It kind of makes us nostalgic for the old days - like, 2007 - when Nutter's first budget was helped by a $300 million surplus ("extra, unspent money" in case you've forgotten what that word means) that greeted him when he took office. That rosy budget had been drafted before the sudden fierce economic meltdown that few saw coming.
Coping with that meltdown has not only defined Nutter's first few years in office, but has redefined governments across the land.
As scary as that economic contraction was - and continues to be through a fragile recovery - we were lucky that we didn't see it coming.
Things we can see coming are far more frightening, and so the potentially devastating cuts that Gov. Corbett is expected to make next week is a whole new world of scary . . . especially because this time, there will be no Recovery Act to help weather the storm. In fact, just the opposite: The federal government will be doing its own slashing that could further compound the problems that the state budget creates.
Those projected Corbett cuts are likely to hit the most vulnerable and to increase human misery. (They have already begun, with the elimination of the adultBasic program for low-income workers.) The cuts, in health and human services and schools, will sacrifice the poor at the altar of Corbett's no-tax, cut-spending pledge.
It may be easy for Corbett to remain abstract about these budget moves, but in this city, these are not abstractions: These are our neighbors and fellow citizens, many of whom count on services to live.
So while Nutter may have delivered a budget yesterday, it's really not his budget. It belongs to the people who actually live and work here. And all of us, including City Council, better start getting ready to fight for it. *