Lobbyists for the construction industry would have to show us, specifically, what we should cut elsewhere in the budget to pay for the roadwork.
Ditto for lobbyists who want to spend more money on social programs, education, the courts and dozens of other programs.
Yes, it would be nice to expand Medicaid to cover the people who aren't quite in poverty.
The reality is that West Virginians cannot afford the Medicaid program already on the books.
The state will cut the budgets of other agencies by 7.5 percent next year just to keep up with the skyrocketing price of Medicaid.
The reimbursements apparently are so low that, nationally, 31 percent of doctors do not accept Medicaid patients.
I wish we could raise the reimbursement rates in West Virginia.
But state government must live within taxpayers' means.
I would like to buy a little red Corvette convertible, but I have my own maintenance and health programs to finance. I also have unfunded liabilities for my retirement.
In the 20th century, the nation was so prosperous that the government could "afford" any new program liberals could dream up.
All government had to do was raise taxes. Taxpayers were the geese who laid the golden eggs.
Now it's the 21st century, and the goose is cooked.
Government must act accordingly.
When lobbyists come asking for money early next year, legislators need to repeat the line from "Jerry Maguire": Show me the money.
Surber may be reached at donsur...@dailymail.com.