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Monday, Apr. 21, 2014

Nixon's careful cuts best for MO

Sunday, January 30, 2011

In this column last week, I took a shot at Gov. Jay Nixon and his view on the economy and the necessary actions needed to address our finances in Jefferson City. In essence, I said the Governor was long on rhetoric and short on specifics.

I was wrong on this assessment. I want to make that right.

Gov. Nixon just happens to occupy the top spot in Missouri government at a time of massive economic concern. These financial worries are not of his making.

Unfortunately, Gov. Nixon - like governors elsewhere - is forced to face some serious issues that will ultimately prove unpopular. Any time you reduce any level of spending, someone will suffer on the receiving end.

But I believe Nixon understands the critical times we're in. And I think he is facing those challenges as best anyone can.

The Governor's philosophy is to maintain as many critical state services as possible but to make cuts in the management of those service providers. By making those cuts, the services remain somewhat intact yet there is an eventual reduction in state spending.

Quite frankly, I can think of few other choices that are available.

Instead of advocating an across the board reduction in all agencies, the Governor is taking a more specific approach and making cuts here and there to reduce the harmful impact on the public.

I made the mistake that others have made in lumping together the division and seeming lack of concern that we witness on the federal economic level. That is clearly not the case in Missouri.

Our state's economy - like all others - is tied to the overall national economy. Need I say more? And though we make every effort possible, we must accept that some issues are simply beyond the state's control.

It's not often that I rethink an editorial comment though some believe I should perhaps do it more often.

But this time I made the mistake of linking our issues with the national economy in terms of a solution path. The truth is that in Missouri, the Governor and Legislature are working together to address our financial concerns. You can't always say the same for the national picture.



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Michael Jensen
Michael Jensen