Friday, February 05, 2010


World Wide Web:
For release: February 5, 2010
For additional information:
Marc Montoni, Founder,
Phone: (804) 592-6066

Despite the myths government officials distribute, reports of "budget crises" are mostly hogwash. The problem is not revenue; many government bodies are collecting revenues that are only one or two percentage points off their peak, and some are collecting more this year than last -- the economy be damned.

The problem is that governments spend cash like drunken sailors. When was the last year a government budget -- in real dollars -- was smaller than the previous year?

Governments viciously suck up every spare penny they can find. Just from 2000 to 2009, Virginia's state spending has increased by 28% over the rate of inflation and population growth. From 1982 to 2007, Virginia government spending has increased at an average of about 7 per cent annually. How many wage earners have seen the same sort of increases?

Every time a federal, state, or local government declares some sort of "budget crisis", a quick fact check reveals "crisis" revenues are usually about the same as the revenue collected two or three years prior. So the question must be asked -- were government employees -- now the best-paid people in the job market -- begging on street corners those previous years?


Citizens and taxpayers are the ones being hit hard by economic conditions, not governments. Governments normally do their level best to increase the hardship, rather than relieve it -- their greed and avariciousness only increases during economic downturns. In their desire to steal ever more wealth from the private sector, governments raise tax rates to extract more wealth at gunpoint (try not paying and see who shows up).

Here are some budget ideas that would actually wrench Virginia's economy into rapid and sustainable growth: 1) Abolish the state income tax. 2) Initiate a hiring freeze at the state level; and initiate layoffs of employees whose functions do not directly protect the rights of individuals (we don't need the state government running ports or courier services, for example). 3) Repeal most regulations and taxes on starting businesses, such as the outdated and entrepreneurship-crushing BPOL tax. 4) Abolish zoning laws that crush the formation of garage businesses.

There are many more similar reforms that could be made. Unfortunately, however, governments never willingly give up money or power -- so we're destined to continue on the slow march to economic oblivion.


JLARC Spending Synopsis:

JLARC Spending increases from 1982:


Marc Montoni is a network technician and a frequent columnist on the issue of individual liberty, Drug Prohibition, gun laws, and land-use regulation. He currently serves as the Secretary of the Libertarian Party of Virginia and publishes a commentary blog at

PO Box 71106 voice: 804-288-2766
Richmond VA 23255-1106 fax: 804-592-6066

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

Content available for commercial distribution. Contact author for permission.