Editorial: Balanced budget

The following is an editorial from FOX6 WBRC-TV General Manager Lou Kirchen, first aired on Tuesday, July 13, 2010:

We say we want a balanced budget for our city, our county, our state…our nation.  Political ads are filled with candidates' promises to correct our monetary woes.

Whether government or business…the largest line items of most, if not all, budgets are employee salaries and benefits, making it hard to balance a budget and not, somehow, impact the lives of the organization's employees.  Do I want a balanced budget if it means a family member or I would lose our job or have our salary or benefits reduced?  Do we want a balanced budget if it means social security or Medicare goes away?  How about if means reducing the police force, or the fire department protecting my neighborhood? What if closing your neighborhood school was a requirement to balance the budget?

All of us could probably counsel government officials on how they could save money, what programs could be cut to put us on the right track.  Saying I want governmental budgets balanced is easy until it affects me or my family.  In fact, the road to real prosperity requires financial self-discipline, saving, saying no to spending especially when the decisions are difficult.

Do you think a politician who voted to make the necessary cuts would be re-elected?  I don't think so; because I believe what we say we want doesn't match our willingness to do the work, that is, to make the sacrifices to get there.

If you would like to respond to this editorial, email editorials@gowbrc.com, write

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