06/02/09 — Waste watch: State's moving budget target not lost on its citizens

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Waste watch: State's moving budget target not lost on its citizens

OK, we get it. The state's broke -- and getting broker by the minute.

At least, that seems to be the message the North Carolina House of Representatives is sending as it continues to debate where to come up with money to fund next year's budget.

The truth is, we get it. We have to cut because tax revenues are down and the economy still has a ways to go before it is fixed. The money just is not there right now. We know; we have budgets, too.

We are even willing to overlook the fact that no one seems to know from day to day what the budget deficit is -- or if it is going to get much bigger. We can deal with that concern later -- when we are deciding whose contract we are going to renew on Election Day.

The problem for most of us -- especially when there appears to be talk that there might need to be some revenue generation (read tax increase) -- is that we really do not trust those in charge in Raleigh to make the right choices.

If this state needs more money to function and to prevent draconian cuts to its education system -- fine, propose something that residents might be able to support. Give us firm facts and figures and get your act together so that we can trust that in two months, the $4.6 billion deficit won't be $7 billion.

If we want to maintain services, we will be willing to pay for them. And if we are OK with the proposed cuts, we won't.

And while you are waiting, look harder for extra programs and fancy, high-paid personnel we don't need -- and scrutinize spending for places to cut back.

We want to feel sure you have a plan to get this state back on track -- one that does not involve continuing to reach into our pockets.

Published in Editorials on June 2, 2009 12:12 PM