I wrote the other day that I thought the “Are you an Obama Democrat?” by David Gregory was a dumb one, and I still do. But Bob Holsworth over at Virginia Tomorrow makes a good point: Now that Creigh Deeds has said he would consider tax increases to pay for transportation improvements, every Democrat running for the Assembly will have to answer the question, “Are you a Creigh Deeds Democrat?” as a surrogate for the real question, are you willing to consider tax increases?
It will be instructive to see how they answer it. If you expect a column of courageous men and women saying yes to that question, you may be disappointed. After all these are Democrats we’re talking about. I’d love to hear what House Minority Leader Ward Armstrong is telling his troops.
To modify the answer I suggested for Deeds, here’s what the Assembly candidates should say:
“No governor can raise taxes without the consent of the governed. And as a [delegate/senator] I certainly can’t raise taxes on my own. But I think Gov. Mark Warner had the right model for discussing problems we face. He saw a need, went across the Commonwealth to discuss that need with Virginians. They saw the need. They understood his reasons. And they backed him. But even then, he couldn’t raise taxes until the General Assembly agreed with him. Whatever Creigh Deeds proposes, we will debate it, and if the majority of both houses agrees we need new money, we will pass a bill. When I’m elected, I will study our options, see how the economy is doing next year, discuss it with my constituents to see if, together, we can come up with a plan that move us forward on an issue that concerns citizens greatly.” I can’t say I will raise taxes until I see what’s proposed. But what I can say is that no solution that moves our community forward should be dismissed without proper debate.