Governor, lawmakers should decide on budget

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 22, 2001

The shell game of dueling economic forecast figures is once again the game of the week at the state Capitol in Jackson. It seems to happen each Legislative session: Lawmakers and the governor disagree on which set of projections to base their new budget.

In what seems to be a seasonal non-partisan right of passage each time budgets are discussed, the governor has threatened to veto all appropriations bills because he thinks the Legislature is working off optimistically skewed economic projections.

For a group of supposed professionals, our state leaders constantly amaze us by how how vastly different they see the economic future.

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Invariably neither side can agree on what the likely outcome will be.

In this year’s episode, Gov. Ronnie Musgrove has vowed to nix any appropriations bills that come across his desk unless legislators quit using &uot;inflated&uot; figures as a base for their 2002 budget.

Why is it that every year we go through the same little tug-of-war contests over taxpayers’ money?

We think it would be more efficient if the lawmakers and the governor could sit down and come to a consensus on the budget figures before the deadline approaches and makes the issue a standoff.

Imagine how refreshing it would be if lawmakers and the governor actually worked together toward a common goal.

Of course then again, we’d probably all miss the annual spectacle of watching the shell game.