You most likely have heard complaints about the Virginia General Assembly’s refusal to take the $125 million of federal stimulus money for unemployment. Why didn’t Virginia accept this money? Well, to paraphrase a saying that goes back at least 23 Centuries to the time of Homer’s Illiad, “Beware of politicians from Washington bearing gifts.”
The $125 million one time “gift” sounds great, but unfortunately, there were strings attached to this gift. The Washington politicians required as a condition of this gift that the Virginia laws be changed to require Virginia businesses to provide unemployment compensation to part-time workers, among other things. In all the t.v. commercials and democrat articles bashing the republicans for refusing this “gift”, there is never any mention that after the federal money runs out in two years ($62.5M/yr.) Virginia businesses must pay to keep this benefit going. In other words, if Virginia accepted the $125 M gift, in two years it would have to raise taxes on Virginia businesses by $62.5 million per year … forever! Oh, they say that all Virginia would have to do is repeal the law. If you can name one government benefit that has ever been cut, then write to me. Let’s face it, if this was put in place, a bill to repeal it would never pass the House and the Senate and be signed by the Governor.