Nixon's budget cuts are welcomed effort

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Gov. Jay Nixon looked more like a small-government, conservative Republican than a big-government Democrat this week when he sliced $430 million from the recently approved state budget.

And, I like what I saw.

You can argue all day long about the specifics of the Nixon budget cuts but what you can't argue is that Nixon wants the state to tighten its financial belt.

How refreshing that a politician of either political party is willing to cut spending instead of raising taxes.

Nixon put the halt to programs that would provide new emergency responder radio systems, college construction projects, ethanol plant subsidies and a Medicaid rate hike for dentists. He also vetoed a new highway interchange in Jefferson City.

"These fiscally responsible steps are necessary to ensure that Missourians have a government we can afford without raising taxes and without sacrificing our shared priorities of education, health care and jobs," the governor said.

Missouri's $23 billion state budget was approved just last month in Jefferson City. And though Nixon's cuts aren't a significant portion of the overall funding, it does represent a step in the right direction.

Politicians will immediately begin complaining about the cuts, which is the usual manner of politics. And though an argument can surely be made for any of these projects, it's important to remember that all household budgets are currently strapped and the last thing we need in Missouri is a tax increase to fund the pet projects in Jefferson City.

Some of Nixon's budget restrictions may surface again if the state tax revenues increase. Thus far, those taxes are declining.

Missouri is in the same shape as countless other states. Tax revenues are dropping and tough decisions must be made. Raising taxes in the current economic world is unwise.

We commend Nixon for facing reality and using that veto pen as he should.

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