by Dick Hall-Sizemore

Gov. Glenn Youngkin has reported to the General Assembly that the state can expect to bring in an additional $1.25 billion in general fund revenue in the current fiscal year. This is an astounding mid-session revenue projection. He is proposing that the state “give it back” to taxpayers.

Of the projected $1.25 billion in additional revenue, under the provisions of the state constitution, about $499 million would have to be deposited into the state’s rainy day fund, leaving approximately $751.4 million.

The Governor obviously thinks there is already enough general fund revenue to fund the operating and capital needs of the Commonwealth. I could identify a few, relatively small items that I feel should be better funded than they are, but I will desist. Instead, I have a proposal that should appeal to conservatives everywhere — pay off some of the Commonwealth’s credit card balance.

The Commonwealth has relied almost exclusively on bonds in recent years to finance its capital construction program. Each Appropriation Act has authorized the issuance of hundreds of millions of dollars in bonds for which general fund revenue is pledged to cover the debt service.

Typically, it takes a state agency several years to complete a capital project, particularly major ones. Therefore, for arbitrage reasons, the Department of the Treasury does not issue (sell) bonds for the fully-authorized amount for a project until the funds are needed by the agency to cover current costs. As a result, a general fund appropriation can be substituted for any unallotted or unspent bond authorization without jeopardizing the project. After all, money is fungible, whether it come from the general fund or bond proceeds.

For sources of capital funding for which general fund appropriation can be substituted for bond authorization and appropriation (called “supplanting’), one can first turn to recent capital pools. These are capital projects in which the General Assembly authorizes funding for a specified list of capital projects, but places a single, large appropriation in a central account from which agencies can draw down appropriations as they complete specified steps in designing and constructing a project. In the two capital pools approved in the 2020-2022 Appropriation Act, there remains approximately $612 million in unallotted appropriation. (This means that the appropriations cannot be spent until there is authorization to transfer them to an agency.)

Another source of possible supplanting would be bond appropriations that had been transferred to agencies, but have not yet been spent. Just three large higher-ed capital projects authorized by the 2020-2022 Appropriation Act have a total of $225.5 million in unallotted bond appropriation, meaning that the funding cannot be spent until the institutions get approval from the Department of General Services and the Department of Planning and Budget to go ahead with the projects. Finally, there is the bond appropriation for the Virginia Port Authority project to deepen and widen the ports of Hampton Roads. At the beginning of this fiscal year, there was $279.3 million of the approved bond appropriation remaining. To date this year, only about $4.5 million has been spent. Using a conservative approach, it is estimated that at least $250 million of that appropriation could be supplanted without affecting the project.

In summary, just a quick survey has identified over $1 billion in capital bond authorization that could be supplanted with general fund appropriation. (There is even more out there that could be identified.) In recent years, it made sense to use bonds for capital projects — general fund revenues were falling at times or only slowly increasing and interest rates were at historic lows. The situation is different now — the Commonwealth is awash in general fund revenue and municipal bond rates are expected to rise. Supplanting these previously  approved bond projects with general fund appropriations would save the Commonwealth’s taxpayers many millions (perhaps hundreds of millions) in general fund appropriations for interest payments over the next 20 years. (General fund debt service payments now are projected to be almost $1 billion in FY 2024.) I am sure the Governor and the Secretary of Finance, both of whom made fortunes in banking and finance, understand that.

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64 responses to “A Conservative Proposal”

  1. Stephen Haner Avatar
    Stephen Haner

    Nope. Cut taxes.

    1. John Martin Avatar
      John Martin

      taxes are already low

  2. Stephen Haner Avatar
    Stephen Haner

    Dick, the suggestion might have more merit if the state was overburdened with debt, or stuck with high interest rates, but a certain amount of debt at AAA rates for capital needs is both fine and advisable. Mr. Martin’s throw away line notwithstanding, Virginia taxes are not “low.” The standard deduction, my focus, has dropped to a ridiculous level compared to many other states and the federal government. The chance is here to fix it. Ending the sales tax on food is also an old bipartisan goal. If not now, when? Democrats last week were crying and posturing over the failure to turn the Earned Income Tax Credit into an annual welfare check. But they had the votes to do just that for two session and refused. Crocodile tears.

