[When you keep digging a hole, you eventually get stuck in the bottom of the hole]. We are such in the hole that we got to quit digging. We got to quit working against one another.
Now, this year, you're going to have to cut the Rainy Day Fund $123 million more. No way around it. Right now.
We've got real problems. I don't mean this in any bad way, but we've got an 18-carat dog's mess, don't we? We do. I didn't create the dog's mess. I have inherited the dog's mess. And I am telling you, you have to have real direction and real ideas and real cooperation together to be able to get out of this.
I support balanced budgets--at a grossly reduced level of spending; the elimination of such federal agencies as the Departments of Education, HUD, and HHS (and significant budget cuts in all other federal departments); and the privatization of such unnecessary government services as passenger rail (e.g. Amtrak), NPR, coastal flood insurance, and even air traffic control. I will not vote for deficit spending, any increase in the debt ceiling, or any increase in federal spending
My fellow West Virginians, make no mistake, the State of our State is strong. We pay our bills on time and we've invested in our future by continuing to work together as we face future challenges. We will not impose financial burdens on future generations. In fact, our reserve fund is one of the healthiest in the nation.
We did not get here by accident--we got here with planning, patience and foresight. Our Rainy Day fund has a savings of over $920 million and it has helped protect and improve the state's credit rating for over 20 years.
Within 24 hours of this debt resolution sailing through the Congress, over $350 billion were borrowed--and the government's debt now officially stands well over $17 trillion. This is to say nothing of the untold trillions of dollars in unfunded liabilities the American taxpayer is expected to cover well into the future. As staggering as these numbers may be, very few in Washington DC understand the magnitude of this national dilemma.
This predicament grows even more dangerous [because the] deficit is no longer coming from real "borrowed" money. Very few foreigners are loaning money to the American government now; the largest buyer of American debt has now become the Federal Reserve.
When the Fed steps in as the "lender of last resort", and buys US government debt, new dollars are being created out of thin air. In essence, the only thing the Fed does have at its disposal is the printing-press, and this has become the new norm in Washington.
Turning to the printing-press has real consequences for the average American: massive devaluation of the dollar. As more dollars are printed-up by the Federal Reserve, the average American will find that their purchasing power will go down. This can already be seen--at the grocery store or the gas pump. In a way, this represents a tax. The inflation tax
We’re paying the price for some reckless decisions by state government. We have about $9 million in unpaid phone bills, some of them three years old. There have been massive overcommitments on highway projects that we must now fund. The contingency fund that we need to keep in reserve for emergencies has been depleted-along with several other funds.
We are now at what appears to be the waning days of the longest period of economic growth in our nation’s recent history-and West Virginia has precious little to show for it. I am presenting a budget that is in balance, a budget with no fat, no frills, and no nonsense. It is a budget that makes tough decisions. It is a budget that says the irresponsible practices that got us in this situation will not be tolerated again.
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