Top of the Morning

Top of the morning

If you want to know where we are in the debate about how to address the state’s $3.7 billion budget shortfall, check out the quotes from outgoing House Speaker Joe Hackney and incoming House Speaker Thom Tillis in the WTVD story about Wednesday’s legislative budget briefing.

First up is Hackney.

My greatest fear is that the policies of the incoming Republican legislature will decimate public education, public universities, and community colleges,” offered outgoing Speaker Joe Hackney. “Firing 15-20 thousand school teachers is not something I’m going to participate in.”

Then Tillis’ reaction.

“It’s great rhetoric, but who here runs to decimate the most important thing that we have in this state?” asked Tillis. Tillis is quick to point out other ways to help make up the three and a half billion dollars.”It’s not all about cutting. It’s about how can you do things that are stimulative” he said.

Tillis points to privatization, regulation reform, fewer mandates, one-time benefits…

Maybe it’s new, new math, but it is hard to see how privatization and regulation reform are going to immediately save the state almost $4 billion, putting aside the question about the policy implications of the ideas.

Tillis and his fellow Republicans at some point are going to have to admit that their choices are simple—raise new revenue or decimate education and human services. Those are really the only two options, no matter how hard they try to suggest otherwise.

4 Comments

  1. William Murrat

    December 16, 2010 at 7:57 am

    If Joe Hackney and his political cronies had addressed some of these things when the economy was good, maybe we wouldn’t have such a problem now ! Previous legislatures were too busy enriching themselves with special deals than taking care of the people’s business.

  2. Rob Schofield

    December 16, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Of course, it is conservatives and corporate interests who have consistently blocked efforts at comprehensive revenue reform that would have put us in a much better place than we are at today.

    And we’re still waiting for the right-wing to show us their magic formula for cutting $4 billion without hurting essential services from which we all benefit.

  3. Tillis Is A Fairy Tale Conservative

    December 16, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Fairy tales are what parents spin to their children to get them to go to sleep. Fairy tales are what right-wing politicians spin to their consitutents to keep them from waking up.

  4. Adam Searing

    December 16, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    It’s simple: GOPers – tell us a specific service you would cut and how much it would save. That shouldn’t be that hard, but for some reason apparently it is.