Anyone skimming the news regarding an announcement that Colorado Governor Hickenlooper is tightening the budget belt can see that schools may be hit hard and a prison may be closed, but what lies under the surface.  Is this the beginning of the end or is this exactly what the state, if not the country needs. It's no mystery that our state and our country is in debt.  In the Coloradoan today the headline reads, Schools on block, and the butcher block is big.

The Coloradoan says the Governor is proposing 500 million in educational cuts. The cuts will affect public schools and some state colleges and universities. In the Coloradoan article The deputy executive director of the Colorado board of school boards says the cuts will force districts to consider teacher layoffs, larger classes and shorter school weeks. The more I read the more I saw that this will affect 250 state jobs, including 149 at the Fort Lyon Correctional Facility in Las Animas.

The cuts at the prison will result in the closure of the facility. Fort Lyon has been operated as a state prison since 2002, housing up to 500 inmates. The inmates will now be filtered out to other facilities.

Hickenlooper goes on to say, as reported in the Coloradoan,  that he doesn't think there is an appetite for raising taxes in a recession. And that lawmakers should instead do everything they can to make Colorado more business friendly, which according to Hickenlooper will ultimately help the state's economy improve and bring in more revenue.  My question remains, is this the beginning of the end or exactly what we need. Is it time to play hard ball and button down the spending hatches. The scuffs and bruises will unequivocally be felt for years to come, but with as tough as we, as a nation have had to become since 9-11, this should be a no brainier. In my opinion, this is a necessary evil, one that no doubt will leave a bad taste in my mouth even if I agree. There is no easy solution, but this is what we are made of, as a state and a country. When push comes to shove we unite and create an unbreakable force. This is who we are.

What do you think? Am I off my rocker? Is Governor Hickenlooper off his, or will his plans finally close the budget gap that has been haunting Colorado for years?

Read more in today's Fort Collins Coloradoan.