The Pollina study, according to the McDonnell administration, is "the gold standard for evaluating and ranking states based on 32 factors controlled by state government, including taxes, human resources, education, right-to-work legislation" (this one is key because it reduces union power to strangle businesses with ever-growing demands for benefits), "energy costs, infrastructure spending, workers compensation laws, economic incentive programs and state economic development efforts. Two new factors -- state budget deficit and state property tax index -- along with a comprehensive State Report Card are new to this year's study."
Gov. McDonnell has plans for the surplus: "We will deposit another $132.7 million into the state's Rainy Day Fund. And we will ask the general assembly to create a 'Federal Action Contingency Trust' Fund that will help increase our ability to handle the impact of likely future federal reductions. I am recommending that $30 million from the surplus be used to initiate this fund." At least a small portion of the surplus should go to state taxpayers who earn the money, which would be "stimulus" of a different sort.
The reason Washington -- and especially the Obama administration -- has difficulty replicating what is occurring in Virginia and those nine other states is because it's incapable of abandoning a failed ideology. When old ideologies have proven bankrupt, they are mostly discarded and replaced with something new that has a better chance of working. But the liberal ideology that government can better care for you than you can care for yourself remains on life support, though clearly it, too, has failed.
An old Virginia slogan says, "Virginia is for Lovers." A new one might say, "Virginia is for business."
Jobs created in Texas during Governor Rick Perry's terms are receiving national attention, but Texas didn't make Pollina's list. Perhaps that's because, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in Texas jobs in the private sector declined 0.6 percent while those in government increased 6.4 percent.
Should our nation's capital be moved to Richmond? Perhaps electing a Republican president in 2012 who thinks like Bob McDonnell would be easier and more practical.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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