In your story, “”Budget battle shapes up for special session,”” a state spending graph was printed showing that, since 1985, the budget has grown from about $1 billion to $2.71 billion. A $240 million shortfall was shown perched atop the highest bar for the coming year. The budget has nearly tripled in only 17 years!

Has yours? Has your paper’s?

Mine has not. In fact, like many others, I retired during this time so my budget has been cut by at least half.

Enough background.

On Nov. 14, your paper printed “”Solution sought as deficit grows.””

Democrats have caused the budget increases. They have been in power since 1985. The governor and the Legislature are unwilling to face the fact that, by grossly increasing the size of government, they are to blame. They are unwilling to correct the problem by making real cuts in government, and they will increase taxes without regard to the adverse effect on the state’s declining business climate.

“”The proposal protects state jobs while cutting other programs such as education and agencies that deliver direct social services,” Republicans said. I used to live in the Augusta area. I visit there annually. The state has taken over many of the area’s vacant schools, residences and offices for various strangely named agencies. Various other buildings have been constructed to house the larger agencies. I wonder what the statistics look like on this.

Gov. King says that the mess is not the fault of the Legislature but the state of the economy. He says 46 other states are in the same mess. Phooey. Those 46 other states are irresponsible as well.

No one in their right mind can claim that our economy has grown enough to allow anybody in the last 15 years to triple their budget sanely.

I am afraid that taxes will rise, businesses will close and leave the state. Jobs will go with them and things will get pretty bleak. Retired people will be forced to leave the state, fleeing to tax haven states.

It saddens me to say these things about my state.

Alan Hamilton, Greenwood

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