Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Conservativism vs. Reality


The overall numbers [for Alabama's budget] don't tell the whole story. Some agencies, such as state troopers, would be cut 18 percent, while more money would be pumped into agencies trying to satisfy court orders for improvements, such as mental health and prisons.
Even at that, Riley is looking at increasing paroles by at least 5,000 inmates so Alabama no longer will have to pay to house its prisoners in Mississippi and Louisiana.
In public schools, Riley proposed eliminating all state funding for textbooks, library books and computer purchases. No teachers would be laid off, however.
Outside of state government, Riley recommended cutting all funding for nonstate programs, such as shelters for abused women, and eliminating all of Alabama's scholarship funds, which would make Alabama one of three states without any scholarship program.


The anti-tax-increase consensus now dominant at the national level in the Republican Party was strengthened dramatically at the state level with the defeat of Alabama Gov. Robert R. Riley's proposal to increase taxes by $1.2 billion to pay for existing and new spending programs. The constitutional amendment was voted down 68 percent to 32 percent on Tuesday, with the Alabama Republican Party opposing the Republican governor's tax hike.
This is good news for the taxpayers of Alabama, and it sends a powerful signal to GOP leaders in other states: Rein in spending and don't even think about raising taxes. This is a deepening of a trend within the Republican Party.

If it's good news that Alabama will have fewer cops, more criminals, and a ridiculously underfunded system of public education, what would bad news be?