Stay away from the principal and the fund will be self-sustaining for years.
However, the extra money could also become a political slush fund for lawmakers. Imagine politicians salivating over millions of dollars that could end up funding myriad pork projects, all justified under the broad guidelines of how the money can be used.
Additionally, West Virginia has a number of pressing needs now: Roads and bridges are crumbling. Teachers and public employees want pay raises. Medicaid costs are rising.
It's not easy to make the argument to save for an addition to the house when the roof is leaking now.
Government can do three things with tax money: Spend it, save it or return it to the people.
It's certainly not a given that all the tax revenue that collected is justified, since there's very little analysis about the efficiency of government or the necessity of every service. However, the public does expect certain services that must be paid for.
The question of Kessler's future fund proposal gets to the heart of the issue of the proper and most effective use of taxpayer dollars. It's a worthy debate.
Kercheval is host of TalkLine, broadcast by the MetroNews Statewide Radio Network from 10 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. The show can be heard locally on WCHS 580 AM.