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Back to basics on the budget

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By Jay Miller

SANTA FE — The 2010 Legislature didn’t get its job done. Democratic leaders knew the unwritten rules. Begin secret negotiations between House and Senate Democratic leaders several days before the session’s end while publicly continuing to predict a train wreck.

It didn’t work this time. Democratic leaders said they just ran out of time. But the problem, in fact, is that none of them have confronted the reality of a recession that hasn’t bottomed out. They still cling to their insistence upon extending the hurt to everyone but themselves.

We aren’t going to get out of this until everyone gives up something. But until then, they fashion themselves as manly gunslingers defending their territory.

Part of the problem could be that they all are men. Maybe a little wise counsel from the distaff side of the party would inject some common sense.

Republicans also weren’t part of the private negotiations. Would their inclusion have helped? Probably not. Party members have unanimously insisted throughout the session that taxes can’t be any part of the solution. It must be all cuts.

But history tells us that if Republicans were in control, it might have worked differently.


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