Pre-Ledge thinking | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pre-Ledge thinking

Posted By on Tue, Dec 30, 2008 at 8:26 AM

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman is worried that governors will respond to the fiscal crisis in the way that Herbert Hoover did -- by balancing their budgets with severe cuts in social programs. (Gov. Beebe is not among the neoHoovers Krugman mentions.) He asks the big question: why do we pay for essential services the way we do?

As a nation, we don’t believe that our fellow citizens should go without essential health care. Why, then, does a large share of funding for Medicaid come from state governments, which are forced to cut the program precisely when it’s needed most?

An educated population is a national resource. Why, then, is basic education mainly paid for by local governments, which are forced to neglect the next generation every time the economy hits a rough patch?

And why should investments in infrastructure, which will serve the nation for decades, be at the mercy of short-run fluctuations in local budgets?



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