Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Lions And Tigers and Bears... But 'Yawn', Instead of 'Oh My!'

On Monday, right on cue, like the flying monkeys of "OZ" fame finding Dorothy, Congressional Republicans began their onslaught against the already-passed health care insurance reform law - just as had been predicted. It was also no surprise that several state legislatures, including Nebraska's, began their 2011 session work heading in the wrong direction, looking for budgetary fat to cut where there is little or none left.

Some state-level lawmakers continue their attempts to console their constituents by comparing their economic difficulties to other, less fortunate states, or other better statistics. While that may be a good ploy for a politician to use during an election year, 2011 isn't an election year for most elected officials.

There's a reason we focused so many commentaries and cartoons at the end of last year on this topic - that the hungry bear of revenue shortfall at both the state and Federal levels isn't one that's going away. Even a blind, three-legged, lobotomized pachyderm should have known the economic climate greeting this year's crop of legislators on day one was going to be anything but easy.

The idea that the roaring lion of budget concerns will remain sitting quietly like a stone statue outside the legislative chambers of our senators and representatives, is one that we frankly find a bit offensive.

We have stated many times that we are firmly in support of fiscal responsibility. No matter where we individually fall on the political spectrum, the idea that Americans should be wise with our collective fiscal resources is one that brings us all together.

Fiscal responsibility, however, doesn't simply mean making massive budget cuts until we end up like the tiger chasing its tail who ends up biting off his own behind.

It also means having the political courage and fortitude to know when to stand up and admit the truth, that revenue generation - and that includes tax increases on those who can afford to pay for them - must be a part of the overall solution.

We can pretend to ignore the problem all we want.
This is one bear that isn't going away until it gets its pound of flesh.

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