Wednesday, March 12, 2003

The Commercial Appeal Finally Tells You What To Think, Kinda

One problem with newspapers in the 24-hour news cycle and instant-comment Internet Age is that it can take them days to respond to stories that occur in the evening. Bredesen's budget presentation is one example. Talk radio was already on the story that night, and bloggers like South Knox Bubba and Bill Hobbs (even Instapundit) had detailed commentary and analysis beginning that evening and picking up steam the next morning.

It took the CA until today to get their commentary into the Editorial Page. Unfortunately, it was apparently written by Dave Kushma, Mr. Cliff Notes Of Fairness. It's getting so I can spot his hand now, when their editorials don't come down from headquarters or get written by underlings.

Anyway, the CA seems to be saying that Bredesen has done well, mostly, within his self-imposed constraints, except that this budget shouldn't be the blueprint for future budgets. The paper goes on to note, in a "there's this, but there's also that" style, the various cuts and shifts Bredesen proposed.

Then, sadly, it ends with this whimper:
Still, lawmakers of both parties predict they will approve Bredesen's budget with few changes or even reservations. That's to be expected, since the governor's plan largely spares them from making difficult political choices.

The $933 million tax increase the General Assembly approved last year - the largest in state history - did not solve the state's fiscal problems and compounded the unfairness and inefficiency of the Tennessee tax structure. Bredesen's call for the state to live within its means is likely to find a receptive audience. And the governor deserves credit for the openness with which he conducted public hearings that preceded his budget submission.

Repeatedly over the past few years, and notably in last November's election, Tennessee voters - and the politicians who represent them - have expressed a clear preference for low taxes over improved, or even sustained, basic state services in many areas. The governor's new budget should quickly make apparent the consequences of that choice.
Whine, whine, whine. "We lost and we're never gonna let you forget it! Where's my Mommy?"

Yeah, the solons at the CA know what's best for the rest of us, and they won't ever miss a chance to chide us for not meekly apologising at our temerity in thinking for ourselves.

Give it a break, guys, and move on.

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