10:24:48 AM EST

Remember how Bob McDonnell said he wanted to be Virginia's "jobs governor"? The only problem is that he failed to mention that he was going to destroy jobs, not create them.

Remember when "Mr. Moderate" McDonnell was going around Virginia promising all sorts of goodies if the electorate would just send him to the governor's mansion? Well, I've been keeping score on how his "efforts" are working out so far. I will paraphrase Gov. Wimpy's promises and then take a look at reality.

"I have a transportation plan. My opponent just wants to study the problem. We can't wait another year to tackle the most important problem facing the Commonwealth."

Oh, yes we can wait another year. McDonnell has decided that the poor, overworked General Assembly just can't do anything on transportation this year. Besides, the oil rigs aren't up and pumping yet, the federal government hasn't been asked to put tolls on Interstate highways yet, and the state can't afford to lose the $100 million it gets from ABC store revenues.

"I will be the 'jobs governor.' My opponent has no plans to bring jobs to Virginia. I do."

No, he doesn't. In fact, the budget cuts he's recommended - now that he finally got up the courage to let the citizens in on them - will destroy thousands of jobs in Virginia. Here are just a few examples:  

Elaine in Roanoke :: McDonnell's Budget a Job Destroyer
1. Closing the hospital for mentally ill children and adolescents in Staunton means everyone who works at that facility, which served more than 600 children last year, will be out of a job.

2. In Bedford County, which voted overwhelmingly for Bob McDonnell in November, the superintendent has already proposed the elimination of 124 full-time jobs, including 67 classroom teachers, and the closing of two schools. That was before McDonnell decided to cut an additional $365 million from state school funds this year. That scenario will play out in every school district in the state. (By the way, Bedford County is growing rapidly in population and school-age children.)

The Virginia Education Association has estimated that the $730 million two-year cut in K-12 education funding could result in the loss of more than 28,000 jobs.

3. McDonnell wants to completely eliminate money for nine programs serving the poor and needy. Jobs will be lost, as the state ends its contribution to help pay for homeless shelters, domestic violence prevention, the Healthy Families Initiative, local free clinics and dental care for poor children.

Trish O'Brien, executive director of CHIP/Healthy Families in Chesapeake, said that if legislators approve the governor's proposed cuts, she will have to fire half of her staff members, who check on 3,000 children in at-risk families throughout Chesapeake. Job losses like that in social services will take place all across the state, as well.

"Higher education has already suffered deep cuts in state aid. Colleges and universities have to be strong in order to attract businesses and new jobs. I don't feel that state colleges and universities should have to give back even more funding."

Oh, yes they do. Deputy Secretary of Finance Craig Burns confirmed that McDonnell's proposed budget amendments leave intact former Gov. Tim Kaine's funding cuts to public institutions, as well as a plan to take 5 percent of mandatory student fees paid to universities. Radford, the University of Virginia, James Madison University and George Mason University will be hardest hit by the student fee plan.

McDonnell also recommended cutting $1.5 million from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, $6.8 million from the Eminent Scholars recruitment and retention program, $1.3 million from the state's higher education centers, and $19.8 million from the Tuition Assistance Grant Program that which subsidizes in-state tuition at private institutions.

"I firmly believe in the concept of transparent, nonpartisan redistricting done by a bipartisan commission. I have even proposed a detailed plan for such a commission."

Actually, McDonnell refuses to back the bill creating a bipartisan commission that has passed the State Senate and has been sent to the House of Delegates.

"I am committed to streamlining government services while meeting the demands of our most vulnerable citizens."

No, he's not committed to meeting the demands of the most vulnerable in the state. Rather, he appears to be showing the same disdain toward public charity that he had when he wrote his infamous thesis for Pat Robertson's school. Perhaps that's the real Bob McDonnell, after all.

I'll close with the comments of others, comments published today in the Virginian-Pilot.

State Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax County) said McDonnell's proposed reductions slice "the heart and soul" out of state government.

"To even put school lunches on the table has got to be the most insensitive thought of the session, because that school lunch is the only decent meal some of these kids are going to get in a day's time," Sen. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) said.

According to Betty Wade Coyle, executive director of Prevent Child Abuse Hampton Roads, "It's scaling back direct services to children and to the most vulnerable citizens in the community."

