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Editorial: A government slush fund by any other name ...

Governments shouldn't be allowed to hold onto "stimulus" cash in perpetuity

Here’s a fun fact from coverage this week of the Fairfax County government’s plans for what to do will all its “carryover” funds.

(You were expecting the “fun fact” to be that the government was planning to return most of this tax revenue to the public from whence it came? Aw, that’s positively adorable. But wrong.)

The article (find it here) notes that of the approximately $223 million the Fairfax government received in America Rescue Plan Act Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds – that’s a mouthful! – more than half ($119 million) remains unspent and will be carried forward into the government’s fiscal 2024 budget.

Wasn’t the point of these funds, sent from Washington, to provide a short-term boost and address pressing needs as the country reeled from the economic fallout of the early days of the pandemic?

Instead, apparently it’s being used, and not just by Fairfax officials but by localities far and wide, as a slush fund of “free” federal money – often borrowed from our adversaries – that has piled atop the trillions upon trillions of national debt, a figure so large it can never be repaid.

Fiscal responsibility at its finest? Jeez: Talk about whistling past the graveyard, or fiddling while Rome burns . . .