North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL


September 20, 2012

Our Views: We can’t keep taking from state trust fund

AN NJN EDITORIAL — By the time you read this, voters across Alabama — probably not very many of them, given that this is a special election — will have decided whether or not to dip into the state’s equivalent of the pickle jar buried in the back yard.

The Alabama Trust Fund is the repository for the royalties paid by energy companies for oil and gas taken from offshore production. It is used for a number of things, but primarily it has had its assets reinvested over the years, with the capital gains going into the state’s General Fund.

But the state legislature, for whatever reason, has not been able to come up with a balanced budget as required by law. In the bad economy, revenues are not keeping up with expenses. To put it another way, the state is spending more than it is taking in.

So Tuesday’s vote to tap into the Trust Fund each year for the next three years is intended to balance the budget, and keep from having to make drastic cutbacks in a number of programs.

Unfortunately, such a move does not address the original problem: spending more than we have coming in.

Fiscal responsibility is one thing that Republicans campaigned for when they took control of both houses of the legislature. They have yet to make good on that campaign promise.

Montgomery is not like Washington, D.C. in many ways, for which we should probably be thankful. When the federal government spends more than it takes in — which is almost always the case — then it either borrows the money in the form of treasury notes and bonds, or just prints more money, or often both. That’s not a particularly healthy way to run a country, but alas, that is the way things are at the moment.

Alabama can’t do that, and the state must live within its means. If it continues to take from what amounts to a rainy-day fund, someday down the road that fund won’t be there when it is needed again.

Our elected representatives must exercise the fiscal restraint that we citizens do every day of the week.

Text Only
  • Danielle Cater: Be strong in moments of weakness

    A sad scene took place on Sunday at a church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The founding pastor of Calvary Chapel stepped down from his position of head pastor due to “moral failing which disqualifies him from continuing his leadership role at the church.” This church is home to over 20,000 members who worship together in 10 locations across Florida.

    April 15, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Old dogs can learn new tricks

    You’re never too old to learn something new. I’m of the opinion that you can, indeed, teach an old dog new tricks.
    So as an old dog, I’ve been trying to pick up a new trick.

    April 7, 2014

  • Commentary: Bad vacation attitudes won't last forever

    In these photos, everyone else in the family is smiling as if this were their favorite vacation of all times, but I am huffing with my arms crossed and a literal frown on my face.

    March 26, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: I’ll never live down running out of gas

    Have you ever had one of those days where you are functioning on four hours of sleep, and yet you still have to get up at 5:45 a.m. to get the family to church by 7 a.m. on the other side of town? After church you run home to get ready for your 6-year-old’s birthday party and then head straight back to church to help with the services until after 9 p.m.? That just might be a good description of our Sunday afternoon. Whoever said “easy like Sunday morning” obviously didn’t have kids and probably didn’t go to church.

    March 20, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Most people aren’t politically correct

    I probably work in the wrong profession to hate political correctness, but I do. I can’t stand it when I feel as if I need to walk on eggshells all the time to keep from hurting people’s feelings. I don’t try to be excessively offensive, but people are so easily offended these days, it’s almost impossible not to tick someone off by everything that you say or do.

    March 14, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Lessons, fun times make retreats enjoyable

    I did something recently that is apparently out of the ordinary for most people. I went to a marriage conference while I was not in the midst of marital problems.

    March 6, 2014

  • Letter to the editor: Thanks to Gardendale citizens for hospitality

    We, along with many other travelers, spent the next two days and nights in your splendid center. We are of the opinion that we couldn’t have been stranded in a better place.

    February 28, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Be sure to give your kids what they need

    Once the snow melted this week, life went back to normal and we all found ourselves busy with our regular day-to-day activities, and trying to catch up on everything we had put on the back burner during the snow days.
    Our household had a busy weekend, and among the events of the weekend, we celebrated our second birthday in three weeks. That’s right, our perfectly-blended family has given us two daughters who celebrate birthdays within three weeks of each other.

    February 18, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Find excitement in the boring days

    Many people got to take a vacation day this past Monday for MLK Day. What this day stands for is a great cause and an issue that should be addressed, but for many people, it was just another holiday.
    Our office is like most other offices, so we were open to the public Monday. But since schools and daycares were closed, I got the privilege of staying home with the four best daughters in the world. We started off the day with the attitude of fun.

    January 22, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: One year down, rest of my life to go

    Dec. 29, 2013 has come and gone, and for many people it held no lasting significance. But for me, it marked the first anniversary of marriage to my amazing husband.

    January 9, 2014