Public cake is being sliced a little thinner

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 15, 2010

As Natchez-Adams School Board member Dr. Benny Wright clearly pointed out at last week’s board meeting, it’s difficult to get everything you want.

“I guess we can’t have our cake and eat it, too,” Wright said as school board members voted to seek an additional $300,000 in tax money from county taxpayers.

The amount is approximately half of what the board was originally considering. After an outcry from angry taxpayers, the board suggested another $300,000 be trimmed from the budget.

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The school board’s situation is one that will be repeated over and over in the coming weeks, months and years as our nation, state and community come to grips with the reality of the current national economy.

More than a year ago, when businesses first started feeling the effects of the global recession, many smart economists said, “Government will feel it later.”

And today their predictions have come true. As businesses are slowly seeing light at the end of the economic tunnel, government is just beginning to fully feel the pinch.

So from local school boards to the halls of the U.S. Capitol, our leaders will have to balance how much public “cake” needs to be provided and who needs to pay for it.

It’s a tricky balance in some cases. The school board, for instance, points out that additional cuts to education funding may adversely affect the education of our youth.

That’s possibly true, but on the other hand, the government is only as good and as funded as the people who pay taxes allow it to be.

At the moment, taxpayers seem to be more focused on government becoming more efficiently operated even if the amount of available government “cake” is lessened.