GA Democrats Distracting from Their Own Inaction
An article from yesterday illustrates, first, how much easier it is (politically) to respond to budget proposals than to make them, second, the method by which the Democrats leverage a low-power Republican governor to grandstand, and third, the desire that the General Assembly has to distract from the fact that it is doing next to nothing to resolve budget problems in the current fiscal year:
Key legislative leaders have soured on Governor Carcieri’s recommendation that they raid the state’s rainy-day fund to balance the budget, calling it an “irresponsible plan that will put the state at tremendous risk.”
In a sharply worded letter to Carcieri late Friday, House Finance Committee Chairman Steven M. Costantino and Daniel DaPonte, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said they will recommend that the General Assembly not use the reserve money to close out a lingering $37.4-million deficit from fiscal 2008 budget. Doing so, they say, could leave the state with inadequate cash reserves amid declining revenues.
“By taking from that fund and not paying it back, you put the state at serious, serious risk,” Costantino said in an interview last night.
Look. I’d certainly prefer budgets that cut back on actual spending and shrink the heavy hand of government, in this state, but vague promises to “find a way to make up the $37.4 million” are about as valuable as dust in an oxygen tent. Without going back and counting the days, I’d speculate that — with the state spending more than $1 million per day that it does not have — the General Assembly’s lethargy in resolving this year’s deficit would already have achieved that dollar amount.