If everybody isn't mad about the budget, keep cutting

January 25, 2012

The missing ingredient in Maryland's budget debate is leadership. Even liberals like Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and Comptroller Peter Franchot are sensing the need to cut spending. But nobody's leading on what to cut — Republicans included.

Should we trim social services? Infrastructure? Education? Emergency services? Safety? Environment? Prisons? Open space? Pensions? Beyond ending incentives for illegal immigration, there is no other easy answer.

In these situations, leaders must convene bipartisan working groups to put everything on the table. They're done when everyone goes home equally mad. Equal anger equals success. Maybe this very realization has made you mad. Well, that's good! That means we're getting somewhere.

Larry Smith, Timonium

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