Reality Check: Getting Virginians Back to Work
February 6, 2012
While appearing on a Sunday morning news show with Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, Governor Bob McDonnell stated, "I'm glad the economy is starting to recover, but I think it's because of what Republican governors are doing in their states, not because of the president." However, the Washington Examiner reports, "Maryland created eight times more private-sector jobs than Virginia last year," and the January job report released on Friday shows, "payrolls are up by 243,000 jobs. Unemployment is down to 8.3 percent," across the country.
Progressive Point: The top priority in Washington and Richmond right now should be putting people back to work. That means investing in proven job creation strategies. Friday's job report shows that nationally we're on the right track. 243,000 jobs were created in January, capping off 23 straight months of private sector job growth, thanks to President Obama's investment in the Recovery Act.
But here in Virginia, instead of investing in our economic future, Governor McDonnell is starving programs that spur economic activity in favor of handing over tax breaks to big corporations. Our neighbors to the north in Maryland created 8 times the number of private sector jobs in 2011 that Virginia did. McDonnell, far from admitting he's wrong, is forging ahead with a cuts-only approach while falsely proclaiming his trickle-down strategy is working.
Creating an economy that works should take precedence over ideological agendas and partisan games. It's time for Governor McDonnell to implement a strategy that works: investing in the Commonwealth's future to get Virginians back to work today.
Get the Facts:
- "The strangest thing about January's jobs report is that it's pretty much all good. The headline numbers are great, of course: payrolls are up by 243,000 jobs. Unemployment is down to 8.3 percent. But the inside numbers are good, too." (Ezra Klein's Wonkblog, February 3, 2012)
- According to the Washington Examiner:
- "Maryland created eight times more private-sector jobs than Virginia last year," and "created 26,700 jobs from January 2011 through November 2011, or roughly one job for every eight unemployed residents, whereas the commonwealth created 10,900 jobs, or one job for every 25 unemployed Virginians."
- "Nearly all of Maryland's new jobs were in the private sector. By contrast, 70 percent of Virginia's new jobs were in the public sector, including the state, local and federal governments."
- Gov. Martin O'Malley also stated, "We have recovered 43 percent of the jobs we've lost in the Bush recession. ... Our neighbors in Virginia [have recovered] 30 percent."
- The Commonwealth Institute reports:
- Cuts to programs serving low-income Virginians make up 59 percent of all the cuts contained in the Governor's proposed budget, despite accounting for just 27 percent of the budget. Prior years' budgets, however, got only 12 percent of their cuts from programs that serve low-income Virginians.
- During the recession, programs that serve low-income Virginians were relatively protected in the state's budget balancing strategies. For example, since the beginning of Virginia's budget shortfalls in 2007 and through the current fiscal year (FY2012), programs serving low-income Virginians were cut by 11 percent, whereas cuts to all other programs funded by the general fund were cut by 22 percent.
- By contrast, the Governor's proposal cuts the total general fund budget by 3 percent, yet cuts programs serving low-income Virginians by more than twice that - 7 percent.