Deep Throat: “Oh, I can’t tell you that.”
Bob Woodward: ”But you could tell me that.”
Deep Throat: “No, I have to do this my way. You tell me what you know, and I’ll confirm. I’ll keep you in the right direction if I can, but that’s all. Just… follow the money.” All the Presidents Men, 1976
When Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of the Washington Post were reporting the Watergate story and looking for answers, Woodward’s secret source, Deep Throat, counseled him to “Follow the Money.” That has turned out to be advice that is applicable in all times and many situations.
I thought of that quote when I recently heard David Rosen, the Legislative Budget and Finance Officer for the Office of Legislative Services, testify before the Assembly Budget Committee to give them a mid-year update on the state’s budget. His projections for the state budget are bleak. State revenue is still dropping and it does not appear that it will increase anytime soon. Any growth that might occur will be small at best. What perked my ears up is when Mr. Rosen explained that 75 percent of the budget is tied up in aid going to school districts, municipalities, Medicaid, Homestead Rebates, and higher education and that “if you are looking to cut … that is where the money is“.
Make no mistake about it: the legislature and the governor will have to make cuts and public education may not be spared this year. (more…)