Thursday, February 18, 2010

McDonnell's Dixie Manifesto and the Trashing of the Poor

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's (above) first budget proposal is a cross between the Dixie Manifesto and Morgan Griffith's most persistent wet dream. It is also a nightmare for the Virginians most exposed to things like malnutrition, domestic violence, disappearing health care, homelessness, missing child support payments, and teen-age pregnancy ... the things Republicans rarely think about.

It is, quite simply, a clinic in cutting budgets at the expense of those least able to take care of themselves. It is a budget without a the slightest hint of human concern, of compassion, of understanding the value of education, of caring even a little about the poor. Cut a kid's breakfast instead of a rich guy's yacht? Done. Erase poor children's health care instead of boosting the tax on cigarettes? Sure, makes sense to McDonnell and Morgan Griffith (the House minority leader from Salem, whose territorial marking stinks up this entire budget).

Even before embarking on this folly, McDonnell had rolled back protections for gay and lesbian Virginians employed by the state with a Feb. 5 executive order.

Here are a few lowlights of McDonnell's draconian and soulless budget proposal:
  • Eliminate millions from free clinics, health department dental services, teen pregnancy programs, child support supplements, homeless assistance and the Healthy Families Initiative, all geared at the poor. The result $300 million in cuts.
  • Five days of furloughs and less funding from the state in the retirement system. The total is $925 million in state employee cuts. These are your friends and neighbors, not the "soulless bureaucrats" demonized by Republicans looking to line their own pockets.
  • A massive $730 million in cuts to education at a time when schools are being closed, teachers fired and programs cut. Among the smaller proposals is the elimination of state stipends to coaches and department heads, elimination of mentor programs and school breakfast programs (poor kids again). Goal: Keep the populace stupid.
Republicans in Richmond are cheering in the streets because they finally have a governor who will give them the kind of government they have wanted all along (almost none), all the guns they can carry in an 18-wheeler, state highways as a racetrack and the perception of a Mississippi-like state where the poor are ignored when they are not resented or despised. It is a sad, sad state these days.

(AP photo.)


  1. Amen, brother.
    Did you forget, however, the part where they can now carry their guns into restaurants?

  2. And the possible closing of five Virginia State Parks.

  3. Blue Ridge: Nope didn't forget. Scroll down for the gun horrors.

    Littlecreek. I'm on it (there's so much negative going on so quickly with this admin that it's hard to get it all into one thought--the gay thing was an afterthought, though it's a major civil rights story).

  4. The school cuts bother me immensely. I'll have a daughter in kindergarten next fall, so I'm biased. But, most parents I've talked to would support paying higher taxes in lieu of spending cuts in schools.

    Why isn't it even a discussion? Of course, it would take a leader with a spine.

  5. The state of the Commonwealth makes me want to vomit and hurl things through windows. Lawmakers don't know poor. Their children don't rely on State and Federally funded day treatment programs. They don't worry about whether or not a check-up with the doc will force them into bankruptcy, and they have a pretty sweet healthcare package, a generous portion of which is paid for by the Commonwealth. I consider myself relatively well-educated, and I'm living far below the poverty line. There's that irony again. Let's kill our arts and parks, two things that enhance our cultural experiences. Let's close schools and fire teachers. Who cares about our future leaders? The lack of forethought leaves me dumbfounded, and the salt of tears, a taught and stained face are all too familiar.

  6. Chad & Michele: Did people not know the Republican philosophy on schools when the elected these people to the General Assembly and the governor's office? Has that not been blatantly on display for years? I don't blame the Repubs for this--they've been overtly honest that their goal is to cut taxes and damn the consequences. It is the voting public's responsibility to pay attention to all the results of their choices. The Repub elite does not want to educate the masses because they're more likely to vote for Democrats if they have education (poll after poll says so). Why educate the opposition when you can deny it and save money at the same time?