Letter: Right Advice

Letter: Right Advice

— Myopic is the most polite way I can characterize the Gazette’s recent editorial urging the Virginia House of Delegates to jump into a Medicaid trough temporarily awash with fresh Federal dollars.

Virginia is right to refuse to become addicted to a program of providing health care for its indigent with Federal funds scheduled to rapidly atrophy. When the Federal money dries up, Virginia will be in a jam: it will have to increase taxes to pay for the expanded Medicaid, or it will have to reduce Medicaid benefits. Either course will cause howls aplenty

The state government simply does not have the money to provide all the wonderful services, health care foremost, to all the many deserving people who want them, some desperately. And no amount of taxation will redress this dilemma, especially at the Federal level. Our Federal government has been living beyond its means for decades by using debt to bridge the vast annual gap between its spending and revenue. A day of reckoning can’t be far away.

And don’t fall into the Robin Hood trap. Even if the Federal government took all the money belonging to the wealthiest 1 percent, it wouldn’t make a difference. Our entitlements are simply too generous, health care especially. Since neither the state nor the Federal government can tax its way to prosperity, the remaining solutions are few: reduce government spending, notably entitlements, sell assets and/or create more wealth.

Contrary to the Gazette’s editorial to provide more benefits paid for with money we don’t have, I opt for creating more wealth. With more wealth, there’s more to tax. Better the Gazette should urge impediments to wealth creation be removed to inspire the risk takers among us to produce a product or service that does not now exist. When they do, in addition to more jobs, there will be more tax revenue with which to render welfare benefits to the poor

Jimm Roberts, Alexandria