    1. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
      Dick Hall-Sizemore

      Your proposal on raising the standard deduction is not unreasonable. But, I don’t think Senate Finance will go along, at least, not this year. Howell has said all along that she wants to wait for the JLARC study and then take up reforming the income tax as a package.

      More to the point of this discussion, however, is that I thought the $13+ billion in additional revenue previously estimated for this year and the upcoming biennium would be sufficient to cover an increase in the standard deduction. At least, that is what the governor had been saying.

      I was addressing what to do with the additional $1.25 billion that just fell into everyone’s lap. In his message to the General Assembly, Youngkin cautioned about counting on that $1.25 billion continuing to be available. “Growth in our revenue receipts primarily attributable to other factors such as federal stimulus does not reflect an underlying growing economy.” In light of that caution, the most responsible use of the additional revenue would be on one-time expenditures, such as supplanting prior bond authorization, rather than on on-going measures. A tax reduction is just as on-going as devoting the funds to starting up a new program, giving state employees and teachers raises, or increasing funding for existing programs.

      As for lost opportunities, you have lamented yourself about the Republicans passing up the chance when they had it 3 or 4 years ago to enact meaningful tax reductions.

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        re: ” … In light of that caution, the most responsible use of the additional revenue would be on one-time expenditures”

        that’s an important issue. You don’t do permanent tax cuts with one-time money. That’s NOT “conservative”. It’s also not “conservative” to make tax cuts one budget cycle, then come up short on the next budget and have to make cuts or increase taxes again. That’s why a study to support proper forecasting needs to be done. It’s NOT ‘conservative” to screw up your budget by making tax cuts you have no idea the consequences of – i.e. ‘just cut”

        Virginia ranks 37th on tax burden:

        1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
          Eric the half a troll

          “You don’t do permanent tax cuts with one-time money. That’s NOT “conservative”.”

          It appears to be “Conservative” though. Even the idea of increasing the standard deduction needs to be tied to what happens when the federal deduction goes back down in a couple years. Something our buddy Haner continues to ignore.

          1. LarrytheG Avatar

            Yep. what is “conservative” these days is antithetical to what conservatism was only a few years ago. Fiscal Conservatism is NOT just about tax cuts. It’s about providing the infrastructure and services that are needed and funding them responsibly. That’s true in both the private and public sectors.

          2. Stephen Haner Avatar
            Stephen Haner

            The feds will never drop it down. N E V E R. So sure, put that trigger in the bill.

          3. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            Make book! In fact, don’t expect a change in the number of brackets, or substantive changes in limits or percentages any time soon.

            What you will see is the Estate Tax exemption drop from $11M to $5M but probably no lower. This affects only the top 3% of households.

            However, loopholes will, as usual, open and close in a more than 1:1 ratio, similar to the way VDOT rearranges the bumps on I-95.

          4. LarrytheG Avatar

            that sorta sounds like the same sentiment used for global warming and COVID. Just bet the bank no matter what. Not exactly a “conservative” value in the past!

          5. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            Then I can support it. See if only we were negotiating bills. I will fight against any bill that doesn’t have such a clause as should any sane person. The reason being is the feds have to act to not drop it down…. the easiest path will likely be to do nothing and point fingers.

        2. Eric the half a troll Avatar
          Eric the half a troll

          “You don’t do permanent tax cuts with one-time money. That’s NOT “conservative”.”

          It appears to be “Conservative” though. Even the idea of increasing the standard deduction needs to be tied to what happens when the federal deduction goes back down in a couple years. Something our buddy Haner continues to ignore.

