03/22/11 — Money, money: Pay close attention -- it is getting close to budget D-day

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Money, money: Pay close attention -- it is getting close to budget D-day

Here's the truth: North Carolina does not have any choice but to cut back on spending.

There are fewer people working -- and even fewer going out of their way to spend money -- so it is not surprising that revenue might be a little tight.

And even if the economy continues to improve, there are concerns that it will take some time before businesses and families get their feet back on the ground.

So, with decreased revenues comes the need to find ways to cut back -- just like in your family and just like anywhere you have to deal with the realities of a budget.

So while we might get distracted by the flood of legislation going through the General Assembly right now, soon we will have to start thinking about what is next for the state's budget.

And don't think there won't be a whole lot of arguing when it comes time to really get down to business there, either.

There are many conflicts for anyone who had to put together a budget -- there are people behind the numbers, workers who will join the ranks of the unemployed if cuts are made. There are also places where departments could be made more efficient, but little time to really come up with the steps to implement such plans.

So there will be fighting, there will be posturing and there will be those who would rather just raise taxes than really address the white elephant in the room that is government overspending and waste.

As the budget battles begin, listen carefully to determine who is really out to fix the problem and who is just saying what the voters want to hear.

Try to determine who has a workable plan and who is simply going through the motions.

That information will be very critical later.

Published in Editorials on March 22, 2011 10:35 AM