It makes you wonder . . . what exactly is in a $78 billion budget? How much waste and unwanted and unneeded programs are embedded in it? While it is pardonable that the average Joe and Jane Virginian does not to know, most might think the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee — the budget writing committee — would know. But Delegate Lacey Putney (I-19, Bedford) was candid with the Washington Post Monday, telling Anita Kumar, regarding a special appropriation patroned by House Majority Leader Kirk Cox (R-66, Colonial Heights) and Speaker Bill Howell (R-28, Stafford):
Do you think I know everything in the budget, honey? I don't know what's in a $78 billion budget . . . I don't know.
Realistically, he is exactly right, and no blame goes his way. But if the chairman doesn't know, that tells us all we need to know — the amount of state spending remains considerable and much more needs to be done to get it to a reasonable level.