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Sunday, March 06, 2005

Disband The Government

I am a conservative. I believe in effective limited government. I believe our governments - local, state, and federal - are tasked with certain obligations that, should they not be met, require the disbanding of those governments and the formation of new ones. Their primary obligations are the protection of the citizenry (police; military) from the depredations of others (felons; terrorists), and the promotion of "the general welfare."

Government's involvement in the promotion of the general welfare essentially requires that we be provided with adequate infrastructure; roads, bridges, airports, sewer systems, electricity, communications. And potable water. Our governments, in each case, are either tasked with the obligation to provide those infrastructures or to facilitate their availability.

There are turds floating in the drinking water of American citizens living along Callahan Creek in Wise County, Virginia. In 2005. In the United States of America. See the recently released Virginia Department of Environmental Quality report here. [Note It is in .pdf format and requires Adobe Reader] The exhaustive report outlines the many contributing factors, including the "straight piping" of human waste into the creek from 350 homes along the stream, that have caused the problem for all the citizenry downstream. Callahan Creek and the Powell River are so polluted they will kill people drinking from them. And there are many people in the area drinking from them.

Local government has turned to the state of Virginia for assistance in preventing further loss of life.

So what has the state allocated funds for in this year's budget?

Unfortunately, however, when it came to the two-year, $63 billion budget for the commonwealth, approved 92-1 by the House and unanimously by the Senate, nothing much has changed. The General Assembly, divided between conservatives who dominate the House and Democrats and Republicans in Name Only who control the Senate, ended up passing a mishmash of raises for college faculty, state workers and state-funded local employees. There was also money in the budget for everything from the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts to a Cold War Museum for Northern Virginia, and lawmakers are congratulating themselves over the passage of $848 million for transportation improvements ... (link) [my emphases]
I haven't found yet whether the state legislature also allocated the $5 million for that tunnel they want to run from their office building to the capital that is intended to keep their hair from getting wet in the rain. (link) I'll keep looking.

But enough is enough. Our political leadership in Richmond, after having passed the largest tax increase in state history, has decided to spend that tax revenue on cold war museums (!), performing arts (!), the obligatory raises for our (unionized) employees, and perhaps for their own private tunnel. And God knows what else.

This list doesn't include the moneys already allocated for Southwest Virginia that are being used to construct bike paths, hiking trails, and tourist visitors centers that nobody is visiting. Perhaps we should expand them to include exhibits on fecal matter in our drinking water. That'll give them a local flavor. Might even attract some o' them tourists.

No. Disband the government. It is failing in its primary obligation to the citizens of the state of Virginia.