06/20/09 — Back to square one: Perdue needs to work with legislators to develop responsible plan

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Back to square one: Perdue needs to work with legislators to develop responsible plan

Another week has gone by and now the citizens of North Carolina know for sure -- no one in Raleigh has any idea what financial shape the state is in or what to do about it.

The first evidence came with the bouncing budget deficit. Then came the call that severe cuts were necessary.

And now, after near silence from the governor's office while legislators debated where to cut, what to keep and who will pay, Gov. Bev Perdue announces that $1.5 billion in new taxes are a necessity.

And we are back to square one.

The governor's new proposal stems from her sudden realization that she cannot allow the decimation of the state's education system with the severe cuts that had been proposed.

All this, while businesses across the state are trying to keep their doors open and employees employed, and the state schools have no idea who will be in the classrooms this fall.

Leadership has been an elusive quality for Gov. Perdue. She seems to have no cohesive message and no sound

fiscal knowledge with which to lead the state out of this economic crisis.

Her indecision and seeming lack of an actual handle on what the state needs and how it will pay for it are less than comforting for those who will have to foot the bill.

The reason the citizenry is not rushing to back her latest call for $1.5 billion in additional taxes is that they are not sure they can trust her since she has given them no reason to believe she has a plan.

It's time for the training wheels to come off. North Carolina needs a leader who can make a decision and lead this state forward.

The governor needs to get a full understanding of the state's financial picture and then work  with legislators to develop a budget that takes care of the state's education needs responsibly, makes cuts that are necessary and presents one tax plan.

The decision won't be easy and so much time has already been wasted that the work will have to be accomplished quickly. So enough with the rallies. North Carolina needs a leader and unfortunately for Gov. Perdue, she is it.

Published in Editorials on June 20, 2009 11:15 PM