  3. tmtfairfax Avatar

    Government has an inexhaustible desire for more money. It goes from the federal government to your local county, city or town. And people who don’t pay for stuff want more of it. Free sells well.

    If our public colleges and universities cut non-teaching staff to the ratio of non-teaching staff to teaching staff even 30 years ago, how much would the surplus be? What could it fund?

    Those of us working in the private sector, despite inflation, regularly see pressure from customers or clients to find ways to reduce our prices. Why can’t the public sector suck it up and cut overhead and waste?

    1. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
      Dick Hall-Sizemore

      I agree with you that administrative overhead in higher education is excessive and cut easily be cut significantly. However, that does not apply to the rest of state government. I was at DPB during the period 2010-2018 when there numerous general fund revenue shortfalls. In at least one fiscal, there was actually a decrease in GF revenue from the previous year. Agencies were told time after time to submit proposals to meet targeted budget reductions. Thousands of positions were eliminated. In FY 2011 alone, for example, the Dept. of Corrections lost almost 600 positions. My point is that any fat in agencies was cut in those years, along with some meat. Higher ed, however, could compensate for reductions in general fund appropriations by increasing tuition.

      All of this largely ignores the central point I was trying to make in the article: the additional money that has been projected would best be used to reduce the state’s bonded debt. Doing that would save many millions in interest payments over the next 20 years.

      1. tmtfairfax Avatar

        I’m not for cuts for the sake of making cuts. However, higher ed costs are uncontrolled and non-teaching positions should be cut.

        I don’t trust government, whether it’s run by a Republican or a Democrat, to look for efficiencies and make appropriate cuts. Fairfax County twice conducted lines of business reviews. Guess what? Neither time did it find any operations or programs that could be cut.

        I would consider your proposal if it were coupled by a serious look at what programs, staffing levels could be cut.

        This does not mean that the State cannot add staff or offer additional services in the area of mental health. But the assumptions that everything government does and every position it has are necessary flies in the face of experience and common sense.

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          If one blindly advocates cutting taxes without regard to what is cut, that’s no better than advocating funding some program like mental health but don’t raise taxes to do it.

          Both approaches are less than thoughtful.

          But advocating cutting taxes overall without regard to longer term revenue forecasts is ignorant.

          Virginia, in the not too distant past, had a bad forecast that predicted much higher revenues than what actually turned out. The response to that shortfall was to dictate to all agencies to make the same percent of cuts – no matter whether it was mental health, law enforcement or transportation.

          That’s DUMB but it’s what happens when there are shortfalls OR blind tax cuts without regard to what is actually being cut.

          General tax cuts will NOT result in cuts ONLY to higher ed. That takes specific line item budget – “courage”, i.e. put your money where your mouth is if you are a Conservative and want to cut higher ed. Step up and say it and vote that way and stand by that vote with your constituents.

          1. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
            Dick Hall-Sizemore

            The revenue forecasting models the State uses are pretty good and the forecasts are usually pretty accurate. One factor, non-withholding income, i.e. capital gains, self-employment, etc. is fairly volatile and particularly hard to forecast. One year, the models failed to account adequately for changes in the federal tax laws, which afffected how investors managed their stock portfolio, which in turn affected the state’s nonwithholding revenue.

            Targeted budget cuts. During the years of budget shortfalls, all agencies were instructed to submit proposals that reduced their appropriations by a total specified percent. In fact, sometimes, they had to submit multiple proposals, for example proposals totaling a 5 per cent cut and proposals totaling a 10 percent cut. However, not all agencies in the end, had the same percentage budget cuts. DPB, working with the governor’s office, went through the proposals, making recommendations on which were acceptable or feasible and which were not.

            I learned through this process that it sometimes is good to make agencies go through this exercise–submit proposals that would cut your budget by 5 percent, for example. That compels them to examine themselves and determine where there might be a little fat they could do without. As for higher ed, the only way you are going to get them to do that is to institute a freeze or caps on tuition and fee increases.

