"It's hard to cut this beast. You have to starve this beast," House Speaker Jim Tucker, R-Algiers, said of the growing job rolls. "You have to force efficiencies through tight budgeting." Getting a handle on Louisiana's payroll will take more than management adjustments, said Sally Selden, a Lynchburg College management professor who runs the Government Performance Project for the Pew Center for the States.The "beast" of which Tucker speaks is partially comprised of the increase in state health care providers, whose numbers have finally risen in the past year in response to the devastating shortage of health care providers in the New Orleans area since Hurricane Katrina.
"The reality is, you've got to make some tough choices -- about not offering some services," Selden said. "It's not just a management decision, it's a political decision. It's very painful, but it's very important."The painful decision, it seems to me, would have been the January 2008 slashing of state taxes that now accounts for much of the current shortfall.
Scott said states across the country are using furloughs, layoffs and pay cuts to deal with the economic downturn. California is closing government buildings two days a month.Selden speaks of eliminating state services here as one would a decision about when to deal with a crystal meth addiction. From my perspective, her statement would more accurately read "if we don't lay waste to mandatory state services now, while we can make use of this shoddy bandwagon approach to convince people of the inevitability of the process, at what other time do you believe we can get away with such a devastating and perhaps irreversible blow to social services and higher education?"
The federal stimulus package will offer relief to the ailing states, but that should be viewed as only a temporary fix, Selden said.
"Now is the time to make tough choices," Selden said. "If we don't do it now, when will we ever do it?"
Do read the entire article if you're feeling nostalgic. The attempt at "journalism" here ranks equally with those of the "journalists" and other "experts" planted by the Bush Administration. There is not a moment's reflection upon the premise that state job growth is an evil from which we must be delivered.