Virginia's Temporary Sanity

Something happened to me yesterday morning that I never thought would.

I SWAPPED open the front page of yesterday’s The Washington Post and Shitty Corporate Mouthpiece, and what was written there made me laugh. Not just a tee-hee, but a full-out belly laugh. And the thing I was laughing at had nothing to do with Jon Edwards’ love child.

No, friends. Yesterday, I laughed my fool head off at a budget story.

This has never happened to me before, and I find it unlikely that it will ever happen again.

Virginia’s 2010 budget is has the fine distinction of being simultaneously a disaster and a joke. Here are some details, with emphasis provided upon the most egregious detail:

Funding for schools will drop $646 million over the next two years; the state will also cut more than $1 billion from health programs. Class sizes will rise. A prison will close, judges who die or retire won’t be replaced and funding for local sheriff’s offices will drop 6 percent.

Only 250 more mentally disabled adults will receive money to get community-based services, in a state where the waiting list for such services numbers 6,000 and is growing. Employees will take a furlough day this year, the state will borrow $620 million in cash from its retirement plan for employees and future employees will be asked to retire later and contribute more to their pensions.

That. Is apeshit. Insane. Virginia is slashing health programs and education. And it’s going to float the state on the backs of its workers, raiding pension funds, an idea that always works so well in the corporate world.

But. Here is my favorite part of the story.

“We tried to keep our word,” said House Majority Leader H. Morgan Griffith (R-Salem). “We knew times were tough, but the state has to live within its means, just as families have to live within theirs.”

Shrug. Oh, well. Tough shit for everyone.

I’m noticing a pattern when it comes to “conservatives.” They are fond of anthropomorphizing. A zygote is a person. Corporations are people. And now, the state of Virginia is a “family.”

But. It is not a family. It is a governmental entity. As such, the state of Virginia does not get its money by working, as does a family. The state of Virginia gets its money via taxation, like it or not. And, in order to stick to what I consider to be a cynical promise about taxes, this administration is determined to relegate the state to being stupider, sicker, and broker, not to mention one that shuns queers and continues with the outlandish charge that the President is not an American citizen.

Stay classy, Virginia!

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