Our elected state assemblypersons and senators expect us to “raise our hands” and say,
“I’ll take a cut.”
“Oh no, let me take the cut”
“We don’t mind cutting back on our schools.”
“Please cut my Medicaid payments.”
We aren’t going to shoot ourselves in the toe,” or “throw ourselves on the fire.” We worry that we will volunteer and no one else will.
If you want to give out money we’ll be at the head of the line, both hands up, or out. This is only natural. You really can’t ask for volunteers for cuts and you can’t ask for approval. We can’t volunteer, we won’t approve. If we absolutely must have budget cuts then we need an informed government to act in concert (or at least a majority), make fair decisions and perform surgery on our budget. However, the kicker is that we do not trust you to be fair, you are trained to take whatever you can get for your own people first, let the others divide the spoils. You can’t rein us in because you have to go home to your district and you are afraid you will not be reelected. Thus gridlock. Perhaps we should be hearing scalpel please.