What should really inspire good budget policy

Monday, July 19, 2010

Metro's July 8 Local Digest ["Montgomery now off bond-watch list"] said that Montgomery County was taken off the Moody's bond-rating agency's watch list for a possible debt downgrade after County Executive Isiah Leggett and the County Council made budget cuts and strengthened policies on budget reserves.

These steps were long overdue, but Mr. Leggett and the council acted only because they feared losing the county's AAA rating, which would have raised the cost of borrowing, not because they were inclined to make common-sense budget cuts or policy changes and not because they feared the wrath of voters.

Voters must demand even more substantial changes and reductions to the county's bloated programs, employee benefits and spending habits. That will be a challenge, however, since the field of candidates is so tilted toward tax-and-spend Democrats that Republicans seeking office will be smothered by the sheer force of progressive persuasion and dominance.

John K. Lambert, Silver Spring


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