Tom Joad's Place

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Location: Fairfax, Virginia, United States

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Senator Warner and the transportation crisis

Sounds like Senator John Warner is tightening the screws on the budget stalemate between Governor Tim Kaine, Senate Republicans and House of Delegates Republicans.

From The Washington Post:

"Warner, the state's senior Republican senator, praised Democratic Gov. Timothy M. Kaine for proposing a $1 billion tax increase and challenged members of his party in the legislature to reach a compromise that allows Virginia to receive the maximum amount in federal matching funds.

"It is really up to our distinguished speaker of the House and the majority leader in the Senate and others to sit down and show a measure of political courage to resolve it," Warner told reporters after a meeting with Kaine and other members of Virginia's congressional delegation. "The people of Virginia deserve no less."

I agree. The Republicans in the House of Delegates are acting like children. They want instant gratification on transportation and do not want to pay for anything. They think that the solution will just magically appear.

It takes a bold leader like Gov. Kaine to propose solutions like raising taxes and restructuring VDOT that might actually work. I applaud Senate Republicans for taking transportation seriously enough to work with Gov. Kaine. Money (billions) is necessary for tackling our transportation problems for the next 20 years.

It takes the courage of a lamb to propose higher taxes as the Republicans in the House have done and call them ticket fees and tolls. The Republicans in the House have NO SUBSTANTIVE SOLUTIONS. They want to put a bandage on a head wound and pretend everything is all right. It's not all right.

We cannot make changes around the edges when it comes to transportation. Virginia is a growing state. Any solution we propose today will be obsolete by tomorrow. We have to think 20 years down the road and make changes for population shifts in the future. We will never catch-up if we keep thinking 3-5 years down the road.

Sen. Warner sees that his party is fracturing in Virginia because the hard right does not understand fiscal responsibility not the mention the money they will lose from the federal government when it comes to transportation. If they do not heed the call for transportation solutions, Republicans in 2007 can see their advantage in the House slip even further.

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