  4. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Suzie Orman would agree.

  5. Walter Hadlock Avatar
    Walter Hadlock

    Del. Glenn Youngkin? It helps us NOVAs to have a location for him.

  6. LarrytheG Avatar

    I thought Virginia had a chronic problem with mental and behavioral health facilities and services. I see reports in the media every so often that people in need of that service cannot be accommodated at times. Wrong?

    1. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
      Dick Hall-Sizemore

      You are right. There has long been a problem, details of which are too complex to go into here and, also, beyond my limited expertise. The introduced budget has an appropriation of $1 million to conduct a comprehensive study of the system in the first year. (There is already a standing special legislative commission established to do this, so I don’t understand what another study is expected to add.) Then there is an appropriation for $100 million (!) in the second year to implement the recommendations of that study. This is an example of having too much money to spend. There is no way that an agency could responsibly spend $100 million in one year implementing the recommendations of a systemwide study.

  7. walter smith Avatar
    walter smith

    Unlike most commenters from the Left, DHS is thoughtful and usually has a point, even though I most of the time disagree with his interpretation of it.
    But I smile when someone from the Left advises how to be “Conservative.”

    In other words, we Dems will spend like drunken sailors (an insult to drunken sailors who at least spend their own money), and you Pubbies should be the ones who act like adults and retire debt which you won’t get credit for.

    Is that an unfair simplification?

    Cut school spending. Enable school choice. Cut government power. Allow more freedom. Spend money as if it were your own. Crazy concepts, huh?

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      You’re right Dems spend like drunken sailors, and Repubs borrow like their drunken buddy stuffing the borrowed dollars in the dancer’s g-string.

      1. Stephen Haner Avatar
        Stephen Haner

        Hey, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!

        1. Nancy Naive Avatar
          Nancy Naive

          We should move the GA to Vegas then.

      2. walter smith Avatar
        walter smith

        Nancy for the win!
        1. Inane comment
        2. Showing lack of understanding of basic math. One borrows because one is spending what one does not have.
        If Nancy means Pubbies don’t tax enough, maybe it is because Dems spend it in nudie bars with CRT and DEI and menstrual products for trans-men or women – which is the correct way to say a guy who thinks he is a gal?

    2. LarrytheG Avatar

      Dems have ALWAYS spent like drunken sailors but real Conservatives insisted on fiscal discipline but no more. They do tax cuts without worrying whether or not they really “pay” for themselves, they just do it. Did it in Kansas as advised by Stephen Moore and Laffer then did it Federal with the Trump tax cuts ( which are now funded with debt).

      NOW, in Virginia , we’re cutting taxes no matter if we know whether or not we actually can – longer term and we know this because they don’t seem to care if the surplus is one-time money or recurring money. That’s NOT the “conservative” that I’ve been familiar with in the past. That’s letting ideology overwhelm fiscal discipline and reason.

    3. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
      Dick Hall-Sizemore

      Yes, I think that is an unfair simplification. It is when Democrats spend money on things that Republicans don’t like that it is termed “spending money like a drunken sailor.” I point out that Republicans were in control of the General Assembly for much of this century and, hence, in control of the state budget. Therefore, the increase in the state budget can be lain on their doorstep as well as that of Democrats. The same can be said for Congress.

      It is easy to call for tax cuts. It is harder to cut spending. If one is going to call for tax cuts, the responsible way would be to couple that proposal with proposals to cut spending. Glenn Youngkin has been lavish in this proposals to cut taxes. I have yet to hear him say what spending in Northam’s proposed budget proposals he thinks should be cut or eliminated.

      OK. Cut school spending, you say? Enable school choice. Exactly where and what and how much would you cut? Is school “choice” free? Is it less expensive? How?

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        re: ” OK. Cut school spending, you say? Enable school choice. Exactly where and what and how much would you cut? Is school “choice” free? Is it less expensive? How?”

