Republican leaders from U. S. Congress Majority Leader Eric Cantor to our area’s State Senator Sean Nienow, House members Bob Barrett and Kurt Daudt all sing-off the same page, “It’s not a revenue problem, it’s a spending problem.” They also say what families have to do to live within their budget.
Let’s look at a typical family and see what an all-cuts budget could mean to them. If they have parents or loved ones in a nursing home or a group home, their loved one may not be able to receive the care that they are getting now. Nursing homes and group homes are currently under funded, and cutting $1.8 billion from Health and Human Services will cut services state-wide even more.
A typical family may have a student in college. Cuts proposed to higher education will drive up tuition possibly to a point many families won’t be able to afford. They may have some students in K-12 education. The Republican proposed increase in spending per student is funded by cuts from special ed (federally mandated programs ) and school integration funding. School districts in our area may receive more money per student, but with cuts to special ed, they will still have to fund those students who receive services, making it at best a wash and at worst a cut for the school system.
If this family owns a home or business, they may pay more in property taxes. Counties in our area receive County Program Aid and many cities in our area receive Local Government Aid. Loss or cuts to these funds will result in property tax increases.
So as we look at a typical family, I hope they will sit down at the kitchen table and talk about how this all-cuts budget proposal from the Republican House and Senate really affects them.