We can live with one number plate and some other cuts

When you’re facing a projected $6.2 billion state budget shortfall by in 2011, every cent counts. Even projects under a million dollars.

One of those first ones to go will be the requirement that cars and trucks have to have two number plates — one front and one rear. Under new proposals, that would end. One car, one number plate.

Requiring only one number plate on a vehicle has been proposed before as a cost saving measure under Republicans. Opposition has come from police officers who argue that two number plates give them a much better chance of identifying vehicles.

But Police officers picked up on the fact the budget also proposes 2 percent across-the-board cuts to state agencies and cutting State Patrol station operations.

Against that backdrop, two number plates might seem nice for law police officers, but they’re probably more worried about keeping their jobs. Besides, they would not be alone as a one number plate state — it would join the ranks of 24 other states.

This is not a budget maker or a budget breaker. But we single it out because it is a cut in spending — a real cut. It is something Wisconsin drivers and law enforcement officers would be doing without. That’s the right approach to balancing a budget during tough times. And while the Doyle budget package does have some agency spending cuts, overall it entails more state spending and both new and higher taxes.

If we can do without two number plates and we can do without some of those higher taxes as well.

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