Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

September 17, 2006

A plea for sound fiscal policy

For all of us who manage household budgets and for those that manage businesses, the creation of sound, fiscally responsible budgets that conform to current economic conditions is just sound policy. A principle of Accounting 101 is that expenditures should be equal or be less than revenues. Everyone seems to grasp the idea and goes along with the drill except government.

In this past Sunday's Howard section of The Sun, county officials seemed to be struggling with the prospect of a slowing economy. Joshua Kaufman, the chairperson of the Board of Education, tells us that he is not optimistic when he looks at the 2007-2008 capital budgets. He bemoans the fact that the county excise tax will go away. Other county officials are concerned that with the long overdue slowdown in what has truly been an overheated housing market, revenues collected from transfer and recordation fees will be decreased.

So what is so shocking about a reality that each and every one of us must face? It seems that government is the only entity that experiences hypertension over the ups and downs of the economic cycle. Living within your means seems to have been lost in the translation.

School Superintendent Sydney Cousin reminds us that school construction costs have increased by 35 percent in the last two years. Is Mr. Cousin aware that residential housing costs have escalated by a similar amount? All of us are in the same boat, but unlike the citizenry, government believes that it is, somehow, aggrieved when the revenue pot dwindles.

For the Board of Education and other officials who are beginning to panic: Relax! Learn to adjust. Try to do what the rest of us are doing, living within our means. Don't cry for help and stop whining about having to defer projects and start making some real cuts in the budget that are reflective of the times -- that's your job.

Rose LaVerghetta

Ellicott City

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