Senators Mitch Carmichael and Mike Hall
Delegates Foster and Foster
Charleston, WV 25301
Dear Elected Representatives:
I understand that you are considering legislation which would substantially increase business and other taxes. I hope that you don’t destroy the current Republican majority by doing so in order to finance our massively oversized state government.
Some history of our sad state of financial management is in order. West Virginia has financed its government by what I call gimmick, gadget and gizmo. First, they legalized lotteries and entered the numbers racket in order to save government jobs for statehouse bureaucrats. Then they legalized table games and entered the gambling racket to accomplish the same purpose. Now they are considering legalizing marijuana and entering the drug racket to ‘save the state’ from draconian budget cuts that should have been accomplished years ago. The financial rewards from these gimmicks have of course dissipated as a result of other states enabling their own gimmicks, gadgets and gizmos. Certainly the same result will ensue with marijuana. And our legislature and hapless governor will have taken no steps to reduce the ridiculous size of government.
What racket is next? I don’t know that there is any moral boundary our legislature would not cross to continue to expend increasing amounts of money for state employees in the face of our continuing decline in population. The legislatures who committed these atrocities should be ashamed of themselves. Don’t make me ashamed of each of you.
Business taxes proposed by our hapless governor would drive business out of this state and force the continued decline in population. It is no accident that our population has decreased over the years while other states have seen increases in population.
Therefore, I urge each of you to show a bit of courage and demand that the governor and his statist administration belly up to the bar and cut government without any tax increases as he originally promised.
Michael E. Greenleaf
(Greenleaf, of Putnam County, is a former Kanawha County Chief Tax Deputy).