Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hard Choices

This morning the editorial headline read in part, "Oregon must spend the next year making hard choices about schools, services."

The phrase 'hard choices' brings up an image of Dad wagging his finger at a child who has run up a credit card bill.  Time to stop buying drinks in bars, sell the convertible and get a bus pass, and maybe work part-time until you get it taken care of.  It implies a dissolute past and a brighter more sensible future.

But Oregon isn't make hard choices, it's making easy choices.  The easiest thing to do is to cut off the poor, elderly and the young.

Got a school funding problem?  Shave off some days of school!  That's not a hard choice.  It is the easiest and about the only choice schools have now.  It's also more like running up a credit card bill, it gives us a poorer future by failing to prepare our future citizens.

No the hard choice would involve all of us.  The legislature would have to buck special interests to bring costs in line.  Voters would have to stop voting their fears and start looking at the cost of ballot measures.

And harder yet, in these cranky times, we need to make the hard choice of working and sacrificing together for the future of our state.

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