In our opinion: It begins?

Considering how popular it is, balancing a budget with cuts is like the Justin Bieber of political opinion.

Our leaders, whose personal finances no doubt will be fine either way, love this idea. From Olympia to Washington, D.C., it gets them excited.

This is because it requires very little of them by way of leadership or risk, just as most pop music doesn’t require much thinking.

Sometimes our leaders mention under their breath “revenues” — code word for “raising taxes” — but then continue what they have been doing.

It’s not often that we hear our leaders ask: What will be left?

As was reported in this week’s paper, Kitsap Mental Health has discharged 261 mentally ill people from its outpatient program.

They did so because of $817,000 in state budget cuts to a program that helps poor and middle class people struck by these insidious diseases.

There is no doubt that $817,00 was a bargain. Not even counting the costs of jail and ER visits — where many low-income mentally ill people end up — it bought a reprieve from suffering.

Very little has been said about what kind of country and community we will have after so-called “austerity measures” are in place.

Perhaps we are about to find out.

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