Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Culver suggests 6.5% Budget Cuts

Last night Governor Chet Culver announced that his budget proposal will cut most state programs by 6.5%. The governor said that he wanted to spare public safety, workforce development, human services, disaster relief, the teacher quality program, and early childhood education from a full 6.5% cut.


Just because a program is popular or worthy of funding doesn’t mean there is no wasteful spending occurring in it. For example, I’ve been in support of immediate flood relief; you know a package that funds the rebuilding and recovery process; not sneaks things like forced unionization language in the bill. The Culver and the Democrats have been good at making promises, but they have also been good at dragging their feet. People are still waiting. But the reason flood relief shouldn’t be spared from the budget cuts is simple, Culver is funding bureaucracy with it, we need to stop that and get the money directly to the people.

The same is true in any government program; there is waste to be found everywhere, so let’s do the hard work of finding it and getting rid of it. I think Culver’s approach is clumsy and might not generate good results. Using his approach we are probably going to cut some muscle and leave a bunch of fat.

There is no better time for Legislative Republicans to stand up and lead. Everyone but Mike Gronstal knows that we have a $600 to 750 million dollar hole in the FY2010 budget, so instead of sitting back and seeing what Culver proposes to cut, we need to tell the people of Iowa what we would do. This is the time when elections will be won or lost, not on some fall day in 2010. We must prove to the Iowa voters that they should trust us to lead. We do so by showing them.

Last night Steve Deace had a great segment on his radio show that everyone should listen to. Like him or not, his plead for Republicans to lead was right on. We can’t just be against something, we can’t be too cute by half, and expect the voters to reward us with their trust. We must always be advancing our conservative, free market principles. That means when Culver wants to sell the lottery, we don’t propose selling it to someone else, that’s not the issue. The issue is fixing Iowa’s budget, so instead of floating the idea of selling it to IPERS (which could come back to bite us in the ass) we should have been finding areas in the budget to cut.

It’s not easy or glamorous work, but it’s necessary if you want the voters to trust you. I hope you give it a listen.


  1. Krusty

    You are right on. A long time ago, a bunch of Republicans proposed something called "zero based budgeting." It means simply, that there are no "base" budgets, i.e., you don't get for Fiscal 2010 what you started with in Fiscal 2009 PLUS new spending. It means you have to start at zero, and justify every program, every dollar.

    It was timely then, it's timely now. Think of the thousands that got laid off or terminated just yesterday. They went home, their heads spinning, and sat down last night with their spouses and went through every single expense their families make to determine what to cut and what to keep. There's a lot of people that have seen a bigger cut than 6.5% in their personal incomes in the last two quarters.

    State government should be the same. Legislators have no real pressing issues other than the budget, so once the Lug Nut's budget is presented tomorrow, they should use their expertise in their given areas of committee work to bore in on every program, every dollar. If it doesn't work, get rid of it. If it works, fund it. If it needs to meet some critical need in this time of dire emergency, find a way to fund it by cutting something else.

    Prioritize. It's what every family in Iowa is doing right now.

    We elect these leaders to lead. Now is their time to shine, or sink.

  2. Krusty..you're talking out of both sides of your mouth..

    You say "we just can't be against something"..but then rail on McKinley and Paulsen when they come up with an innovative strategy that forced Culver to back off on selling the lottery.

    Both of them had made it very clear that they didn't like the idea of selling the Lottery at all, but they both knew the reality of the situation was that they didn't have the votes to stop it.

    So, they did something extremely smart...They pitted Culver against one of his vested interests--state workers.

    Do you really think that the Big Lug wanted to appear he'd rather benefit his contributors rather than state employees? They're already pissed off enough at him for vetoing Fair Share last year.

    By making Chet look stupid, McKinley and Paulsen achieved the goal of preventing the quick sale of the Lottery...

    You're calling for leadership..and quite frankly, keeping Chet and company from pulling off shenanigans like this is what we need from our leaders right now.

  3. Anon 9:57 -- what are you talking about?

    McKinley proposed the idea of selling to IPERS. Paulsen said he agreed with it.

    Read the press accounts.

  4. Niccolò MachiavelliJanuary 27, 2009 at 10:05 AM

    Me thinks Chet was not the only one that looked stupid regarding selling the lottery.

    If it was a stupid idea - which it was - why not say that?

  5. Anon 10:02--Yes..they did propose it..but they also said they'd rather not sell it at all..However, if the legislature was dead set to sell it..why not sell it to benefit IPERS rather than Chet's campaign donors?

    Anon 10:05==If they just had come out and said "this is atupid" and left it at that..

    All Chet/Gronstal/McCarthy would have had to do is say "Where's your idea then? Oh yeah..you don't have one..thanks for playing"..and then passed it and we'd all been left holding the bag.

    You have to understand that when you're in the minority in the Legislature, you have to come up with smart strategies to head off the majority from passing stupid legislation.

  6. To the IPERS Anon:

    A stupid idea is just that. A stupid idea. It doesn't matter to whom the stupid idea belongs to, the fact is that selling the Lottery to anyone is just plain stupid.

    When someone proposes a stupid idea, it should not be our job to polish it up and make it less stupid. Chet Not Stupid, but his ideas are, and it shouldn't be our job to make him Chet Somewhat Less Stupid.

    Selling the Lottery is stupid. Get over it. Move on. Say no. Stand vigilant so that if he resorts to this again, we don't get blamed for selling Iowa's biggest asset in a fire sale.

    Please remember: when someone has a loaded gun pointed at his temple and is slowly pulling the trigger, you don't interrupt him and say, "Hey! wait! We have a less onerous way for you to kill yourself and we'll administer it to ourselves too!"

