The Roanoke Times this morning makes a feeble effort (in an editorial entitled, "Virginia Is Not Awash In Cash") to lather some more lipstick on that hog-of-a-budget-surplus and to explain away the fact that the state of Virginia is awash in cash:
Let's put to rest the most tired refrain in the Virginia budget impasse: "Legislators shouldn't even think about raising taxes when the commonwealth has a billion-dollar surplus."Well. The numbers we're watching grow exponentially are all wrong. The learned economists at the Roanoke Times say so. That surplus - now up to $1.4 billion and growing - isn't really cash that the state has not been able to spend; it's ... well ... it just isn't. It's actually cash that is needed for expenditures ... someday.
Surplus or no, the commonwealth is not awash in cash.
Reminds me of Pharoah's oft-spoken incongruous decrees in the movie, "The Ten Commandments":
Or the frenetic commands of The Great and Powerful OZ in "The Wizard of Oz":
Here's the irreality a la Roanoke Times:
Surplus or no, the commonwealth is not awash in cash. Needs continue to outstrip resources in many areas -- not just the transportation shortfall that gets the most ink."Needs continue to outstrip resources." Yeah. Right. For the folks at the Times, I offer up two definitions I learned in Econ 101":
To the genius who thought he could make it seem to be something other than what it obviously is - nice try.
Surplus: A sum of cash (resources) a state government has remaining after all obligations (needs) are met.
Awash: When that surplus exceeds $1.4 billion.
"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in a rather scornful tone," it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less."* Author Unknown
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master -- that's all."**
** Lewis Carroll, "Through the Looking Glass."