“Obstructionism” vs. Obstructionist
It could be called the case of the dueling editorials. On Wednesday, the Richmond Times-Dispatch editorialized, “To get a sense of just how determined the State Senate is to raise taxes, consider its knee-jerk rejection of a compromise proposal by the House of Delegates. The House suggested setting aside for transportation roughly $1 billion of the $12 billion in new state revenue, passing the rest of the budget, and returning in the fall to hash out the differences over roads and taxes . . . (b)ut setting the roads question aside until later would frustrate the Senate’s strategy, which apparently is to create a crisis by wrapping new taxes and road spending into the overall budget and pushing the Commonwealth toward a possible government shutdown if the House refuses to cave in.” The editorial notes that postponing the debate on transportation “would have the salutary effect of permitting greater public debate – possibly even through an advisory referendum – on the merits of further tax hikes in an era of budget surpluses.”
Ever the lover of hiking taxes, the lead editorial in today’s Washington Post argues the obstructionists are the Speaker of the House of Delegates, William J. Howell (R-Stafford) “and his caucus (who) have decided that no statewide taxes will be raised for transportation improvements.”
We growled on March 12 that Post reporter Michael Shear was either cheerleading for a tax increase or deliberately failed to describe the differences between the Senate and House of Delegates transportation plans. The Post’s lead editorial seals our opinion that the Post never saw a tax hike it wasn’t in love with -- merited or not.