Tough State Budget Cuts Are Inevitable
By Centerist Cynic on January 30, 2011
The combined budget shortfall of all 50 states is somewhere around $125 billion. There is little or no appetite for raising taxes in the state houses. States are forced by their constitutions to balance their budgets. There is little chance the federal aid that allowed states to avoid deep cuts in 2009 and 2010 will be make it out of Congress this year.
That is the situation and it will require states to make deep funding cuts in all programs including:
-Medicaid - the shared federal and state program that provides health care mainly disabled adults and poor children
-Child and Adult Protective Services
-Museums and the Arts
-Any other program that receives funding from State governments
Democrats and Republicans will tell you that is all the other parties fault. Who cares who fault it is? Not the kid who won't get his asthma medicine, or the kid who won't be able to go to college because he lost his scholarship or the kid who will have to stay with his abusive parents because no social worker will be available to take his case.
The situation is what it is. No magic revenue fairy is going to show up and make the problem go away. Tough decisions are going to have to be made and none of us are going to like it. The time for assessing blame can come later. Let's stop arguing and get this ugly job done.
Politicians and ordinary people should be working to make sure all good ideas get heard no matter if the idea comes from a Democrat or a Tea Party Republican. Partisans that say an idea is horrible because the idea originated from someone with the wrong initial attached to their name should be ridiculed for 30 seconds and then ignored. We don't have the time for this kind or school yard pettiness.
We need to focus instead on how much money we have to spend and then figure out how to stretch that money until the last dime squeals.
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