Friday, January 30, 2009

R-J: Democrats Offer a "Plan to Make a Plan"

Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons has challenged the Democrats, who hold the majority in both legislative houses, to come up with better ideas if they do not like Gibbons' proposed cuts to teacher salaries and higher education.

But Horsford said legislators want to make budget determinations through a transparent, deliberative process in which the public, the business community and other interests all can have a say. ...

Gibbons said he was pleased to see Democrats share his concern for renewable energy and long-term budgeting. But when it comes to this year's budget, he said, Democratic leaders have had months to consider the budget crisis but still have no specifics to offer.

"Our citizens expect us to find solutions to the economic crisis instead of making excuses as to why we have not found those solutions," Gibbons said. He termed the Democrats' budget process nothing more than a "plan to have a plan."
Let me clarify what is happening here: State revenues are drastically down, so things have to be cut, but nobody in the political arena wants to do the cutting, because the constituencies that are affected are going to be very, very unhappy. The governor has proposed his solution, and Democrats are bitching about it, but they are not offering an alternative.

Any solution that anyone comes up with is going to involve an unpalatable mix of cuts to important services and/or (Heaven forbid!) tax increases. The Democrats don't REALLY want to take the blame for cutting someone's pie; they'd rather have the governor take the heat. At the same time, politics require that they throw a tizzy fit about whatever the Governor is cutting. It's all just theatrics.

In a crisis like this, things will only get done by strong executive action. The Democrats can hold all the hearings they want, but they are not likely to come up with a coherent plan on their own, so the Governer's plan will probably be passed by default. —G.C.

Here is a Las Vegas Sun article on the same topic but with a lot more depth. (The Sun beats the R-J again!)

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