Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Carnuccio: People Want Budget Cuts

Oklahomans want budget cuts to cope with reduced state revenue in the opinion of Michael Carnuccio, president of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs.

In an interview with KTOK morning show host Reid Mullins, there was this exchange:

Mullins: "So here we are in this crazy, lame-duck session of Congress nationally. Locally we're going through a lot of changes. You know, a lot of people, I guess, in one manner or another, got a pink slip or at least a notice here, our local government, on House workers and things like that. Is that the beginning of things to come, or what do you see? 'Cause you've had an eye on the budget crisis for a long time."

Carnuccio: "Well, absolutely, and I think you always find a positive, and especially for someone like myself that had spent some time working at the House, and a lot of the folks that have been let go are my friends, and it’s a tough situation. But what we're seeing that’s encouraging is that leadership in the House of Representatives is recognizing that, listen, this is a tight year. There are budget cuts. We need to make budget moves, and I think Speaker Steele is sending a clear message to the agencies that this game of 'no you can’t cut' is not going to work anymore. People of Oklahoma have spoken. When they see a budget crunch by 70 percent, they want to see a budget cuts. They want to see government made smaller, less intrusive, and I think the Speaker is signaling that, 'look we're going to take the hit as well, and this is what I expect every agency to have to do. We need to right-size government.'

" . . . a lot of folks were discussing how the legislature and the governor at the end of last year did a disservice to the people of Oklahoma, and especially the incoming leadership, by not addressing the budget problem. They kind of pushed and kicked the can down the river . . . That is why we’re feeling this pinch at this time, right now, instead of gradually over the past year, and especially over the past six months. And so I applaud leadership for taking a tough position. I think the people of Oklahoma have wanted to see leadership do that."

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