As I consider joining the Virginia Gubernatorial race with the 2014 election fast-approaching. I sat down and keyed in my basic platform. I'll need to drop a few pounds. People don't like to vote for people who are a little pudgy. One thing going for me is that I comb my hair to the side in true Virginia fashion. Of course the fact that I'm a despicable Virginia public school teacher is a hurdle to overcome.
I would be a job creator Governor by forcing legislators to Fully fund the minimum state share of the SOQ's and then add 45% more...just like localities are doing. Jobs are created when people are highly educated. Education creates jobs in Virginia.
I'd make gas taxes subject to inflation at the wholesale level (John Edward's idea) and tie this tax into transportation. I'd seek out a statewide health insurance program for all state and local workers, thereby creating a larger health insurance pool and reducing premiums. I'd raise taxes on anyone who is rich or associated with the tea party by 666%. I'd put a stop to the whacko right social agenda.
There’s money floating around out there that can be recovered without raising taxes on the middle class. I'd seek new revenue by extending the land preservation tax credit reform, scaling back the domestic production deduction, enacting mandatory reporting of earned income by business, adopting a minimum corporate income tax, eliminating the coal tax credits. I'd sunset all tax breaks and demand a review of all existing tax credits and breaks to determine if they are meeting expectations. Over 1.5 billion dollars annually is there to be mined.*
Speaking of that, I'd fire the current Department of Education and hire people who understand that our public schools are great schools and shouldn't be destroyed by ridiculous voucher, virtual school, testing, and evaluation schemes. I'd demand that teachers be the 7th highest paid teachers in the country since we are the 7th wealthiest state. I’d push to restore continuing contract rights as well as collective bargaining rights for state workers and teachers. I'd make sure that teacher/pupil ratios are REALLY lowered. I'd make sure that every teacher has the opportunity to earn a FULL, DEFINED pension. I'd make lottery proceeds be the supplement to education funding as they were originally slated to be rather than a funding source that allows for General Fund money to be bled away from education in favor of the problem de jour.
I’d restore corporal punishment, but only for mean-spirited lawmakers.
*My thanks go to the Better Choices for Virginia coalition for the really good revenue recovery ideas.