        Yes. THIS is what passes for “conservative’ these days… ideology over fiscal reason! As irresponsible as drunken sailors!

      2. walter smith Avatar
        walter smith

        Yes. Let’s have a fair debate. The problem with all Dem spending is it doesn’t work, AND it never goes away.
        I think our illustrious government’s utility has been laid bare the last 2 years – maybe not quite the emperor has no clothes – but not far off.
        Seriously, are all the laws we have beneficial? All the regulations? I’d like to push back to our Constitutional framework. I’d like more of the Jeffersonian “that government which governs best, governs least.”
        I trust freedom of the American people more than the so-called experts who have proven themselves not too good at controlling the world.
        To throw a stick of dynamite into the discussion, why do we have vaccine laws? Somehow, you and I graduated from colleges without vaccine mandates. How did we survive? The horror! The danger! So, most people choose to get vaccinated. Some don’t. But, is the 2 hours for each first year college student filling out the paperwork, the filling out the exemption forms for those who do not get vaccinated and then all the checking and handling on the colleges, has this provided ANY benefit? Any benefit approaching the cost? I think top to bottom everywhere this needs to be done with a tie going to get rid of it.

        1. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
          Dick Hall-Sizemore

          Lots of generalities and only one concrete exmple. Vaccinations, what a surprise! We have vaccination laws to protect the public from dangerous contagious diseases. Because of these laws, polio, a disease much feared when I was a small child, has been eliminated, except for two countries in Asia. Smallpox has been eradicated and there is no longer a requirement that kids get vaccinated for that. I am old enough that I can remember it. Outbreaks of measles are uncommon, primarily among the unvaccinated. (If there had been a vaccine for measles when I was growing up, my brother and sister would not have experienced significant hearing loss.) Other childhood diseases such as mumps and chicken pox have been tamed.

          I do not remember what vaccination requirements W&M had when I went there, but I assume smallpox, measles, and polio were among them.

          Lots of people did not survive these diseases or were severely crippled (like a little boy in my elementary school) before these vaccines were available. If they had not been available, you and I may not have survived to go to college or, even if we had survived, we may have been crippled or deaf.

          1. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            There was no college vaccine requirement in Virginia until 1986.
            You survived!
            I have all the stupid required vaccinations. Most people do. Prior to Covidiocy, no one cared if you had those vaccinations or not. You claimed a medical or a religious exemption on a name it and claim it type basis. Your children and grandchildren went to school with unvaccinated people…and lived! That was just one example and I don’t think the law is worth the cost. Besides, with real vaccines, if you are vaccinated, you are not at risk, right?
            Back to the point, we could do a lot of good with a top to bottom review of everything with an eye to reducing regulations and burdens.
            Rather than just pay down debt, was the debt incurred for a legitimate, useful reason. Why not stop that spending altogether? Spend money as if it was your own, which is what our public “servants” should already be doing!

          2. LarrytheG Avatar

            well, no. People DID CARE and assumed that everyone DID get vaccines so they would not get disease and spread it.

            It was normal and accepted for the vast, vast majority of people.

            NOW, we have wackadoodles threatening to not get their kids vaccinated for anything !

            When I actually hear the GOP advocate for and vote for “cuts’ rather than accuse the other side of “spending”, I’ll take them more seriously.

            confusion also over what a “public servant” is. He/she is not yours!

