Give credit where credit is due

The movie was long and full of details. The collection of clues that would lead to the final death of Osama bin Laden started long before President Obama made the decision to allow the operation to begin. Zero Dark Thirty reached back 10 years; collecting information that finally led to tracking down bin Laden, taking him out.

Director Kathryn Bigelow, following a screenplay by Mark Boal, made it clear that actions of one president made it possible for a second administration to follow a trail, which after three more years led to the man who planned 9/11 and other terrorism.

Gov. Bob McDonnell’s press secretary issued a press release last week touting his efforts to bring jobs to Virginia. He and his administration certainly help to bring unemployment rates down, but wasn’t he also building on the policies of others and got a little federal help as well.

“Today is a great day in Virginia. We just got the official word from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that the Commonwealth’s unemployment rate has hit a four year low. The state unemployment rate fell to 5.5 percent in December, that’s the lowest unemployment rate here in Virginia since December 2008. That is great news for all Virginians.

Since the Governor took office he and his team have focused like a laser on job creation. The campaign was “Bob’s for Job’s.” And that’s been the focus and the purpose of the Administration from day one in office.

The results speak for themselves. The Governor has brought Republicans and Democrats together to put in place policies that have helped the private sector to grow, expand, and create good-paying jobs for our citizens. When the Governor took the oath of office in January 2010 our unemployment rate was 7.3 percent. Today, it’s down to 5.5 percent.”

Let’s slow down a little bit. According to ARRA.Virginia.gov, Virginia will have received , when all projects are completed, approximately $4.8 billion in direct appropriations from the ARRA ‘s (American Recovery and Reinvestment t Act). However, that amount does not include tax cuts, which aided Virginia citizens directly. Additionally, a large portion of the funds were in the form of competitive grants.

Let’s give credit where credit is due. Chesterfield received, from ARRA, including direct distribution to county and other project requests within the county, $94,491,500. For example, Chesterfield’s transportation department received $336,859 for transportation projects last year, not including $10,394,201 awarded to widen route 10 to 6 lanes east of Interstate 95. As of September that project was over 50 percent complete. I’m sure that those of you who travel route 10 during rush hour know just what I’m talking about when caught in traffic while the road is under construction.

Chesterfield County Schools also receive an ARRA grant that saved hundreds of jobs. CCPS was able to prop up its budget by over $300,000.

The purpose of these projects is to improve aging infrastructure, traffic capacity and save jobs.

Chesterfield County also received funds for an energy efficiency project that was over 50 percent complete in September 2012. That project was financed with $2,315,765 of ARRA funds.

It seems that Republicans and Democrats poopoo anything that the other party is responsible for but when their games are at least partially due to the work of the other party they take credit.

Changing gears slightly: Gov. McDonnell’s press release also stated, “A strong economy depends upon many factors. One of the most important: transportation. That’s why the Governor has put forward the boldest transportation plan the Commonwealth has seen in decades. His plan will put Virginia on the path to long-term funding sustainability. Right now we face declining transportation revenue, and a serious crisis in future funding projections. The Governor’s plan fixes that. It pumps an additional $3.1 billion into our roads and rail over just the next five years alone, while eliminating the gas tax you pay at the pump.”

This transportation package reminds me of Gov. Gilmore’s car tax relief. It sent transportation funding into a tailspin. That may indeed be why we are suffering a lack of funds for transportation projects even today. Gov. McDonnell is also proposing an increase in the sales tax, as well as adding at least one toll to Interstate 95. These new transportation funding fixes hurt taxpayers more than they help. Robbing Peter to pay Paul is not the direction we should choose, and we should not forget to give credit where credit is due.

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