Bill Bolling rips into Ken Cuccinelli and Terry McAuliffe tax plans

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Local,Virginia,Steve Contorno,Taxes

Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling is no longer in the race to be Virginia's next governor, but he's happy to sit on the sidelines and play armchair candidate.

Bolling, who has recently lamented his decision not to enter the race as an "independent Republican," criticized the two remaining gubernatorial candidates Tuesday for offering voters unrealistic economic proposals.

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican nominee, suggested a 13 percent reduction in personal income taxes and a 33 percent reduction in corporate income taxes. Last week, Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe offered to reduce or eliminate a handful of local business taxes. Both were short on specifics for how they would replace the lost revenue, Bolling noted.

"In the past week, both Mr. McAuliffe and Mr. Cuccinelli have proposed tax cuts that would benefit Virginia's families and businesses. I think that's great," Bolling said. "Unfortunately, neither candidate has yet identified how they would address the significant loss of revenue these tax cuts would create for state and local governments and the corresponding impact they could have on critical government services. As governor, you can't just propose tax cuts willy nilly to score some cheap political points."

Bolling was the frontrunner for the Republican nomination until Cuccinelli decided to enter the race. Sensing a defeat, Bolling withdrew his name from the GOP field and instead toyed with the idea of running as an independent. He officially ended all talk of a gubernatorial bid in March.

Since exiting the race, Bolling has not remained quiet, weighing in on a number of policy decisions that at times have gone against his own party, including backing an expansion of Medicaid in the state under President Obama's healthcare reforms. Bolling also frequently portrayed Cuccinelli as being out of the mainstream and he has refused to endorse his one-time rival.

Bolling has been much cozier with McAuliffe, who has informally offered the Republican a position in his administration. But on Tuesday, Bolling was taking aim at both candidates.

"Responsible governance requires that these tax cut proposals be part of a more comprehensive package," Bolling said, "that also considers the impact they will have on important programs like education, transportation and health care, just to name a few."

scontorno@washingtonexaminer.com

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