Tuesday, July 08, 2008

To Pay the Piper

I just finished reading an editorial from today's edition of the New York Times titled New Jersey's Painful Lesson. It is indeed surprising to read that elected officials still do not understand simple rules of budgeting. Money always comes from somewhere and at a price. I applaud Gov. Jon Corzine for pushing a difficult agenda of budget cuts with his legislature. In an economy fraught with both moral and economic decisions to make, it becomes very difficult to tell people that they have to learn how to do more with less, or worse, that services needed by citizens are simply not available.

Financial responsibility is key to any economy be it the economy of a family, state, nation or world. Just as I have to pay my bills each month, so does my state, and our nation. It seems to me that we've gone far too long without seriously considering the financial impact that legislation and policy make on our lives. I am not against government. I fully understand that legislation and policy are tools by which our land and freedoms can be protected. I worry that those making these important decisions may not always have the best interest of the whole in mind.

Decisions impacting personal, state and federal budgets should be carefully considered not just for the impact of the moment, but in the long term. Like most, I hope for a healthy economy capable of supporting growth and great innovation for many years to come. I also believe that this dream is not possible without careful and very intentional planning. We should always be saving for the future, even if it means we don't have everything that we want in the here and now.

I agree with the opinion of the Times. "... it is not too late for other states and thousands of cities, towns and countries to learn that politicians who have little trouble running up a big tab have a terrible time paying it off when the bill, as it must, finally comes due."

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