          3. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            As usual, not even anywhere near what is being said.
            It is a waste of time to try to breakthrough with Dr. SCIENCE!, but I will try again. (Maybe it will be a breakthrough logic like the breakthrough Covid cases, but I think Larry has gotten the PartisanCrazinessVirus and is immune to seeing the light).
            The historic vaccines are accepted as safe because they have been around forever, and are accepted as being effective. Most people (far and away, maybe 99%) get those shots. There are some who say they are not necessary – Bobby Kennedy and others. They say the instances of those diseases were going down anyway and there are side effects making the shot not worth the cost. I don’t know. I haven’t looked into it.
            So, prior to Covidiocy, 99% of the people got the LEGISLATIVELY REQUIRED shots, AND to maintain Constitutional and liberty concerns, there was a failsafe medical and religious exemption. Tell the truth Larry, if you can – did you know ANYONE who had not had those shots and did you care? I knew no one, and it was none of my business – I am sure somewhere, somehow, I had crossed such people, maybe even friends, maybe I had eaten with them, or shook hands…and I wasn’t killed!
            Having studied this issue far more than I ever cared to, I doubt that the 1986 requirement is worth the cost. It places a burden on the colleges and on the students and I sincerely doubt it has done anything to improve public health. So why have it? Even though I used the word “vaccine,” can you think rationally about what I just said, rather than call me a wackadoodle?
            Let’s say 20,000 new college students in Virginia every year, times 35 years, time 2 hours for the kids and 1 hour for the school – 2.1 million hours (and all the paperwork). There are 8,760 hours in a year. 70 years of hours = 613,200. Over 3 lives worth of time and associated costs…for what benefit?
            Now on the Covid “vaccine” which is not a vaccine, if you can possibly be logical long enough to comprehend what I am saying – I am not against vaccines as vaccines. I am against mandating an experimental medical product. The Covid shot shot shot repeat as necessary obviously does not work, and that is certainly a reason to object, but the point has always been – it violates the Nuremberg Code and long-accepted medical ethics to require someone to participate in a medical experiment against his or her will derived by willing, informed consent. By definition, a mandate takes away “willing.” And, if it was legislated, was legislatively approved, etc, there should be required a medical and a religious exemption. Is that too hard to understand?
            Finally, one day there will have to be reconciliation of the 1905 Jacobson case (which led to Buck v Bell) and “medical privacy” and I think it will have to end up as you can’t force the shot(s), but that’s me. Somehow, I trust that if the vaccine regimens are believed safe, people will get them.

          4. LarrytheG Avatar

            they were not ‘around forever” when they started – like with polio – which actually did kill some kids and cripple others.

            People still got it.

            the COVID shots have been given to BILLIONS of people. By now, we would know if they had big side effects. They clearly don’t except for the propaganda folks misrepresenting the VAERs db.

            Hey, how’s that Durham thing working for you these days? FAUX has gone silent!

            got a challenge for you – see if you can respond if FEWER words – you know, more clarity and on point and less blather! 😉

          5. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            Larry – I haven’t mentioned Durham. So what if billions have had the shot? Doesn’t make it not experimental. Why hasn’t EUA been lifted? Why do the Pharmas have liability protection? How come the APPROVED Comirnity is not available, and has many post-approval studies required? Larry, if you actually knew anything, rather than just repeating the party line, you might be able to contribute something worthwhile. And thanks for changing the subject and not responding to what I wrote. Was it too hard for you to understand?

          6. LarrytheG Avatar

            Billions are more than equivalent to testing a vaccine for years. Are you up to date on this: ” The Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines have received full approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). February 14, 2022 And yes, you have blathered about Durham…. also.

          7. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            The article does not say what you say it says…
            And my Durham comments are…where?
            Give it up Larry.

          8. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            Larry – if you knew anything, besides how to spout the Dem line, you might be able to walk and chew bubble gum at the same time. Comirnaty has been approved. It is still not available in the US. Every single shot and booster has been EUA. Big Pharma is protected from liability with EUA. So why doesn’t FDA require Pfizer to administer Comirnaty? Hmmm…
            Bait and switch. And do you really lack any intellectual curiosity? So long as the FDA keeps EUA, do you think Pfizer has any incentive to produce Comirnaty, for which it could be liable? And if the “vaccine” is so safe, why wouldn’t Pfizer roll it out – show confidence in its product?

