Government must cut too

Published 10:25 am Thursday, January 8, 2009

It is nearly impossible to pick up a newspaper or turn on the television without seeing some mention of companies making massive layoffs.

From the auto industry to Internet giants like Google to many manufacturing industries, almost every business is looking to tighten the belt and unfortunately that often involves cutting staff.

According to outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas. Employers announced 1,223,993 job cuts in 2008, up almost 60 percent from the year before.

This hit a little closer to home Tuesday when Cabell Huntington Hospital announced it would be cutting about 40 employees, the same day Americas Styrenics (formerly known locally as Dow Chemical) said it would be cutting about 60 jobs from its Marietta facility. For now, the Hanging Rock facility has been spared any personnel cutbacks.

But the general American public isn’t hearing a whole lot about one thing: Government personnel cuts.

While corporate America is struggling, the government seems to be churning along like business is usual. Lawrence County’s government agencies aren’t any different.

Some changes have been made in recent years in terms of not filling positions or minor consolidation, but in general the county and city governments keep operating business-as-usual.

Unfortunately, that isn’t good enough.

We don’t want to see anyone lose his or her jobs and feel for all the families affected by layoffs. But the reality is that something has to be done now.

It is time for our government leaders to wake up and face the realities affecting the rest of the nation.