Stop Digging

When you’ve dug yourself into a hole… stop digging. It’s an old sentiment, but useful today. It applies to individuals, business and to our government, whether local, state or federal.

In more normal times there may be a useful debate about government adding new programs or expanding others, but not today. At other times real problems may justify government intervention, but not today.

Our State government has a growing multi-billion dollar deficit and has failed to address a persistent deficit for years. Most of our local governments are suffering from shrinking revenues and exploding costs attributed to past commitments to employee retirement and other benefits. Add to this mix a meltdown in the real estate and mortgage markets and a significant slowdown in the economy and there is no capacity for individuals and businesses to pay higher taxes to bail out the over committed governments. It’s well past time to STOP DIGGING!

The first order of business, for everyone, is to return to prudent financial practices. That means, don’t spend what you don’t have. It means reduce borrowing. It means prioritizing, and cutting some things that are not essential activities. In short it means tightening belts at every level of our society. Better times will come. Market forces have a way to correcting problems like we currently face, and will do so again.

Many public officials have gotten the message, and others are recognizing the new reality. Unfortunately there are still those making the old arguments for new things government “should do”. There well may be things government should do, but not now. It’s just not financially prudent to keep digging a bigger hole.

Jack Atkin

SCTA, President

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