Chris Graham: Can’t cut your way to prosperity

The quickest way to lose 50 pounds is to cut off a limb. Thwack. Right there, you’ve cut 25 percent off the top without having to do more than get anethesized.

Now, long term, you’re not going to be nearly as productive as you were before. That limb clearly did you a lot of good before you had it lopped off. Made it easier to walk, or if it was an arm that you decided to do without for the sake of weight loss, carry stuff.

This about sums up my thoughts on the upcoming City Council elections in Waynesboro. You really can’t cut your way to prosperity.

Not that the supposedly fiscally conservative City Council currently in place can be said to be at all interested in cutting anything. Let’s face facts – this is the group that is rolling the dice with $3.5 million of your money on the hopes that the scrub brush that they bought from two friends of the mayor will appreciate in resale value in 20 years.

Seriously, this is the plan. They’re speculating with $3.5 million of your money at a time when we supposedly can’t afford another $70,000 to replace unsafe bleachers at the football field at Waynesboro High School, and now the WHS graduation has had to be moved to Harrisonburg because we can’t have people sitting in those unsafe bleachers.

All due to the idea idea that the land will appreciate in value over time, which itself is as likely to be a pipe dream given the new real-estate economy than anything else. The house that I’m buying on South Wayne is a case in point of how things can go in the other direction – having originally been on the market four years ago at $249,000, and now going toward closing at $158,000.

So the cuts that the supposed conservatives in charge right now make their priority are selective at best. Cut inconvenient items like bleachers and teachers and teacher pay – and fire stations that city voters approve in referendums, you know, insignificant little things that cities can do without. And in the meantime, make sure there’s enough in the coffers to reward the good ol’ boys for making sure that you get back into office.

But cutting things to the bones is at least the operating philosophy behind the current City Council majority. Even if they were the penny pinchers that they claimed to be, the theory doesn’t work in practice. Then you get to reality, where stealing from our kids’ future, and thus our own, to pay off political debts does more to undermine our prosperity than cutting off our nose would do to spite our face.

More at www.TheWorldAccordingToChrisGraham.com.



uva basketball team of destiny

Team of Destiny: Inside UVA Basketball's improbable run

Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.

The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.



 
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