WaPo's New Year's Resolution for Incoming GOP Governor: Raise Taxes

While it has every right to do so, and we at NewsBusters do not take issue with a newspaper's right to issue liberal pronouncements on clearly-marked editorial pages, it is worth noting from time to time the persistence with which liberal newspapers lead the charge for liberal agenda items, particularly when the issue at hand is tax increases.

That brings us to the Washington Post -- no fan of incoming Republican Governor-elect Bob McDonnell (R-Va.) -- which today counseled the incoming executive to "choose to be a problem-solver" on the state's transportation concerns by raising taxes.

Of course, this lobbying for tax increases is hardly new. The paper endorsed tax increases during the 2009 campaign and continued its pro-tax hike drumbeat without skipping a beat the day after the election. As my colleague Scott Whitlock noted on November 5:

During the 2009 Virginia gubernatorial election, the Washington Post waged a relentless campaign to defeat Republican Bob McDonnell. Starting on Wednesday, after the GOP nominee received almost 59 percent of the vote, the newspaper began dispensing advice: Raise taxes.

On Wednesday, a Post editorial assessed the "lessons" of the election and whined, "We remain skeptical of the flimsy filigree he passed off as a transportation plan, which rejects any fresh taxes to pay for new roads. But by dint of his victory he has earned the right to show it will work." [Emphasis added.]

The new year sees no new tack from the Post on tax hikes.

After sizing up McDonnell as a "shrewd, forward-looking politician" who "will be judged a failure" if he fails to fix Virginia's transportation woes, the Post's January 5 editorial helpfully counseled McDonnell that it would be perfectly acceptable if his administration made peace with tax increases, even if it did so by deploying clever semantics to attempt to dull the sting of fresh tax hikes (emphasis mine):

[McDonnell] has named Thomas M. Davis III, the former Northern Virginia congressman, as co-chair of his transition team's transportation study group, and Sean T. Connaughton, the respected former chairman of Prince William County's Board of Supervisors, as the state's next secretary of transportation. Mr. Davis and Mr. Connaughton are pragmatic moderates; in fact, both are disliked by many of the conservatives who form Mr. McDonnell's base. Notwithstanding the governor-elect's anti-tax pledges, both would be well advised to present the governor-elect with a menu of transportation-funding options that includes increased revenue, including new and local-option taxes, possibly rebranded as "user fees." 

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