To the editor:
We have budget shortfalls at every political level. People have lost their life’s savings; they are out of work and are losing their homes. Meanwhile, our “law-givers” are playing political budget games.
Lawrence has a million-dollar near-term problem. We propose to balance it on the backs of the most vulnerable. In an approximate $150 million annual budget you would think we could find better (golf course, economic development?). According to the Journal-World, our law-givers are doing this to get us to complain to our state law-givers who decided to rule out tax increases even for the wealthiest while passing their budgetary shortfall problem in part to the cities and counties.
These are childish games. Are there not any adults out there with the larger public interest in mind? It would seem that at least a temporary state tax increase for the many wealthy folk minimally impacted by the meltdown could mitigate the worst of the cuts while serious efforts to reduce local expenses could find practical solutions that minimize impact on the vulnerable. Aren’t these the kind of decisions we hired these people to consider?
How can we ever hope to return to a more congenial public debate if our law-givers focus us on things that will enflame passions instead of doing the hard work necessary to govern effectively and justly? We call the positions they hold “leadership.” Does any of this look like leadership? Who are these people serving: us or themselves? I despair!