OPINION: Degrees vs. Sin Taxes

Higher Education Is More Important

James C. “Jim” Justice, II

“I’ve tried since February to impress upon the citizens of our state and the state Legislature that massive cuts to higher education institutions were just going to hurt our young people and their ability to get a degree,” says West Virginia Governor James C. “Jim” Justice. “I had a plan to make sure this wouldn’t happen but the Legislature dissed me. The hurting has started and it is going to get worse as we move into a new fiscal year.”

Except that his plan wasn’t good enough. Neither was the legislature’s.

Justice points fingers but fails to do anything about solving the higher education budget crisis. His talk is cheap.

Instead of whining, through news releases, Justice needs to show some leadership.

PutnamCountyNews.com has the answer:

Call a special session and raise tobacco, e-cigarette and liquor taxes to provide the money to prevent tuition increases.

West Virginia has one of the lowest rates of college graduates in the United States. Raising tuition will only make this worse. We also have one of the lowest tobacco and liquor taxes.

“Sin taxes” are optional. you don’t need to drink a beer or smoke a cigarette.

Instead of putting the burden onto college and university students, instead of political rhetoric, Justice needs to, immediately, call a special session and raise these taxes.

Because college degrees are more important to West Virginia than cigarettes and booze!