State Senator Bob Dvorsky (D-Coralville), is trying to pull the wool over the eyes of his constituents with a guest opinion piece he wrote for the Iowa City Press-Citizen.
In his piece Dvorsky claims, "Democrats are balancing the state budget responsibly while keeping our commitments to Iowans, including improving student achievement and teacher quality, creating more good-paying jobs, and ensuring access to affordable health care for every Iowan."
Democrat Dvorsky is misleading the public. There is no indication that an adopted budget approved by the Democrat led legislature, will be responsibly balanced.
Regarding Democrat Governor Culver's budget, State Auditor David Vaudt assessed the following In a press release issued February 12, 2008:
Iowa's "Charge Cards" are Maxed Out
The Governor's budget "maxes out" Iowa's charge cards - the funds used to balance the budget. These funds include the Senior Living Trust Fund, various tobacco related funds, and the Property Tax Credit Fund. "The depletion of these funds in Fiscal Year 2009 leaves a $193 million hole for Fiscal Year 2010," commented Auditor Vaudt. "The question taxpayers should be asking is - how does the Governor propose to fill that hole?"
Bonding Leaves Future Generations Paying for Current Year Operating Expenditures
One-time bond proceeds of $67 million are used to balance the Fiscal Year 2009 operating budget and taxpayers will pay for those services for decades to come. Auditor Vaudt stressed, "This is contrary to good budgeting principles because this practice leaves future generations to pay for current year operating expenditures."
Spending Continues to Exceed Revenue
Auditor Vaudt noted planned expenditure growth of 16% over a two-year period (Fiscal Year 2008 and Fiscal Year 2009) still outpaces anticipated ongoing revenue growth of 12% over the same time period. Auditor Vaudt added, "Considering 80% of that two-year revenue growth comes from tax and fee increases, it's obvious the trends in expenditure growth are unsustainable through economic growth alone. To spend at such a torrid pace, we must increase taxes and fees at a torrid pace. That in turn, could adversely impact economic growth in our state."
Rainy Day Funds Provide False Sense of Security
"With $600 million sitting in the "Rainy Day" funds, it's easy to get a false sense of security," Auditor Vaudt cautioned. Considering the $361 million spending gap built into the Fiscal Year 2010 budget, a substantial revenue shortfall could wipe out the "Rainy Day" funds in just one year, Auditor Vaudt warned. "With a looming threat of recession, such a scenario is entirely possible."
Infrastructure Funds Diverted for General Fund Expenditures
The Governor's budget proposal makes a statutory reallocation of $90 million from long-term infrastructure spending to fund General Fund services. "As last year's bridge collapse in Minnesota underscored, states across the country are facing the need for increased infrastructure spending," commented Auditor Vaudt. "It makes no sense to borrow money for a prison as the Governor's budget proposes to do, while at the same time divert a large infrastructure revenue source that could pay for a substantial portion of such a project without incurring debt in the first place.
Short-Term Focus Continues
"Longer-term planning will allow us to assess how today's decisions will impact tomorrow's budgets," said Auditor Vaudt. "The Governor's budget proposal calls for a 5.7% increase in spending next year, but is also sets Iowa up with at least a 5.7% spending gap, $361 million, the following year. It's appropriate to ask the governor how he plans to bridge that gap. Will it be through tax and fee increases, or will he find areas to reduce spending? Iowans want to know where the Governor is leading them." Auditor Vaudt also refuted the notion planning 2 years ahead is too difficult, noting the accuracy of his prediction last year the Legislature would increase expenditures at least 5.5% as a consequence of the commitments made in the 2007 session. The Governor's budget calls for a 5.7% increase in spending.
The Auditor's assessment of the budget is not a favorable one. The Democrat planned expenditure growth of 16% over a two-year period (Fiscal Year 2008 and Fiscal Year 2009) outpaces anticipated ongoing revenue growth of 12% over the same time period. That puts the state budget in a shortfall of $361 million. How is that "balancing the state budget responsibly?"
Dvorsky isn't being honest with his constituents and nothing he wrote in his guest opinion piece should be believed. Regarding the proposed budget, the Democrat led legislature needs to learn how to cut spending. Their cocaine-like bad habit of tax and spend is undesired and unacceptable.