As the economy continues to falter local governments across the country are facing sizable budget deficits and being forced to trim expenses in an effort to baance their budgets.

For some it is a painful experience, and in Alexandria, Va the pain is so great that they have hired an ethicist to assist them in deciding which programs to trim or eliminate.

Granted budget cuts are never easy for those tasked with making the cuts  and are doubly painful for those on the receiving end, but they are a by-product of short sighted and greedy politicians spending every dime in site rather than being prudent and planning for the inevitable slowdown or recession.

Now as a result of the liberal expansion of government programs and the lack of setting enough money aside for a “rainy day” the city is facing a $2.3 million budget gap.  Budget cutting is an economic decision.  Either there is money for a program or there isn’t.  Politicians are elected to make the tough decisions.  But in this case rather than do what they were elected to do they have chosen to turn budget cutting into an ethical and moral decision and creating a touchy-feely scenario rather than letting objectivity guide them,

Using an ethicist to help make budget cuts may salve the collective consciences of the officials involved, but it sets a bad precedent that all budget decisions should have an ethical and moral component and that it is okay to cede their responsibilities to someone who has no government budgeting experience.

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