  7. WTF was Paulsen thinking?!?!?!?!?! What is it with Linn County. Sheesh.

  8. So...we should have just let Chet/Gronstal and company sell the lottery..and we should have just stood around stomping our feet and saying no.

    Then..when Election time comes around..we would have all seen the mass of TV/radio attack ads blaming Republicans for "inaction" in fixing the budget.

    Again..as was stated before..Paulsen and McKinley both made it VERY clear they didn't want to sell the lottery in the first place!!

    However, they both understood the reality for the GOP at the Statehouse. They're in the minority. They weren't going to have the votes to stop it.

    Don't you GET IT..they used one of Chet's "strengths" against him. By pitting Chet up against the state workers whom he's already pissed off previously...they accomplished their objective--preventing the sale of the lottery as Chet's easy fix to the budget.

    They made Chet fold like a cheap suit and again
    they made Chet and his ideas look stupid.

    For once again, the state workers are torqued at him...and his donors aren't getting their piece of the pie they thought they were gonna get.

    Our GOP leaders are going to have to be bold and innovative with their strategies to keep the Dems from doing stuff that's going to hurt the state...and that exactly what McKinley/Paulsen did in this case.

  9. Krusty is losing it. Loves the Deace-aid too much.

  10. I think everyone understand the idea of what they were doing with the IPERS proposal. It was a strategic political move. In the mind of political hacks, it was brilliant, and I'm sure they all loved it.

    BUT, what if Culver had (or still does) call their bluff and say, "Hey, that's a great idea. We should totally sell the lottery to IPERS."

    Could Paulsen and McKinley then come back and say, "oops, we were just kidding. We really don't want to sell it to anyone because doing so would be disaterous to Iowa's long-term financial well-being."

    They would look like two-faced idiots who just got their asses kicked in a game of political chess by a guy who has the IQ of a peanut.

    That'll go over well.

  11. The lottery issue is dead. Kudos to McKinley and Paulsen for killing it with their brilliant strategic move.

    If Culver renigs on his word that he won't sell the lottery - he's screwed.

    If Culver does say he wants to sell the lottery to IPERS, Republicans can always say that the money IPERS is offering does not make any financial sense and then vote against it.

    Bunch of idiots on this blog who are probably out of work because they can't fit a political puzzle together.


  12. 6.5%? Please.

    How about something meaningful like 25% or 30% across the board coupled with a 50% reduction in state employees and 25% pay cuts for the remaining.

    That would be a start.

  13. Also have to keep in mind that the lottery sale idea was put out there before Culver came out with his budget proposal yesterday.

    Funny how the Culver budget proposal taps 200 million out of the rainy day fund..and how the lottery sale idea had a 200 million up front payment..

    Looks like Chet went to this budget proposal as his back up plan

  14. interesting that the gov is suggesting 6.5% reduction as the Teachers UNION thugs are asking for a 6.5% increase.

    I guess no one thinks the taxpayer notices the slight of hand - one tax entity in one pocket, another tax entity in the other pocket.

    To the taxpayer, it's a tax if it's a fee or a surcharge, or a whatever extra cost. It's money out the door whether it's federal, state, school board, city, or public utility.

    The people are about to revolt and take up their pitchforks to Congress and the StateHouse if those jerks do not figure it out and show some actual leadership.

    The people are NOT supposed to be the enemy of the state - Chet and Gov Gronstop.

  15. If you think the lottery issue is dead, I've got some land at Red Rock where an allegedly conservative Republican senator once wanted to pork down your money for an indoor rain forest of all things.

    Remember when Touch Play was dead? Then we paid them off. Remember when Fair Share was dead? Then they passed that in the dead of night at the end of the session (which Culver vetoed)?

    Things are never dead when big donors are funnelling large sums of cash to Governors Culver and Gronstal. And many of the same folks who we paid off for Touch Play also have a vested interest in this lottery scam.

    This thing is not off the table, it's under the table. That's how these people deal.

  16. Yes, Gary Kirke plans to get a huge return on his pay for play $25,000 donation to Sweaty Chetty and Fatty Patty. They don't give that money out of the good of their hearts. It's an investment in their personal wealth portfolio.

    Remember how Mr. Iowa Realty Democrat fat cat Knapp and Mr. I own Ankeny Denny Elwell did on their contributions to politicos that got them the drivers license station in ANKENY and other land value increasing perks?

    Oh, I mean allegedly. The people are very pissed about all this pay for play. Very pissed. Pitchfork pissed.

  17. Could we get some campaign finance reform in Iowa so the cheating is harder to do?

  18. We do not need campaign finance reform. We need voters who are informed and able to read.

    Needed info is available for all but the problem is voters are too lazy to investigate. They are morons and we're living the consequences of that ignorance.

  19. The voters aren't lazy. The electeds are lazy. Why aren't our lazy republican faux leaders not shouting to the highest heavens about this corruption? I'm sick of lazy faux politicians who think all they have to do to get my vote is tell me they are a republican.

    That is no longer enough. It doesn't mean anything anymore. The Doug Gross republicans are just as guilty of this pay for play as the Chet Culver Democrats.

    Remember eminent domain? Remember the lie that was SILO - led by Rants - who purports to be a republican?

    Where is John Wayne when you need him? Are there any men out there anymore? Any at all? Are there any courageous and strong women out there - any ??????

    Where do I get my pitchfork? Does the 2nd district have any leftover?

  20. Deace is an idiot. Fair Share was never passed in the House and Culver did not have to veto it. Thanks for playing, fat ass Deace.