Last week Missouri Governor Jay Nixon unveiled his brilliant plan (and I use that phrase loosely) to dig the state out of next year’s $750 million budget hole: borrow money from Missouri’s universities.
It was a plan so outrageous that one state Senator called it a “Bernie Madoff style ponzi scheme”.
Opposition is now mounting as members of Missouri’s legislature have begun reacting to the idea.
Their number one complaint? That Nixon never even included them in discussions before announcing the potential plan.
Considering any such borrowing scheme would be required to pass through Missouri’s legislature for approval this may not have been the most effective path for Nixon to take, even if it was the most direct.
"Everybody knows we have a big problem, and I think people expect us to work together to solve the problem," said Rep. Ryan Silvey, R-Kansas City, the House's budget chairman "Going out and lone-gunman on this thing is not helping this situation."
Senate Appropriations Chairman Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, said the governor didn't include the Legislature in his talks with the universities, something that must change.
"If the governor wants to have a discussion, you've got to include all the parties," he said.
The bigger – and unmentioned – problem, however, is the train of thought that led to this proposal in the first place. The reason for the shortfall is that stimulus funds are all dried up, so now the state must find a new source (victim) to bleed dry in the name of social justice and entitlement programs and other big government bureaucracy.
But the stimulus was a stopgap. Its intention was to allow time for states and businesses to get their affairs in order.
Jay Nixon failed in every way to reign in spending and get the budget under control. His own plan is the proof.
And now his idea of a grand solution is to replace one stopgap with another stopgap.
He is literally passing the buck.
This is not a solution. It’s barely a temporary fix.
The state legislature should stand together and nip this in the bud.
Failure to do so could have devastating consequences, not just because of the plan itself but for the destructive and mindless philosophy this thinking represents.