But the gubernatorial candidate who touts his business acumen has yet to put a full price tag on his proposals, or say how he would fund them.
“It’s the oldest trick in the political book. Politicians promise a lot of things, but never talk about how to pay for them,” Stephen Farnsworth, political science professor at the University of Mary Washington, told Watchdog.org in an interview.
In speeches and interviews, McAuliffe has called for:
- Higher teacher pay.
- Increased funds to make college more affordable.
- Better retirement benefits for teachers.
- Higher spending on K-12 education.
- Increased research funds for higher education.
- Increased spending on tourism.
- Increased spending on inner-city passenger rail.
- Expanded rail service throughout Virginia.
- Increased funding for rural health care.
- Increased funding for mental health.
The Democrat, according to research by America Rising, a conservative PAC, has provided rough cost estimates in only two categories — $700 million annually for higher teacher pay and $225 million for college “affordability.” No funding sources have been identified for any of the 10 spending priorities.
Craig Brians, a political science professor at Virginia Tech, said McAuliffe’s agenda is problematic.