Alternative Funding

You know that I have gotten on my privatization high horse more than once before, but it looks like on the other side of the Potomac the idea might get put to good use in a very unusual way:

Robert F. McDonnell, the Republican candidate for governor of Virginia, proposed Tuesday handing over about 330 state-run liquor stores to private operators to pay for road improvements — a novel way to fund fixes but one that confronts many of the same obstacles that have stalled previous efforts.

For those of you that don’t know, all alcohol in Virginia is sold in state-owned ABC stores. McDonnell’s proposal would generate half-a-billion dollars in immediate revenue to deal with transportation woes in Northern Virginia, where there is strong opposition to both new taxes, but also in a reduction in funding of education to pay for it.

While this proposal comes from a Republican, and does not solve all of Virginia’s long-term revenue needs when it comes to transportation, it is one logical and reasonable alternative to raising taxes and fees in order to keep state government running. Maybe Martin O’Malley can take the hint and realizes that there are, in fact, alternatives to trying to squeeze every last red cent out of Maryland’s taxpayers….

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