Why don't you do it?

Why do we elect government officials?  The answer is simple, so we can have representatives so we do not have to spend our own time going through the specifics of bills and budgets.  They are expected to spend the time so we don't have to.

Given that, it never fails to tick me off when people look at valid criticism of elected officials who are unable to do their jobs and come back with "why don't you spend the time to do it better".

Case in point, the Union Leader ran an editorial discussing how year after year we see Lynch and company fumble around without fixing the true problems with our state budget.  You can read it in full HERE but here is are the key statements:

Say you had an old car with a serious oil leak. Every year, instead of fixing it, you just added more duct tape. What do you think would eventually happen?

That's pretty much what New Hampshire legislators and Gov. John Lynch have done with the state budget. It's bleeding money. But instead of fixing the leaks, they just keep applying temporary patches that will have to be replaced in the not-too-distant future. That's why we have a current budget with a roughly $300 million hole in it; and it's why experts expect a more than $600 million hole in the next budget.

Are governor and elected officials don't want to be the ones making the tough choices so they keep duct taping the problems and putting off the inevitable.

It was the comment section that got me with this one...

More blah, blah blah, how about an editorial with a list of all state departments and programs, list what and who you would cut, to trim the budget.
If your going to criticize at least have some possible solutions in mind.
It is just too easy to criticize!!!!
I don't know what the answers are, do you? Be specific!!!
- Jack, Concord

In other words we should accept the fact that our elected officials are either too lazy, stupid or lacking a backbone to make any tough choices and should instead be forced to roll up our sleeves and make the tough suggestions they would most likely ignore anyway.  Sorry Jack but I don't buy it.

For starters, my two terms on the local Merrimack budget committee taught me one key thing... you cannot just walk into a budget as large as a town's (much less the states) and know what's what with it.  Even after a couple years I found myself having to talk to department heads to get better understand of what different lines within the budget meant, does Jack think the average Joe on the street would have that level of access at their fingertips?

You can find the detail budget HERE, take a peek and see if you think someone can just walk up and suggest where to make $600 million in cuts and be informed while doing so?  It's clear within a second or two of opening it that there isn't enough detail about any particular line item to make a truly informed decision.  Even so just looking at the over all budget it's clear that our legislators and governor aren't even trying.  Here's an idea for starters how about combining the 30+ IT departments into one single department.  That's over $60 million of the budget right there.  If a single IT department can handle the needs of international companies shouldn't 1 department also be enough to handle the needs of a single state?

Or how about taking the revenue collected in tolls and roll it into another tax and cut out the over $10 million in takes to collect it?  When half the tax goes into the method used to collect it then you seriously need to find a better method of taxation.

But take a look for yourselves... I could make several other suggestions as well but I'd be interested in hearing what readers think.