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Howard's Commentary - Don't Live Within Your Means. Do Your Job.

Government should use business principles but it is not a business.

The goal of private enterprise is to make money. The goal of government is to serve its citizens.

As WV lawmakers and soon-to-be Governor Justice prepare to deal with the budget, they should begin with deciding what they need to do, then figure out how to get the revenue to do it.

Set their goals and implement them.

You don't look at your pile of cash and say "that's all we've got, so that's all we can do". You look at your list of priorities and say "we need to find a way to do these things".

Are all functions of state government mandatory at their current levels? Probably not. There are some that can be trimmed, maybe even some eliminated. But those that are left need funded. And legislators need to be willing to do whatever they must to serve the citizens.

Not their corporate masters and campaign contributors.

Living "within your means" is easy. Working to find ways to get your job done, achieve your goals, and serve the citizens--well, that requires adult thinking, risk taking, and some creative ideas.