ViewPoint: What's with this state budget?

September 11, 2008

State lawmakers obviously did a horrible job planning this year's budget.  Just days after the budget went into effect, Governor Sonny Perdue was already calling for major cuts.  We're in a full-fledged crisis now with the Governor taking hundreds of millions of dollars out of reserves and ordering $1.6 billion dollars in cuts.

Not to mention closing crime labs in south Georgia and furloughing prosecutors all across the state.  Usually when the economy goes down, crime goes up.  cutting law enforcement and prosecution is penny wise and pound foolish. 

So, leaders are looking to cut pork projects, right?  They're planning to end all those special interest tax breaks that do little to help most Georgians but cost the state tens of millions of dollars, right?

That would be the sensible thing to do, but our leaders aren't showing good sense.  Instead, the Governor's first suggestion was to freeze a program that's supposed to help hold down property taxes for hardworking homeowners.

He ordered steep budget cuts in all state departments.  That means struggling schools will struggle even more.  It means colleges won't be able to hire professors even as enrollments rise.  It means overworked state law officers will have to work even harder and clogged court calendars will back up even more.

We understand that hard decisions must be made, but tough decisions don't have to be stupid decisions.  Our politicians need to cut the waste first, and plan ahead better.  If they don't, we'll elect leaders who will.