Having come in to office facing a $1 billion shortfall for last fiscal year and a $2 billion hole for this one — which has now ballooned by an additional $600 million despite significant spending cuts and temporary new taxes — Edwards pitched a clearheaded view of the future.I don't envy the Governor's political task in the coming year as we suffer through yet another of our now quite regular budget crises. But he's not doing himself any favors casting himself as the sober bearer of bad news against a reactionary GOP emboldened by the 2016 triumph of post-factualism.
"There is no Santa Claus, and people want and deserve a certain level of services," he said. "We just have to live in the real world. We have to decide that we are going to pay for the government that we want."
There are ways to go about the budget battle telling people what you will fight to get for them (a fairer tax structure, a more civic oriented rather than privatized government) instead of telling them what they can't have (hospitals, universities). Edwards hasn't proven he can do this yet.