Cutting Fat in Govt

Remember how conservatives have been saying for years that those damn liberals made govt so big that fat and waste were endemic? Remember all the promises about how they’d cut all that fat if they got elected? Well, Jay Bookman of the AJC has had a chance to see what they meant by “fat”.

During their long years in the political wilderness, Georgia Republicans would preach endlessly about the thick layers of fat that they knew existed in state government. If voters ever showed enough wisdom to put the GOP in power, they promised, they would cut all that fat and be able to cut taxes, too.Today, they’re trying to make good on that talk. Republicans now control both the state Senate and the governor’s office, and the state’s current fiscal crisis has given them the opportunity to slice all that fat and thus avoid tax increases.

So what kind of spending cuts are they making? The 2005 budget proposed by Gov. Sonny Perdue includes cuts that would knock 27,000 children and pregnant women off Medicaid health insurance, slice more than $200 million from public schools, gut environmental protection programs and dramatically reduce the amount of state money appropriated to state colleges and universities, among many other things.

Apparently, that’s what “fat” looks like.

Yup. Pretty much what a lot of us thought they meant. To a Publican, anything that doesn’t make a profit for somebody is “waste”. Anything that helps people rather than corporations is “fat”. Anything that doesn’t smooth the way for contributions is “pork”.

OK. So now we know.

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