‘no glory for governors trying to do the right fiscal thing’

EJ Dionne: If you want to get national attention as a governor these days, don’t try to be innovative about solving the problems you were elected to deal with – in education, transportation and health care. No, if you want ink and television time, just cut and cut and cut some more.

Almost no one in the national media is noticing governors who say the reasonable thing: that state budget deficits, caused largely by drops in revenue in the economic downturn, can’t be solved by cuts or tax increases alone.

…The brave ones are governors such as Jerry Brown in California, Dan Malloy in Connecticut, Pat Quinn in Illinois, Mark Dayton in Minnesota and Neil Abercrombie in Hawaii. They are declaring that you have to cut programs, even when your own side likes them, and raise taxes, which nobody likes much at all. Rhode Island’s Lincoln Chafee has warned of possible tax increases too.

…Consider the new budget Gov. Scott Walker announced in Wisconsin on Tuesday. Among other things, he proposed cutting state aid to schools by $834 million over the next two years, a 7.9 percent reduction.

…what’s happening in so many places now is a reckless rush to gut the parts of government that all but the most extreme libertarians support – and that truly deserve to be seen (one thinks of education and programs for poor children) as investments in the future.

And those governors doing the hard work trying to balance cutbacks and tax increases get ignored, because there’s nothing sexy about being responsible.

Full article here

2 Responses to “‘no glory for governors trying to do the right fiscal thing’”

  1. 1 mariele
    March 3, 2011 at 11:46 am

    It is true that no one truly pays attention to the ones who do the changes responsibly. They focus on the wacky idealists who wants to play to the base than to do what’s best for his state.

    • 2 Dorothy Rissman
      March 3, 2011 at 2:54 pm

      mariele, you are so right. The msm only likes to cover anger and divisiveness. I am very supportive of these governors who are willing to do what actually needs to be done–to raise taxes. It is tragic that what seems to be a majority or close to majority of voters think taxes should be lowered. It is insane.

      Seattle is very blue, but our only paper at this time is republican. The paper harped and harped on spending before the November election, and in my mind, helped to vote down anything that would ease the debt. We had a candy, sugar tax, it was challenged and guess what, we no longer have that tax. The majority would not even support a small tax on those making over a million.

      At times it makes me feel hopeless.

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