          9. LarrytheG Avatar

            pointing out that the two vaccines HAVE BEEN APPROVED guy. You seem to equate “intellectual curiosity’ with sucking on conspiracy theories and such. No can do.

            The point is that billions of shots have been given, They are effective and side effects are rare despite lies from folks claiming otherwise.

            You lack credibility, guy. You spend way too much time chewing on lies and misinformation and such IMHO.

          10. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            Larry – the article was propaganda intended to deceive. What is the point of having an “approved” vaccine and not having it available? Has the FDA ever issued such an “approval” before?
            I’m a conspiracy theorist?
            So, people like me are flooding VAERS just to create misleading data?
            But before Covid, VAERS was A-OK, amirite?
            Which conspiracy theorist did this –
            Oh, that’s right – it’s not in the NYT or Journolist so it doesn’t exist.
            And the already required post-approval studies of Comirnaty (again, highly unusual) are obviously just the FDA conspiring against itself, right?
            So, back to reality, has anybody in the US been given a shot of an FDA approved Covid vaccine?
            The answer is NO.
            This isn’t that hard to understand.
            Therefore, everybody who has gotten the Covid vaccine to date has been injected with an experimental medical product.
            To participate in a medical experiment requires informed, willing consent (Federal law and Nuremberg Code and Belmont Report)
            I don’t care if you or billions get the shot. I do care that it cannot be mandated. Enjoy the Gulag when they come for you as a true believer…

          11. LarrytheG Avatar

            Why YES you ARE a conspiracy theorist when you dispute facts and realities.

            No. You ARE misrepresenting how VAERs works as well as the data.

            The FDA Is looking into other vaccines , no?

            we’re not talking about “mandated” here. We’re talking about what you claimed was
            vaccines not approved and still not proven safe and effective. Which is simply not the truth.

            I do not understand you or why you are this way. truly.

          12. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            This all started from me suggesting a cost/benefit analysis of the VA statute on required college vaccines.
            Larry had to go all Covid and refuse to acknowledge problems. Larry believes in CDC inerrancy as Evangelical Christians believe in Biblical inerrancy.
            Here is a quiet update from the CDC – hidden in the gobbledygook is a recommendation that the second dose of Pfizer may be best administered after 8 weeks to the 12-49 age group. But safe and effective! And we can’t release that data because it might increase vaccine hesitancy! I’m the one doing science…

          13. LarrytheG Avatar

            well, you’ve “suggested” quite a few things including misinformation about VAERS and other.
            clearly you’re okay with spewing all manner of false information and call them ‘suggestions’.

          14. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            The CDC document is misinformation?
            VAERS, which I didn’t bring up, is misinformation? Then why do we have it? Isn’t it a CDC/FDA system?
            You have an upcoming religious crisis… even the NYT wrote about the CDC withholding the data on 12-49. That’s not a conspiracy theory. That’s yet another fact. The question is why? To ask why is a denial of SCIENCE! and a CONSPIRACY THEORY? No, just a question that a real scientist wouldn’t object to…

          15. LarrytheG Avatar

            It’s a conspiracy theory to speculate that the CDC is “hiding” information for nefarious reasons. Just par for the course for you boys. Same thing with VAER and claims that it shows major side effects for the COVID vaccines. That’s the typical stuff coming from you and like-thinking.

          16. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            And this is the truth Larry – it is still not available in the US and every single shot administered to date is EUA. (And post-approval studies are required – if and when they ever start distributing and administering it!)

          17. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            And here’s some more conspiracy for you from the CDC website.
            “Updated” milestones for child speech development. What the CDC didn’t didn’t say was “updated” meant “lowered” and it has nothing to do with masks! Quit asking questions, peasants!
            By the way Larry, what does this have to do with my asking a question about the VA college vax statute’s cost/benefit analysis? It wasn’t Covid.
            And you never answered this question –
            Prior to Covidiocy, outside of you and your immediate family, did you know the required vaccine status (MMR, polio, etc) of anyone?
            Such danger everywhere…And yet you lived…

          18. LarrytheG Avatar

            you’re all over the map – guy. Every post is an anti-govt, anti-science rant.

