Wanted: A Grown-Up Legislature (04-25-06)
Ever been to the supermarket with a four-year-old?
They grab every item that catches their eye and insist they have to have it. Of course, since they have no concept of what's necessary or affordable, it's up to mom or dad to say no.
It's occurred to me that Kentucky's legislators are just like that four-year-old. The wildly out-of-balance budget they just produced proves there's no treat they wouldn't throw into the cart, regardless of the balance in the state's checkbook.
Of course, this casts them as the "good guys" who want to give their constituents something for nothing, leaving Governor Fletcher to be the Grinch who rains on their parade by saying "no."
Larry Clark defended this extravagant budget by arguing that a "vast majority" in both parties was comfortable with it.
Yeah, and I'm pretty sure all the kids in the day care center would be comfortable with eating chocolate bunnies for lunch every day.
While our legislators insist upon more and better presents under the tree every year, they sadly lack the guts to approve any new taxes, fees or initiatives - like casino gambling - that might help pay for them.
Fortunately, Governor Fletcher was able to clean up at least some of their mess this time. But it's a mess that wouldn't have existed in the first place if the grownups had been in charge.
I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my Point of View.