Saturday, October 29, 2011

When Ideologues Write the Budget

North Carolina is in some serious stew because the budget the new Republican leadership in the NC General Assembly wrote bears little relation to reality. Among other problems that were emerging into public light by Wednesday of this week, most resulted from Raleigh lawmakers trying to impose cuts to programs like Medicaid, cuts that violated federal rules or were simply not feasible, but the Republicans nevertheless projected those cuts into the new budget as "savings." According to deputy Health and Human Services secretary Michael Watson, the state's Medicaid program is currently $139 million short on cash for the year.

Republican leaders got mad when they heard the news, Speaker of the House Thom Tillis did his now-standard "nobody informed us that there could be problems" routine, and they immediately took to blaming the governor, who for her part had vetoed the budget and warned the Clown College that they were violating several federal rules.

Laura Leslie cited "senior sources in the administration" who recalled the
"unrealistic expectations by GOP budget writers" from earlier in the year. "They say warnings from experienced executive budget staffers fell on deaf ears among new leaders" in the General Assembly.

The chickens of make-believe math are coming home to roost in that Republican forest of blind ideology.

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