Look to the left for lessons

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Mississippi Legislators — especially those from Southwest Mississippi — have a great example of where inattentive budgeting, economic woes and population shifts can get you.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration is predicting an $895 million budget shortfall in the coming fiscal year.

That’s no small number, and Mississippi should take note.

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Republican legislators have acknowledged a tough budget year is ahead. A few Democrats have done the same, while others insist on optimism and spending.

Optimism is a necessary thing in life, but so is realism.

With both, our state can prevent a massive budget shortfall.

Serious cuts to many state departments are in order, since wasteful spending is apparent all around us. Gov. Phil Bryant started things off nicely, trimming staff salaries in his office and saving taxpayers $200,000.

If he could do that after just a few weeks in office, what cuts could be made to personnel in other departments?

Who is tracking state travel, cell phone bills, vehicle usage and discretionary spending?

Let Louisiana be the warning. Cutting the budget is hard work, but it must be done.