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General Assembly inertia--with political fratricide for the GOP page 3
The General Assembly impasse is worst-case GOP scenario

RICHARD AMRHINE
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Date published: 5/21/2006

By RICHARD AMRHINE

continued

I am no fortune teller, but I predict that after this column appears in the newspaper, I will get e-mails from people saying, "If you like taxes so much, why don't you pay mine?" Well, har, har, I don't want to pay your taxes. But I am willing to pay my share if it means my kids' teachers (or your kids' teachers) can focus on teaching rather than on whether they can afford the new rent increase or their resume copying costs. I'm willing to pay my share if it means that the fish and other creatures in the Chesapeake Bay are plentiful and safe to eat.

And, of course, I'm willing to pay my share if it means I can get from Point A to Point B without having to leave an hour early.

It is irritating that voters in the Fredericksburg area habitually elect representatives committed to nothing but protecting cheapskates who are unwilling to spend a few extra dollars for the good of the community as a whole.

What should we expect when for decades we ignore congested and deteriorating highways until they hinder commerce and threaten public safety?

If delegates are reluctant to spend serious money on transportation because they don't trust Department of Transportation officials to manage it properly, then they should deal with that. But that's no reason to punish Virginia's motorists and others who travel here.

Some Senate Republicans are thinking, albeit optimistically, that if they decide to cave in on the budget they'll get credit for ending the stalemate, while their House colleagues will be blamed for the hours Virginians continue to spend stuck in traffic.

But those drivers won't be howling--defined as "wailing cries of pain, anger, or grief"--they'll be "Howelling."

RICHARD AMRHINE is a writer and editor with The Free Lance-Star.


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