Higher Taxes Are Bad Idea

Jim Justice, the Democrat candidate for governor of West Virginia, usually plays his cards close to the vest. But during a recent interview, he offered a hint of what he has in mind to deal with the state government’s massive budget problem.

Less than two months into a new fiscal year, revenue to pay the state’s bills is lagging far behind what is needed. That is in large measure because government bureaucrats resisted spending cuts fiercely.

It has been estimated that merely to get through the current fiscal year, the state will have to raise $350 million more than is in the budget or cut spending by that amount.

Justice is on record with his opinion on that. “We cannot cut our way to prosperity,” he emphasizes on his campaign website.

Asked about the budget shortfall a few days ago, Justice responded that there are “many mechanisms to generate revenue that we are not exploring or doing today.” He did not go into specifics.

Revenue to support government at any level comes from one place — the pockets of working people, their families and the businesses that provide jobs. A tax by any other name is still a tax.

Many West Virginians are well aware of something that apparently escaped Justice’s notice: Higher taxes make job creation more difficult. They make it tougher for Mountain State families to pay the bills. Taxing our way to prosperity won’t work.