The state has a chance in 2014
THIS legislative session seems more focused on keeping the Democratic Party in power for another 80 years than it does on serving the needs of the second-poorest people in the nation.
Poverty is a multibillion-dollar industry in this state that Democrats work harder to protect than they do the coal industry.
Bring jobs to West Virginia?
Are you crazy?
That would mean people won't need food stamps or Medicaid. Then what will happen to all those Democrats on the state payroll?
In this legislative session, I also see the future — and that future is brighter because young Republicans are getting elected.
On the Democratic side, we have a party that looks more and more like the apparatchik in the Soviet Politburo, which had an average age of 80.
On the Republican side, we have bright idealists with fresh ideas, including many delegates who are the age of my children.
Really. Four-term Delegate Troy Andes, R-Putnam, 31, is younger than my daughter.
State party chairman Conrad Lucas also is younger than she is.
In at least one case last fall, a young Republican defeated an incumbent who was in the Legislature before his challenger was born.
The state's young Republicans are getting national recognition.
Rookie Delegate John B. McCuskey, R-Kanawha, spoke at the Conservative Political Action convention last week — shortly after Sarah Palin.
CPAC cited him as one of the party's rising stars under 40.
McCuskey pointed out that he won in a district that has twice as many registered Democrats as it has Republicans. He won by 41 votes.
"My wife, Wendy, and I knocked on over 10,000 doors," McCuskey told CPAC. "There is no better way to get to know my constituents, and have them get to know me."
And the people he got to know suffer from 80 years of Democratic Party economics.
This year, in his first session in the Legislature, McCuskey is seeing up close and personal how the Democratic Party maintains the status quo.
"In West Virginia, our legislature votes every day on various bills, but so far, it has been anything but tax reform and pro-jobs measures designed to revitalize our economy," he told CPAC.
The way to eliminate poverty is not with government handouts — to individuals or corporations.
The Democratic approach has been to keep taxes high but then beneficently pass out indulgences, cheap loans and tax rebates to the well connected.
The power in law and taxes comes not from their enforcement but from the forgiveness.
We have so many laws that the politicians and prosecutors can choose which get enforced.
All these economic development programs have failed to develop the economy.
What will get the economy in West Virginia going is the reduction or elimination of usurious taxes and unnecessary regulations across the board, not just for some but for all.
That's what Republicans promise to do.
"I believe West Virginia is on the verge of greatness, and I believe America can see a rebirth of prosperity." McCuskey said at the end of his speech.
"Thankfully, conservatism will lead the way."
The young Republicans in West Virginia are knocking on more doors, and voters are opening them.
We cannot go on like this.
The status quo is not working.
It's time voters retired more members of the old guard and demoted House Speaker Rick Thompson, D-Wayne, to minority leader.
Surber's email is email@example.com.