It seems like every other day some news program or talk show has an “expert” on discussing ways households can cut back on their costs during the recession.
And inevitably the advice is always stuff I’m already doing – bringing lunch and sometimes dinner from home, making coffee at home, dining-in more on weekends, cutting out other luxuries. I just keep hoping for some sort of suggestion that I haven’t thought of or that would actually apply to my already pretty modest lifestyle.
And then you have state government, which every few weeks seems to suddenly discover a whole bunch of money sitting around somewhere lawmakers then use to try and make some headway in cutting the deficit.
First it was Repubican Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s discovering millions-of-dollars in additional Medicaid revenue.
Then last night the Democrats handed reporters a 15-page list of “non-appropriated funding” i.e. money that they say is just sitting in accounts that they recently identified. The Dems aren’t quite sure how much of the total $1.6 billion is for necessary expenditures and how much of it has just been gathering dust, waiting for someone to put it out of its misery and throw it at the deficit.
They plan on sifting through the data in the coming weeks.
There are certainly some head-scratching things on the list. Vague stuff like the “activity fund” and apparently some sort of money dealing with “nonharvested wildlife,” a “sculpture survey” and “shaken baby syndrome.”
State Budget Director Robert Genuario of Norwalk told reporters last night the Democrats will probably identify some savings but he added the list is not a bunch of cash suddenly discovered under the capitol’s cushions. He cautioned reporters from writing a story “that there’s all this hidden money lying around, which there isn’t.”
Genuario said some of the larger items on the list can easily be explained as necessary, such as funding for state colleges, and other items are donations given the state which cannot be used for the purposes of plugging a budget hole.
So at the end of the day, perhaps the Democrats will discover that although they were hoping to find some new savings, they were already bringing their lunches to work.