LET Deficits don't just disappear

In his May 2004 e-mail newsletter, Republican State Rep. Fran Bradley wrote, "It must be pointed out that, even though this year's session was frustrating, my past two years in office have been marked by historic accomplishments. We balanced a $4.5 billion deficit, the largest in the state's history, without raising taxes." It has taken some pretty creative accounting to accomplish such a feat.

To say taxes were not raised is disingenuous. To support the governor's determination not to raise taxes, Mr. Bradley and his colleagues have raised the cost of many fees and licenses to balance the budget. In fact, these increases rose to $400 million. Among the worst of these is a double-digit increase in higher education tuition. At a time when it is crucial to gain new skills required by rapidly advancing technology, this increase puts an unnecessary burden on those who can least afford it -- students and their middle-class parents, who had intended to send their children to state schools of higher education.

This is a historic accomplishment? I guess that answer depends on how you define both historic and accomplishment.

Nancy L. Johnson


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