Come together to address economy

Published 3:04 pm Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Right now, as our nation faces one of the worst financial downturns in our history, the importance of rising above partisanship is high because the current economic climate at the state and national levels is perilous.

The times we currently face have not been this grim since the Great Depression.

Whether you voted for President Barack Obama or not, we must come together in the hope that he succeeds so that the value of our dollar increases, more people come off of the unemployment rolls and failing businesses turn the corner.

If the new president is successful, we will be more competitive in the international marketplace, Americans will stimulate our economy at home, and businesses will flourish.

In our own state, we are similarly situated. Our tax base has shrunk due to a downturn in the economy. The costs of Medicaid and other essential services are on the rise.

The Rainy Day Fund, established as a savings account during lean times, will probably be raided to offset the deficit. Gov. Bob Riley has asked all state agencies to find ways to trim waste and inefficiency.

The forecast is shaky, but in Alabama we have risen above adversity in years past.

In 2006, the Alabama Senate spent several months and several million dollars, only to leave the Capital City with no meaningful legislation passed. The stalemate was over a disgraceful power struggle among the parties.

The governor was forced to call a special session that year so that a budget could be passed to keep state government in operation.

We can’t afford a shut down during the next legislative session. This is no time for partisan bickering and backroom deals.

This is the time to take off our Democrat and Republican hats and put on our Alabamian hats.

If we don’t come together to address these serious economic issues right now, these times will only take a higher toll.