Maureen Hollowell, who advocates for disabled people through the Norfolk-based Independence Center, said 6,000 disabled and elderly people who receive services through a "consumer directed" program that allows them to hire their own personal care assistants would lose their funding under the governor's proposals.

"This is our third 5 percent cut in a year and a half," said Kathy Drumwright, deputy director of human services for the city of Virginia Beach. "Each cut is painful and it gets more and more painful. We are getting to the bone."

"Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty, a stranger or lacking clothes, sick or in prison, and did not come to your help?" Then he will answer, "In truth I tell you, in so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it to me."  - Matthew 25: 44-45

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Gov. Wimpy Keeps His Planes
Gee, the state has to make some really tough budget cuts, right? Well, Bob McDonnell won't be cutting the governor's personal chef. He also won't sell his TWO state airplanes, nor his very own state helicopter.

We have to get our priorities straight here, people.

should suggest in a press conference that the Guv share the sacrifices: Mrs. McD can be chef and he can sell his fancy state helicpoter.

Once this stuff is in writing I suggest the State Democratic party take full page ads in major state newspapers across the Commonwealth and call it "Promises, Promises: Governor McDonell breaks his promises and cannot be trusted" followed by a list just like yours. Maybe a half page ad in the Washington Post and Washington Times----

Remind folks that this is not what they thought they were vorting for, y'know.... Bob McDonnell is such an effete elite guy, totally separated from real Virginians and their problems.

[ Parent ]
I really like...
the ad idea Teddy.  Who could make that happen?

I can't believe he's keeping the chef - surely they can cook for themselves, can't they?  One plane seems reasonable, but TWO?  Plus a helicopter???

[ Parent ]
Even Sarah Palin fired the chef; I suppose his mooseburgers weren't to her taste :) Though I understand that trying to sell one of the state planes on E-Bay was less than successful as a budget-bridge. Also, too (now that I'm reminded of Palin), you may not want Bobby McD selling the planes; if he starts charging the state for every trip he and his family take on chartered planes, the total may actually exceed the current costs.

[ Parent ]
He could always
go hiking on the Appalachian Trail for relaxation, instead of chartering a plane.

[ Parent ]
If it weren't
for my "keyboard condom", I'd be suing you for a new one (and it's an Apple one -- not cheap); I'm easily amused OTOH, and never far away form a glass of tea or white wine on the other.

Anyway... He doesn't look muscular enough to go AT hiking, literally or metaphorically.

[ Parent ]
I guess those kids just didn't pony up the $$$'s
for Bob's campaign like Exxon, etc.

So Bob decides to blow up their future.

wrote Don Mark at the DPVA (political director) to suggest a press conference, op eds, rally SOMETHING to show dems are awake and fighting for the most vulnerable in our state.

I got no reply. So this pretty much tells me what I neede to know-except of course when they want money. Then we'll hear from the every day.

I'm thoroughly disgusted.

They Don't Answer Emails
I know that they have never responded to an email I have sent. I doubt if they even read them at the DPVA.

[ Parent ]
Bob "The Job" at Work
Cutting jobs to create jobs, we need a score board please!

My crystal ball predicts: If we lose more jobs in VA, McDonnell will blame Obama, if more jobs are created in VA, guess who takes the credit.  

Another tag line
Thank you for Bob the Job. I can see a fighting ad and repeated talking points along the lines of "Bob for Jobs did a Job on You" and then a point or two encapsulating how McDonnell punishes the average Virginian but keeps his own comforts and rewards his corporate sponsors. And then there's "Bob the Stooge" and a documentation of how he sucks up to the Big Money under the guise of creating jobs, not.

[ Parent ]
Great Idea
What a great idea. It's sure to be ignored by the DPVA.

[ Parent ]
I have lots more,
not printable. Like a portrait of Bob McD using those new screw-shaped flourescent lightbulbs....

[ Parent ]
Maybe you could think of
a new name for the filibuster.  Rachel Maddow's contest ends today!  Go to msnbc, click on her show and look for the link.

"One person, one vote" died at the hands of SCOTUS, January 21, 2010

[ Parent ]
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