Washington inaction has Virginia business owners and legislators worried, Gov. Robert F. McDonnell said Tuesday, a day after a congressional “supercommittee”gave up on the task of cutting $1.2 trillion from the federal deficit.
“We have an unsustainable and immoral level of spending and debt and we are mortgaging the future generations of this country by failing to realize we have to balance our budget and make ends meet,” McDonnell said. “We do it in Virginia and 48 other states do it as well. ... The day of reckoning is here. The bill is due.”
McDonnell was speaking in Richmond after meeting with the Governor’s Advisory Council on Revenue Estimates, an executive advisory council of legislators and business leaders that tries to predict revenue estimates for the commonwealth.
It was a closed-door gathering, exempt from public-meetings rules because businesses share their own revenue forecasts, hiring plans and other confidential information to help the state estimate future revenue, McDonnell said.
“We had a very good and robust discussion with both the legislators and, really, top CEOs from every major area of the Virginia economy — healthcare, defense contracting, shipbuilding, biotechnology, energy, utilities. ... We covered the waterfront pretty well.”
While most felt confident about the economic picture in Virginia — where McDonnell said unemployment had just dropped down a notch, from 6.5 percent to 6.4 percent — the governor said many of those gathered were concerned by events in Washington and beyond.
“There’s still some degree of pessimism based on the sheer uncertainty of what’s going on in Washington and the world,” he said.