My parents lived through the Great Depression. Since childhood they have instilled in me common sense values like living within my means and saving for a rainy day. At the state level the Republican-led legislature and Governor have worked hard to make sure the state lives within its means. We have been successful. Now it’s time to save for a rainy day. The Governor and legislature have made painful, often unpopular, cuts to bring government spending in line. We were called names. We were insulted. We were picketed. We prevailed.
Because of our efforts, budget analysts and economists predict our state will have $133-$416 Million to spare this fiscal year. Instead of spending the money, however, we need to put the money aside for upcoming hard times.
If economists are right, the rainy day is coming soon. Predictions for fiscal year 2014 show our state may be $610 Million to $1.2 Billion short. Extra money we have now should be used to offset this shortfall, not used for ongoing spending programs. The uncertainties in our national economy, the threat that the federal government will push more costs onto the states, possible negative outcomes from lawsuits filed against our budget cuts, and the ending of the one cent temporary sales tax all play a role.
I am proud of our Governor and legislature. Unlike the federal government, we have put our fiscal house in order. When the pressure mounts for the state to spend all its excess money, please support those legislators who want to save the money for a rainy day. Just like the responsible parents who scrimp and save to put money aside in case of bad times, a responsible government should do the same thing.