We have to bite the bullet

Thursday, March 20, 2003
Gloria Masoner

During a meeting with UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman Thursday night, the state budget situation began to make a little more sense to me.

I've always believed it would be necessary to raise taxes, but until attending the meeting, I didn't exactly support the idea.

Now, I have to say it's our only option -- wouldn't it be nice if our leaders in Lincoln would admit that? I wouldn't mind paying a few extra dollars, if the governor would just be honest and let me know that's my only option.

According to Perlman, when the proposed cuts are laid out on a sheet of paper, there are five agencies that will actually receive a 10 percent cut.

Four of those agencies deal with education -- K-12 education, community colleges, state colleges and the University system. The fifth is the department of roads.

That only makes sense. If you destroy the state's education system, there won't be any need for roads. People will find a state where education is a priority for the government.

The three departments that will be least affected will be the fire marshall, the department of corrections and the state patrol -- which also makes sense -- if you aren't educating kids, they'll most likely be closely involved with law enforcement and the corrections department. That is if they didn't take the opportunity to leave the state before the roads were returned to dirt ruts in a pasture.

So, if we don't want to lose our future in the form of our children, we're going to have to bite the bullet.

I'm not talking about increasing taxes to take care of the entire $700 plus million dollars we're going to need, but we need to look at taxing something.

Its important to remember, we can't lay the responsibility of the state's budget woes solely on the men and women running the state -- some of that responsibility is ours. After all, we're the ones who put them there.

And if we don't like the way they're spending our money, we're the ones who can get them out.

-- Following the events of the last 24 hours, I ask that my readers join me in offering their thoughts and prayers for the men and women serving in the Midlle East and for the families and friends who love them.

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