In search for cuts, NC leaders must recognize some can be expensive | Asheville Citizen-Times

Painful cuts among worthy programs are unavoidable despite several years of already deep cutbacks. Unfortunately, the Republican leadership hasn’t talked too much about the revenue side. In their campaigns, GOP candidates pledged to not renew a temporary 1-cent sales tax enacted last year, but they will still need to find other avenues to cover the shortfall. There will likely be no federal stimulus this time around to bail out the state.

Cuts must be balanced against our decades of investment in community colleges, K-12 education and the University of North Carolina system, providing the educated work force the jobs of tomorrow will demand. Quality of life is a more intangible but important part of our economy that includes museums and state parks as well as care for the mentally ill or early childhood education and rehabilitation for prisoners and others in our society unable to care for themselves. It costs North Carolina not only money but prestige if we let the mentally ill languish for days in emergency rooms or if low-income workers can’t afford child care while they work.

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