Here sits West Virginia, the bluest of states, up to its ears in lack of opportunity, poverty and social pathologies, its weakened population increasingly dependent on government programs for survival.
And what do the brethren in Washington do?
The Obama administration, with the consent of the Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate, declares war on coal, the backbone of the state's economy, making it more difficult for West Virginia Democrats to provide those services.
The federal government, with its anti-coal policies, is weakening the economy upon which the state's operation depends.
As Daily Mail Capitol Reporter Zack Harold noted earlier this week, the state ended fiscal year 2012 not with the expected $4.149 billion in tax collections, but with $4.05 billion in revenue.
Thus, the state ended fiscal year 2013 with a $90.6 million deficit. Under state law - unlike federal law - such a thing cannot be.
So Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin cut $17.7 million from the state's Medicaid reserve fund, the state emptied its $45 million income tax reserve fund, and the Legislature passed $28.3 million in budget cuts to slow the hemorrhage.
The primary cause of this little cash flow problem was a drop in severance tax collections from the production of coal and natural gas.