It's equally important for you to understand that the budget surplus that existed only days ago is rapidly disappearing, a result of state revenue not meeting expectations, and of the budget deal that was recently hammered out by the legislature and our governor, and by a rapid acceleration in the growth of state spending in recent years.
Important as well is the realization that those were the same expectations upon which our lavish government spending plans were based. Richmond is still awash in cash, but our elected representatives have quickly learned how to disgorge it - at an unprecedented rate.
We'll be hearing cries of fiscal insolvency and bond rating woes any day now.
Why do I bring this up?
Here's a snapshot of the featherbrained whims that get us into this mess. From that same Roanoke Times that was howling over state budgetary calamities only a few short weeks ago:
Selling Virginia's natural wonderWe need to buy a rock formation (or a portion thereof). A $32 million rock formation (and "accompanying amenities" - the nearby toilets). And not to make a buck from the acquisition but to prevent development.
Natural Bridge is for sale. Does ownership of the landmark best rest in the hands of the state?
Roanoke Times editorial
A geological wonder, up for sale? Few people might have known that Natural Bridge, the famed 215-foot-high limestone rock formation in Rockbridge County, was even privately owned.
But whoever has pockets deep enough to buy the rock bridge and accompanying amenities -- asking price $32.5 million -- ought to preserve as much of the landmark's natural integrity as possible.
One way would be for the state to purchase at least part of the 1,600-acre property to assure that development would not impact the natural attraction and or make it inaccessible to the public. (link)
Next time these guys editorialize about the need for the commonwealth to raise taxes in order to stave off fiscal cataclysm, you might keep in mind the deep thinking and far-sightedness that go into the thought process.