Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I'm thrilled that the state of Virginia has a surplus and did so without raising taxes, but I very much disagree with Governor McDonnell's plan to spend $82 million of that to give state employees a 3% bonus.

A bonus is, by definition, money paid over and above the salary one gets for doing one's job. In theory, a bonus should only be given to people who perform at a level above the base expectations of the job.

So what is it that state employees have done to warrant a bonus? The lines at the DMV aren't moving any faster, the state police haven't made the roads any safer, the bureaucrats at the Transportation Department haven't made our commutes any easier, the administrators in the state education department haven't done anything special to help raise our kid's test scores.

So why give them any more money? If anything, they're barely doing enough to justify their existing base salary, they haven't earned a bonus.