Barbara Comstock’s letter to the editor (R&D tax credit a win for everyone, Aug. 1) shows that as a member of Congress she would be in lock step with the other Republicans whose favorite tool to resolve the country’s needs is to reduce taxes on businesses and individuals. Yes, tax credits for research and development for Virginia might stimulate some increases in research and development, but injecting funds directly into improving the education that students receive, building state-of-the-art transportation such as the new Metro Silver Line and expanding Medicaid will lead to immediate gains in research and development for Virginians, instead of the trickle-down approach that tax credits rely on.
Businesses look to states that have outstanding educational opportunities for citizens to fill their employment requirements. However, the voting record of Comstock in the House of Delegates shows that she voted against increased funding for education, including voting against salary increases for teachers, against lowering the pupil to teacher ratio, and against additional positions for librarians and guidance counselors.
A well-functioning transportation system is a necessary condition to attract research and development. Comstock voted against the 2013 compromise that, among other things, funded the new Silver Line and is projected to raise more than $3.5 billion for roads and rails over five years and nearly $900 million annually after 2018. In 2012, she voted for a state budget that failed to include funding for the extension of Metro to Dulles Airport, which led to an increase in tolls on the Dulles Toll Road.
Comstock and other Republicans in the state blocked the expansion of Medicaid to its citizens, and as a result, have shortchanged this state’s capacity to receive increased health care dollars from the federal government. Those states that have expanded the eligibility for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act already have increased commerce from extra health care, including increased payments to their hospitals, especially teaching hospitals. The likelihood that new medical facilities, a known stimulus for research and development, will open in Virginia is doubtful when there are so many other states that have more individuals covered by insurance.
Comstock has not been a friend to research and development during her tenure as delegate, as she claims in her letter. In addition, her lack of support for education, transportation and health has not benefited the lives of most Virginians. She should not be given the opportunity to take her “trickle down” economic approach to Congress.
Paula Gori, Oakton