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Opening Arguments

The fundamentals

Congratulations to state leaders, who seem able to recognize a crisis long enough to set aside partisan differences. Though a recent fit of fiscal responsibility has left Indiana better prepared than most, everybody seems to agree with Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels that even deeper spending cuts are needed. And there is this reassurance:

"There will be lots of people disappointed by these actions," Daniels said, though he added that nothing "fundamental" will be lost. What's more, he said, the state will be able to leave its $1.4 billion surplus untouched, and taxes won't be raised.

Forgive me for sounding like a broken record, but if something isn't fundamental, government shouldn't have been doing it in the first place. But we all know that when this downturn ends (if this one does end), everybody in Indianapolis, including Mr. Daniels, will be looking to quickly restore all those things that aren't fundamental but somehow ended up on the state's plate anyway.