If using the same clichés is an indication of people thinking alike, then City Hall and Mayor Jerry Sanders’ fiscal task force aren’t much different.

The task force, made up of 11 prominent members of the business community, was sharply critical in its final report of the types of short-term budget solutions proposed by Sanders and passed by the City Council.

Yet the task force’s report had a phrase it loved to repeat. Four times in the 20-page report, the task force declared “everything must be on the table” — or some version of it — when it comes to budget options for the city.

Veteran readers of voiceofsandiego.org may remember a story I wrote in October about City Council’s first meeting to address the $200 million deficit it closed last week. Sanders, his top deputy Jay Goldstone and more than one city councilmember used a similar statement: “Everything is on the table.”

With all this talk of tables, I have one question as the city continues to grapple with budget deficits for the foreseeable future: What’s for dinner?

— LIAM DILLON

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