Are we taxpayers or schmucks?
Thank you, Sean O’Leary for your “Definition of a Schmuck” article, which awakened me to one more way the WV taxpayer is being ripped off. $1.57 billion for subsidies for businesses that have produced no net increase in jobs since 2000! Indeed! We in the Eastern Panhandle are not getting the truth about how our tax money is being spent even though we contribute more than our fair share.
Another big ripoff, which is not so well known in the Panhandle, is the tax dollars being used to clean up after coal mining. Millions of our taxpayer dollars are being spent to build roads and bridges in remote areas of WV for use by the coal industry. Many of the deep mines closed prior to 1977 require constant lime treatments which are being done at taxpayer expense.
As to the MTR sites, the coal companies are splitting out into subsidiaries so that they can be bankrupt when the coal runs out. They leave town and forfeit the woefully inadequate bond money, leaving the state taxpayers to pay the clean up tab in perpetuity. The poverty and bad health of coalfield citizens are costing us a bundle of Medicare and financial assistance money. The coal barons who live in N.Y, Richmond and St. Louis don’t care because they don’t live here. They just want to keep the big bucks coming. The EPA’s war on coal that is frequently mentioned in the media is a myth. There is no war on coal. Coal is waging a war on WV taxpayers.
Meanwhile, we taxpayers in the Eastern Panhandle are picking up the tab and being denied the funding we need for education, roads and decent infrastructure. Are we going to let this continue? If so, we are the schmucks.