Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Boom or Bust?

Governor Justice, 

Photo credit: WV Governor's Office
I am glad state revenues are up from last year. However, you may have noticed that gas and energy prices are up too. 

The increase in revenue is part of WV’s boom and bust economic cycle as a mining and drilling state. If our pattern holds, this boom cycle will be met with a call for more tax cuts and the next economic bust will be met with a call for cuts to spending. 

The race to the bottom will continue. Our children and families will bear the burden of the cuts. As a billionaire whose earnings skyrocket during the boom, you’ll wonder why average West Virginians “just don’t get it”. 

The thing you don’t realize is, we do get it. 

We know that despite headlines and press conferences saying how great things are that most of us are living paycheck to paycheck trying to get by. Sure the unemployment rate is down, but people need to work an extra job to make ends meet. We know that boom and bust is how our economy tends to work in WV. 

I’m glad we are in a boom cycle, but that boom is the result of higher energy prices - not because of either party having control of the Legislature or the Governor’s mansion. Boom and bust is the way WV’s economy works until we diversify to something more predictable that fosters shared prosperity for all of us - not just those in mining or natural gas industries. 

Instead of another press conference touting the indirect benefits of higher energy prices on our severance taxes, how about a press conference announcing ideas to move West Virginia forward? A place to start would be to invest in our people, our children, our families, and their future. 

Our children are worth it.

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