After the cuts; Long-term vision, spending restraint are keys.COLUMN: IN OUR OPINION
If there is a silver lining silver lining
A hopeful or comforting prospect in the midst of difficulty.
[From the proverb "Every cloud has a silver lining". in the state budget cuts announced this week, it is that it presents Gov. Deval L. Patrick and the Legislature a golden opportunity to demonstrate that they indeed understand the financial straits Straits: see Dardanelles; Bosporus. Massachusetts families and businesses find themselves in - and are committed to a long-term, sustainable approach to financing state government.
The rhetorical buildup build·up also build-up
1. The act or process of amassing or increasing: a military buildup; a buildup of tension during the strike.
2. to the cuts announced Wednesday suggested that, having exhausted the search for any remaining so-called "fat" in the budget, the governor would have no choice but to cut "muscle." Yet, the list of spending cuts Noun 1. spending cut - the act of reducing spending
cut - the act of reducing the amount or number; "the mayor proposed extensive cuts in the city budget" issued by the governor's office indicates the measures, while substantive in many instances, are hardly draconian dra·co·ni·an
Exceedingly harsh; very severe: a draconian legal code; draconian budget cuts.
[After Draco. . Indeed, the cutbacks pointedly spared those programs most important to key constituencies: local aid, education, public safety and vital human services.
More than $200 million of the estimated $1.4 billion budget imbalance will be closed through new revenues. Another $200 million may come from tapping the state's rainy-day fund, and $100 million from pushing back - yet again - the date for fully funding the state pension fund.
That's not to say the budget-balancing plan is less than sincere: The proposed cuts constitute a meaningful step away from the unsustainable growth in spending that is evident even in the current budget, enacted in July as the financial clouds gathered.
In any case, the cuts will mean some pain, including loss of employment for 1,000 state workers, lower reimbursements for some doctors and hospitals and a hiring freeze Noun 1. hiring freeze - a freeze on hiring
freeze - fixing (of prices or wages etc) at a particular level; "a freeze on hiring" and modest program cuts at state universities. Mr. Patrick struck the right tone when he noted, "There is real cause for concern, but not for panic."
More telling than the immediate spending cuts will be the follow-through on the governor's bold proposals for restructuring government - by consolidating agencies to minimize redundancy, confusion and duplication of effort. Reform of state employee pension and health insurance benefits also promise long-term savings.
We believe that at this key moment, nearly two years into his term, Mr. Patrick understands in a very concrete way the yawning yawning
a deep, involuntary inspiration with the mouth open, often accompanied by the act of stretching. Repeated yawning in the presence of other signs, may accompany signs of chronic abdominal pain or hepatic disease. gap that can exist between the aspirations of a campaign and the realities of governance.
When the economy finds its footing again, Mr. Patrick will face a different and equally important challenge: resisting moves on Beacon Hill Bea·con Hill
An area of Boston, Massachusetts, noted for its historic residences, brick sidewalks, and picturesque mews.
Noun 1. Beacon Hill - a fashionable section of Boston; site of the Massachusetts capital building to revert to the unsustainable spending that is at the root of today's budget mess.
The economic lessons of 2008 have been sobering. We hope they are taken permanently to heart.