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This week's Things That Tick Me Off: The Politics Edition
February 24, 2011 - Jody Murphy
The Morgantown Dominion-Post is reporting the West Virginia House of Delegates unanimously passed a bill Wednesday to swell the ranks of the state's troopers by 200.
I'm sure this is welcome news .... to almost everybody. Not this guy.
While I am NOT anti-police I don't think the state taking a couple million dollars from the general fund to hire 200 more state troopers is a prudent maneuver. Would that money not be better spent creating another ring of the courts — a court of appeals between the circuit and state supreme court? That's something many have been pleading for a number of years and lawmakers have been hesitant to consider.
I don't hear too many cries for more troopers.
I want to know what types of problems lawmakers think hiring 200 more troopers will solve. Instead of hiring more troopers and increasing the size of government why not decriminalize marijuana and other drugs? If troopers aren't tied up doing pot and Oxycontin busts maybe they can go after harder, more violent criminals with greater effectiveness.
This type of measure was approved a few years ago by state lawmakers and Gov. Joe Manchin wisely vetoed it. I hope Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has the same inkling. I have been told he's of the same conservative mindset. Given the hints and indications of employees pay raises from the state this year, I'm not holding my breath ...
I also see (per the Charleston Gazette) state lawmakers are looking to pay off the ever-rising Goliath of OPEB debt on the backs of smokers. Lawmakers want to almost double taxes on a pack of cigarettes (from .55 to$1.50 a pack). Sweet Jesus really?!
I am fed up with lawmakers trying to find politically correct and easy solution to problems rather than practical ones. The reason OPEB is the behemoth it is; because of deals lawmakers made with 20-30 years ago, without considering the ebb and flow of the economy as well as the vast number of (baby boomer) retirees that would vacate the workforce around the same time.
This may sound silly, but how bout either giving the retirees less or making them pay more?
I know people are going scream holy hell about keeping promises, but this is a promise we can not afford to keep. I liken it to you promising your 10-year-old kid a car for their 16th birthday. You promised and you saved, but in the years that passed you also lost your job and had to find a new one at a much lower pay.
Yes, you want want to give the kid that promised car, but the money ain't there. Do you sacrifice the house and food to keep your promise?
A lot of times things don't work out as planned .. OPEB is a prime example.
Lawmakers need to come up with better, more practical ideas to fix the problem rather than sloughing it off through increased sin taxes and ignoring pleas from county BOEs. Bit the bullet and address the problem head on, but by gouging sinners (I mean smokers) via sinfully higher sin taxes.
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