Governor Easley's office issued this press release yesterday, summarizing Easley's latest memo directing state agencies to "develop 3 percent, 5 percent and 7 percent reduction options" in preparation for next year's budget.
Kudos to Easley for being proactive on the issue, but the nature of the directive raises some questions. The memo includes guidelines to agencies regarding where they should search for spending reductions. Among the guidelines are:
priority should be given to statutorily mandated or ''core mission'' government
— Elimination of duplicative and underperforming programs.
Streamlining and consolidation of programs, offices and services.
Reduction in operating funds due to service efficiencies.
— Reduction in
layers of management and administration.
— Budgeting receipts where
appropriate to offset appropriation requirements.
Why does it take a "budget crisis" and a directive from the Governor to force state bureaucrats into such obvious scrutiny of the expenditure of tax dollars? Shouldn't they already be giving priority to "core mission" government services? Further, why are taxpayer dollars even being spent on programs and services if they don't fall under government"s "core mission"? Does government have a "core mission" and a "non-core mission"? If lawmakers and agency heads were responsible stewards of our tax revenue, they wouldn't be waiting for such a situation to take these measures – it would be a constant, ongoing process.
Of course, lefties like Comrade Schofield at NC Policy Watch insist that the current budget hole is a result of you stingy taxpayers keeping too much of your money.
Such claims become even more difficult to take seriously in light of the Governor's latest directive. In short, Easley's memo reveals that our taxpayer dollars have been going to finance:
- duplicative and underperforming programs
- bloated programs, offices and services
- inefficiencies in operating funds
- excess layers of management and administration
Remember this when left-wing groups and politicians cry out for more tax dollars.