He thought he had them boxed in.
Instead, he boxed himself in.
OK, the Republican Legislature said. We'll just cut spending to $4,055,200,000.
The 378-pound Democrat proposed spending a record $4,707,626,000.
Republicans went through his prolific spending and cut and cut, and then cut some more.
Now they have a budget that fits the budget of state taxpayers.
Few of them read my blog, but on February 20, I wrote:
Instead of demanding another $450 million in tax increases from the second-poorest people in the nation, Republicans must cut spending.
The elimination of entire agencies is possible. There is no reason to fund Mountain Stage, public broadcasting, or the breeder's cup.
Already the Gazette is demanding we spare public broadcasting because its budget is "only" $30 million.
(A side note to lawmakers, if you are pissing off the Gazette, you are doing it right, but you already knew that.)Raising taxes would kill the Republican majority in the Legislature. Took them 82 years to regain it, but it would be gone in four years.
From Public Broadcasting:
While Republican legislative leaders haven’t unveiled an actual bill, they have unveiled a more detailed plan for balancing the state’s budget. Senate President Mitch Carmichael and House Speaker Tim Armstead announced those plans during a press conference Monday.
The plan is based on a premise Carmichael calls "novel" in state government: spending only the amount of money the state actually has.I liked this quote from Armstead: “The idea that if we just spend more in government and somehow that’s going to make us prosperous is not true, and now we’re talking about a proposal that would spend the greatest amount this state has ever spent in general revenue funds, funded by the greatest tax increase in the history of our state. That is not the answer.”
Spending on education and welfare will be trimmed.
We shall see if Armstead and Carmichael can hold the majority together.
Meanwhile, Justice has limited his movement. He has a line-item veto, but that only means he can cut spending, not increase it.
On top of that, he set up a ridiculous budget clock, which sets him up for being the villain if he vetoes the entire budget and delays its passage.
We shall see how this works out. But clearly, Jim Justice is in trouble, even if he does not know it. He proposed a record tax increase, and Republicans may walk away with saying they balanced the budget without raising taxes one penny.
Unslim Jim will then have to reset his clock to Countdown Till Jim's No Longer Governor.
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