If you've ever lost a job, you know what it's like.
It may take months or even years to find a new one, and it probably won't pay as well as the last one.
Meanwhile, you've still got bills to pay, and no sure way to pay them. You've got rent or mortgage payments, utility bills, grocery bills, car payments, insurance payments, and on and on.
You have no income, but everyone you owe money to still wants to be paid, and who can blame them? It's not like you're trying to stiff them, though. It's just that there's nothing in your checking account to pay them with and your credit cards are maxed out.
You might try prioritizing at first, making sure the rent gets paid and there's food in the fridge, and letting other things slide. Eventually, inevitably, you fall behind on the essentials, too, and next thing you know the electricity and the water have been turned off, your car's been repossessed, and there's a marshal at the front door with an eviction notice.
You've hit rock bottom and you're out on the street.
Something like this is what's happened to Webster County.
Thanks to Barack Obama's ongoing war on coal, the county saw its coal severance revenue cut in half and had to tap its “rainy day” reserve fund, make budget cuts and discontinue services, impose a hiring freeze, and so on.
Still, it wasn't enough and the county found itself unable to pay all its bills. It's now $1.5 million behind on its Regional Jail bill. A recent surge in drug prosecutions didn't help, but one of the casualties of the war on coal was an increase in out-of-work West Virginians turning to drugs for comfort and commerce.
Last week, the state Supreme Court told the county to work out a payment plan with the Regional Jail and get caught up.
Putting an end to the war on coal would make that effort easier.