Thursday, May 21, 2009

Whose fault is that?

Brian Moran, a contender for the Democratic nomination for Governor of Virginia, has announced his plan to expand benefits and rights of veterans and active duty military in the Commonwealth. Some of these deserve more than just a second look, like his proposal to exempt overseas active duty income from state income taxes. One provision of his "bill of rights", though, seems like little more than grandstanding to my eyes:

"If Virginia state employees are called up for military service, the state should make up any lost income if their military pay checks are less than what they earned in state government."

And why, exactly, is that? These are former service members. If they are recalled to duty, then it is the job of the federal government to compensate them for their services. The Commonwealth basically will have had one of their employees taken from them by the federal government. At the least, they'll lose the services of that employee for the duration of his time in the military, and will be forced to replace any recalled employees. On top of that, Brian Moran wants the Commonwealth to keep paying them? Even if it's just "making up the difference", Virginia would be paying two people for each of these positions they would need to refill; and one of those people wouldn't even be working.

Mr. Moran's plan, obviously, is still in the planning stages. He hasn't even announced how he would pay for these expanded benefits. I'm sure we'll hear more as it becomes more ... refined.

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