Painful cuts in Alabama

Painful cuts in Alabama

April 2nd, 2012 in Opinion Free Press

Some startling budget-cut plans were announced recently in Alabama.

Gov. Robert Bentley has ordered agencies in his state to cut spending by almost 11 percent. It is the third straight year of cuts of 10 percent or more, and painful layoffs and wage reductions are in store for workers.

The Alabama Constitution forbids the state from engaging in deficit spending, and it mandates that the governor initiate across-the-board cuts whenever revenue cannot keep up with expenditures.

The large spending cuts in Alabama -- and the resulting layoffs and salary cuts for government workers there -- surely will not be welcome news to the employees who are affected directly nor to residents of Alabama who rely on those employees to provide services.

But those difficult cuts still are preferable to the reckless deficit spending that we see in a number of states and, most alarmingly, at the federal level.

While Alabama (and Tennessee, for that matter) is making tough choices to balance its books, Washington continues to spend money our nation does not have to support unconstitutional programs such as subsidies for electric vehicles that the public overwhelmingly refuses to buy.

There is also a defiant refusal in Congress to confront the reality of entitlement programs that are going broke -- such as Medicare, which will be bankrupt just a few short years from now because its spending is unsustainable.

How we wish that big-spending lawmakers in Washington as well as President Barack Obama would heed Alabama Gov. Bentley's words of wisdom: "Just as families must reduce their spending when money is limited, government must also reduce its spending."

How many painful economic problems our great nation could head off if only Congress and the president would take that advice to heart.