Tea Party to McDonnell: Don’t borrow and spend

Tea Party leaders in Virginia have a message for Gov. Bob McDonnell regarding the Republican’s plans to jumpstart transportation improvements with a large issuance of public debt.

“Now is the time for Virginia to cut spending and ensure that the essential functions of government, including transportation, are funded without borrowing money or increasing the tax burden on its citizens who have been the most impacted by the economic downturn,” said Bruce Richmond, the spokesman for the Virginia Tea Party Patriot Federation and a leader in the Shenandoah Valley Tea Party.

McDonnell’s $4 billion roads plan relies heavily on bonds. The plan has been decried by some Democrats as a “borrow and spend” approach to solving the state’s transportation crisis that Democrats and some Republicans have been saying for years can only be solved with some sort of tax increase providing new funding for roads projects.

Richmond said the McDonnell proposal would limit the financial flexibility of future governors.

“Transportation is an important issue to Virginians and needs addressing, but not at the risk of our economic future,” Richmond said. “We call on our state representatives to keep their promise of promoting fiscal responsibility and challenge them to come up with a better solution to fund transportation. There are budget proposals out there that have cited spending cuts in other areas that could provide the needed funds for transportation without putting Virginia deeper in debt. They should be seriously examined before we take this risky and dangerous course of action.”

Virginia Tea Party Patriot Federation chairman Mark Lloyd reminded state leaders that “out-of-control spending in Washington was one of the catalysts for the Tea Party movement.”

“The national economy is on the brink of collapse with the national debt roughly equal to its annual economic output. The present and coming serious problems with the national economy will continue to negatively impact citizens of the Commonwealth as federal spending mandates strangle our state budget,” Lloyd said.

Story by Chris Graham. Chris can be reached at freepress2@ntelos.net.

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