PERCEPTION is nine-tenths of the law in politics and that is the problem with Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's plan to give a 2 percent pay raise to teachers and a $504 a year, across-the-board raise to other state workers.
Few would deny that even with step increases, the state should give teachers and other public servants a raise. The problem is where the money is coming from.
The raises are part of a $148.7 million increase in state government spending, a 3.4 percent budget increase.
To make up the gap in the "austere" state budget, Tomblin plans to withdraw $83.8 million from the state's $920 million rainy day fund.
That's a 9 percent withdrawal.
Rainy day? The public notices no such precipitation. Instead, many West Virginians believe the money is already there; officials are spending it wrong.
Data gathered by the National Education Association, a teacher's union, supports their contention: