Monday, November 28, 2011

Cuts are cuts

There’s a lot of chatter about whether the state has really cut $10.5 billion from the state budget or not.

A recent news story called some of the cuts made to the operating budget over the last three years “reductions in expected spending.”


Here are some simple facts:

Our state’s population kept growing, despite the recession.
We have more kids in our public schools.
More seniors needing health care.
More inmates in our state prisons.

Inflation means costs go up every year, even if the population doesn’t. Combine population growth AND inflation and the budget has to grow simply to keep up.

So those cuts feel quite real to the teachers and corrections officers who lost their jobs.

Those cuts are real to the working poor who lost their health coverage.

They’re real to the college students struggling to pay higher tuition at our public colleges.

Saying these cuts aren’t real is like telling your bank you aren’t paying your mortgage next month – but it’s not a real cut, because the bank only expected you to pay.

When revenue dips while the population goes up, real people suffer. And now the temporary boost our state got from the federal stimulus is ending.

Our state budget is 90 percent public schools, universities, prisons and health care.

We can’t cut $2 billion without hurting our public schools, universities, public safety and health care.  There are no easy budget fixes.

Sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar – and a cut is simply a cut.

To read this blog post in Spanish, click here.