          19. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            And that disproves what I said, how?
            If the government stats and policies are wrong/harmful/illegal, does commenting on them make me anti-government or following the scientific process?
            You stay in your bubble, and cling to your shibboleth – it won’t change the facts that I am right about so much in all the Covidiocy…
            SCIENCE! is not accepting what the government says without due circumspection. Your religious zeal belief in SCIENTISM is not “science.”
            I am a far better scientist than you (and I was a history major!).

          20. LarrytheG Avatar

            If all of it was even marginally true, but it’s simply not. You pretty much proved it with your misrepresentation of VAERS and related. We’re in no “bubble” here. We believe science. We understand that the CDC and FDA are not without their flaws but they’re way ahead of the conspiracy nuts you see to love.

            What you are trafficking in – is not facts but the opposite IMHO. You are totally on the outside of science and
            govt , right?

          21. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            Larry – what did I say about VAERS?
            You brought it up!
            I said its numbers are much, much higher than the past. That is TRUE.
            Is that a “conspiracy,” or is it a fact that requires you to call me a conspiracy theorist?
            I am the one dealing with reality.
            Let’s go to your other non-sequitur – what is the point of saying Pfizer and Moderna vaxes are approved…but they’re not available here… but the other ones, which are not approved and are EUA and for which the Pharma companies have no liability are totally safe and effective (when we know they aren’t effective)? It is a bait and switch. Would it be OK with you for a citizen to wait for an approved shot? At least then, the person could sue the pharma company. Does that offend your totalitarian obey the government (except when an evil Republican is in charge) senses?
            What I have just said are facts. If an EUA product is administered, the maker is excused from liability. No “approved” Covid shot has been administered to date in the US. Not a conspiracy. Not anti-vax. Not racist. Just true.

          22. LarrytheG Avatar

            are you saying that Covid vaccines have not been approved and the EUA removed?

          23. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            We’ve been over this Larry. The FDA has “approved” vaccines which are not available. So every single shot is EUA. Is that too hard to understand?
            Also, the FDA has required post-approval studies. Highly unusual.
            And I didn’t report the data being suppressed. The NYT did – you know – the right wing rag. But wondering why is a CONSPIRACY!

          24. LarrytheG Avatar

            I thought the FDA/CDC DID approve Moderna and pfizer…no? both moderna and phizer are very much “available”. The NYT did NOT say that. Go read the article and stop lying. The CDC DID provide a response AND the NYT printed it.

          25. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            Does 2+2 = 4?

        2. LarrytheG Avatar

          The GOP spends money also these days. They have no more “honor” than the Dems!

  8. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    It has been said that Benjamin Franklin once said, “Show me a man who earns two pennies, spends one and saves one, and I’ll show you a happy man,” to which W.C. Fields quipped, “You show me a man who earns a penny, and spends two, and I’ll show you a man who is ecstatic.”

  9. Paul Sweet Avatar

    Paying down the bonds would be a good use of this windfall. I used to work for a state agency whose construction program was bond funded since the 2008 recession. Several projects that were authorized and funded got delayed for several months so that previous bonds could be paid down to keep outstanding bonds within a certain percentage of the state’s budget to preserve the state’s AAA bond rating before the money could be allocated. (I hope I got the terminology and process correct). It was a real pain in the rear end dealing with this, and the contractor wanting to know why we were taking so long to sign his contract, and the facility not being ready when it was needed, etc.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      Using one-time money to pay down debt, build infrastructure, and plump up the rainy-day fund is the right way to use that money.

      Recurring money for recurring budget items.

  10. James C. Sherlock Avatar
    James C. Sherlock

    Excellent article, Dick.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      and the way that many articles in BR used to be before we were overwhelmed with “woke leftists”, virtue signaling and other culture war, what nots….

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