Ironicschmoozer’s Weblog

Whose Budget Cuts Hurt the Most?

This is 40 words too long for a letter to the editor in the Sacramento Bee. So I offered it as an op-ed column. We’ll see.

Whose cuts hurt the most?

A State plan to “borrow” local government revenues has caused Sacramento County to lay off dozens of Sheriff’s deputies. Yet Republican Assembly and Senate members purport to worry about public safety.

They would not countenance charging an extraction fee for our State’s oil deposits, or allow a modest tax increase on those of us who could afford it. Now they protest the Governor’s plan to cut costs with early parole for some inmates convicted of nonviolent offenses.

What did they expect? The Governor did say the cuts would be painful for everyone. Did he mean ONLY the sick, hungry, disabled and elderly? And the nursing home and in-home care patients? And their laid-off low-wage care givers? And the victims of child abuse?
These are easy cuts to accept if you don’t see any of the people they will hurt.

Chances are that most of us won’t know or see anyone who is harmed by an early parolee either, so it should be just as easy to accept the cuts in prison expenses. Such are the risks we must accept if our leaders are to be inflexible and shortsighted. Such are the costs to our local communities of the dogma of “no new taxes.”

In a time of crisis, I’d like to think we were all in this together, but that’s not the way our elected officials are governing.


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