Can we can all agree that 2020 has been the Year from Hell both in the United States and throughout the world? Let us focus on Virginia for the moment, however.
During this COVID outbreak, schools have been closed, private businesses restricted or closed for good, and masks have become part of our daily attire. Everyone has been affected, some much more than others. For example, restaurants, bars, and other food establishments have either restricted business to carry out or cut available seating severely. Supermarkets have lines forming outside so that only a certain number of shoppers can be inside the stores at any given time. Airlines have lost a ton of business. College parking lots are empty. Many employees have been laid off. Schools have been closed to the terrible detriment of children. The question becomes, how have our elected representatives fared?
We citizens have observed the disaster of the pandemic from a very personal standpoint and many of us have lost substantial amounts of income. As our elected representatives, it seems only fair that you share our pain and loss of income. Therefore, we suggest that since the COVID disaster has affected so many of your constituents and since your own work in government has been likewise curtailed, it would seem good sense that you return a portion of your Virginia-issued salaries, and that of your staffs, to the state treasury. While we can understand your reluctance to cut staff and your own perks, it seems only fair to the rest of us that you do so.
Tax revenues must have suffered since so many people have lost income, some forever. Therefore, we believe it prudent that welfare programs be cut accordingly. This is not out of malice but out of fairness and good financial stewardship. The state cannot spend money it doesn’t have. Raising taxes, your gut reaction, no doubt, is not a realistic answer as this is simply not the time with so many citizens out of work or having their hours cut back drastically.
Governor Northam has imposed restrictions on the public that have created a financial hardship for many of us. It seems only fair that those elected to represent us, including the Governor, share the pain and burden resulting from the overabundance of caution exercised by the Governor in his goal of preventing any of us from getting ill. Our suggestions, then, are that all Delegates, the Governor, the Attorney General, and any/all other elected officials in the Commonwealth of Virginia return 50%, at minimum, of their salaries. In addition, all staffs should be cut by that amount. Lastly, we urge that all “welfare” programs like housing subsidies, Medicaid, etc. be slashed to reflect the current hardships caused by the “pandemic” and the Governor’s (over?) reaction to it. Of course, as elected officials you could set up a voluntary contribution fund whereby any Virginian could send their excess cash to help support the state’s bureaucracy and expenditures at pre-COVID levels. I are sure that the public’s reaction to such a voluntary funding opportunity would be overwhelmingly positive and result in an excess of money for the state’s funding needs.