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What about me?

July 6, 2009 - Erin O'Neill
I try to refrain from being overly political on this blog but, the truth is, there is a lot for people to get fired up about these days and, being that I have instant news literally at my fingertips at any given moment, I am definitely not oblivious to the things that are going on around me.

I usually try to use this medium as a way to communicate something I've learned, an experience I've had, or pose a question. I try to keep it lighthearted, tongue-in-cheek, and humorous. This time around, though, I'd like to vent a little.

The state of Ohio is a fiscal nightmare these days - to the tune of some $3 billion in debt. Cuts are being proposed all over the place to help balance the budget and the cuts are coming very close to home.

Some of our beloved historical places are in danger of being shut down; folks are crying out to save our libraries; early childhood education is in jeopardy; mental health services, in a time when a lot of people are in dire need of help, are few and far between; state workers are being required to take time off without pay; opponents of gambling are grousing on one hand and those who are sick of paying taxes are griping on the other.

The problem is, as I see it, everyone is saying 'what about me?' and 'don't cut my services!' without offering any solution as to where the money should come from. It has to come from somewhere, folks, like it or not.

I do not envy Gov. Strickland's position. He is faced with a very large responsibility of getting his state back on track and his popularity is on the line. He is seen as the hater of history, education, children, reading, morality, taxpayers, the mentally ill, small business, the working class...the list goes on and on.

But he has to make these tough decisions and stick by them. Easy for me to say, I know. I don't have any real answers.

I know I enjoy the library but view it more as a luxury item in a recession. Same goes for museums. I have a small child but think that her mental well-being is more important in the greater scheme of things. I shouldn't have to rely on schools to teach her everything. I think that gambling will lead to a host of problems for people who have addictions, but I've been known to enjoy it myself and I spent my money in another state. I have no problem paying higher taxes for services that I use everyday.

But I am one person with one set of opinions. There are 11 million or so other people in Ohio with other opinions.

Imagine having to be the one person who is supposed to please them all.


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