This just in:
From the Desk of
Senator Ralph K. Smith
In my first post-session report to you, I expressed my disappointment with the budget passed in March. Among my objections were the overly optimistic revenue projections. As William Safire has said, “I’ve been right and I’ve been paranoid, and it’s better to be paranoid.”
Unfortunately, the most recent figures indicate that I was right to question the revenue projections. In my budget update, I made specific mention of the unlikelihood that Virginia’s citizens employed by the private sector would see their earnings increase the approximate 10% required to meet the 2010 projections. Now it appears that the income tax revenue projections for fiscal year 2009 will also be missed. Available data now suggest the sales tax revenue will additionally fall below the projections. These two taxes account for approximately 70% of the revenue collected by the Commonwealth.
I hope the economy and these figures will improve in such a dramatic fashion that my doubts will be proven wrong. If such improvements do not occur, state finance officials will update the revenue forecasts to reflect the recent data and the Governor will be able to reduce spending. It is my hope that if this unfortunate situation continues, good can come from Richmond finally recognizing the need for greater efficiency in government.
During the 40 years I ran my own private business, I always sought to make the tough decisions that I knew needed to be made before economic situations forced me to. Unfortunately the Governor did not do this. I hope the Governor will now understand Senator Wampler’s January warning that “It’s a lot easier to avoid making new spending commitments than it is to cut spending after the fact.”
The Governor will now have to make difficult decisions that he dodged earlier. I hope he will consult with the General Assembly and make reasonable decisions targeting the inefficiencies that frustrate citizens every day.
I always enjoy hearing from you and hope you will share your thoughts on this matter with me. I can be reached at my 5720 Williamson Road office at 540-206-3597 and by email at this address.
Ralph K. Smith
Senate of Virginia
Gee, Jody Wagner, Gov. Timmy!’s Sec. of Finance wouldn’t have anything to do with this botch job, would she? Well, I suppose she would. And she has the audacity to think that she should be our next Lt. Governor? What a joke!