To the editor:
Over the past two years, many businesses and their employees have made difficult decisions and accepted tough concessions in order to keep their jobs and companies afloat. On the other hand, public entities have relied on bailout monies from the federal government to forestall the really tough decisions. That largesse is now gone and the real financial situations are coming to the forefront. Kansas is $550 million in the hole, and no state bailout is coming from Washington.
In the last two state administrations, government significantly expanded its size and scope but did not increase its ability to pay for that increase in the same manner. Some say, “We shouldn’t try to balance our budget on the backs of the public employees.” Should we just eliminate their jobs? Close down departments? Are public employees exempt from the budget-cutting measures that private industry has had to make? Do they get to remain “sacred” on the backs of the taxpayer?
Too often, public entities have chosen the easy path by raising taxes, fees and rates, rather than face fiscal reality and responsibility. Enough! To the state, county, city and school board: What part of “you are broke” don’t you understand?