02/23/11 — Red flags wave: Governor's veto makes taxpayers squirm just a bit

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Red flags wave: Governor's veto makes taxpayers squirm just a bit

The governor has already cut hundreds of millions of dollars from North Carolina's admittedly bloated budget -- or so she says.

And she has promised to make sure the state becomes a lean, mean operating machine, eliminating unnecessary positions and departments.

So why in the world would it bother anyone that she vetoed a Republican piece of legislation that would cut even more from the state's spending plan, saying that North Carolina does not need to cut anymore and that the money is necessary to bring more jobs to the state?

Sigh. Simple. It is exactly the kind of bureaucratic argument that leads to more spending, more programs and the continuation of expenditures this state simply does not need right now.

The state budget concern is something that should be on the minds of not only those who are employed in North Carolina state government, but by those who have to pay the state's bills. Frugal fiscal management during a time like this, when the economy is just barely breathing, is not a luxury or a lofty goal. It is a necessity. Legislators who are seeking to find ways to pare down the state's spending to the lowest level possible are thinking correctly.

And while new jobs would be nice, there are better ways to do it than to leave money in the form of perks and tax breaks sitting in the hands of economic development efforts. We need a systematic plan to develop a package that makes potential investors very much aware that North Carolina is the place to build or to grow a business.

The state budget battle is not over by a long shot. And don't expect those who want to see better budget numbers to pipe down. All we have to do is keep our leaders on the right path.

Published in Editorials on February 23, 2011 11:11 AM