Opinion — The bills eventually come due

Published 5:49 pm Thursday, August 19, 2021

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Growing up, I learned that the only thing free in life is the air that one breathes. It amazes me that some believe that you can have many wonderful, expensive things with no concern of how and who pays for it. Many are people who live on credit cards with no plans of how to pay the bill when it arrives. Likewise, they have no qualms about putting items on the government credit card that will have to be paid by our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and on and on.

Last week, the Virginia General Assembly approved the spending of billions of federal dollars that were apportioned for Virginia under the COVID recovery legislation that passed Congress last spring. Some will be spent on worthwhile projects. At the same time, part was allotted to pet projects in districts that are represented by Democrat legislators — projects that have little or no connection to COVID.

There was no effort to determine if the money is being spent wisely. Consider that $120 million was allotted to power companies to reimburse them for those who either cannot or will not pay their electric bills, but there has been no effort to differentiate between those two categories. Compare that with the money allotted for small businesses — that figure was $250 million. However, before the pandemic, there were around 600,000 small Virginia businesses. If every business applied for these funds, each would qualify for about $400 each.

Currently, in Washington, they are processing two bills that would be financed well into the future. The first one is considered more of a real infrastructure package that would partially pay for roads, bridges and other serious projects for $1.2 trillion. The second one starts many new “give away” programs totaling $3.5 trillion. There is no serious plan of how this will be financed, only that someday someone will have to pay the bill.

Small businesses continue to struggle because they cannot find people to work. Too many able folks are unwilling to give up the free Washington money.

Seniors on fixed incomes are seeing their Social Security and savings eroded by inflation driven by all the free money being pumped into the economy. Sadly, those who might have a rental house to supplement their Social Security cannot collect rent because bureaucrats have told renters they don’t have to pay.

Those with mental health issues and their loved ones are left in limbo. State hospitals cannot take them because they cannot keep employees. Private hospitals cannot because Gov. Ralph Northam refused to help them financially.

Now is the time that we must pray that this stupidity ends and ends quickly. A civilized society cannot function this way.

Frank Ruff Jr. represents Charlotte in the state Senate. His email address is Sen.Ruff@verizon.net.