Alabama, we#039;ve failed our state

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 3, 2003

It's the day after and we're all wondering, "OK, what's next?"

The tax referendum went down in a blaze like most thought it would.

We all anxiously await Governor Riley and the Legislature's next move.

Will it be across-the-board job cuts, tax increases, casinos? We just don't know.

We all had the option to take it upon ourselves to fix the situation in Alabama. Instead, we said with a collective and emphatic statement, "NO, we don't want to fix the problems in Alabama. They're not as bad as everyone says."

We guess we'll find out like everyone else come next year when teachers are let go, schools systems close, criminals are let out of jail, human welfare projects are ended, crime increases and businesses bolt.

Then all we can do is shake our heads and say, "Maybe it really was that bad."

Not one single person likes the idea of paying higher taxes, but sometimes, it is the necessary evil. Now, we're going to have to suffer the consequences of not performing our civic responsibility to take care of our state.

Legislators can still have their little pet projects, spending can run rampant without accountability and yes, small counties that "don't seem to matter much" can continue to "not matter much."

This was our opportunity to fix things, as a state, not depend on a small group of people. We could have put the Legislature on notice - telling them you said you needed the money, so fix it. Instead, we told them, we don't care.

This has been a tough fight. Millions of dollars have been spent, friendships have been tested, families have argued, and individuals have struggled with their beliefs and convictions on what is the proper thing to do.

We can't say anything else. It's a waiting game now. We just know we're going to rest a little easier knowing we tried, but always keep in the back of our minds the thought that we failed as a state.