Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Don’t worry about the details, its easy.
After listening to Governor Culver’s Condition of the State speech I’ve had a very simple question stuck in my head. How many families out there are sitting around the kitchen table at night talking about building a huge addition onto the house as a way to combat our bad economy?
We all know that isn’t happening. Everywhere you look Iowa families are cutting back on their spending, yet our Governor refuses to do just that. Yesterday Governor Culver proposed borrowing $700 million bucks that would be used for infrastructure projects. The press lauded him for the “bold” proposal, and his Democrat colleagues were quick to endorse the idea as well, meaning it’s probably going to happen.
Is going in debt really our best and only solution? If it’s really that easy why haven’t we done it in the past, or why haven’t we done it during more prosperous times? Simple, because it’s risky, and is probably something any good financial advisor would warn families not to do.
IPERS, which already had solvency issues before the financial crisis, has seen a third of its assets disappear. Shouldn’t the state make sure it can fund its commitment to it workers before it takes on a massive amount of debt?
Iowa’s K-12 education system needs to know very soon how much money the state will allocate to them for their 2009-2010 fiscal budget. The legislature has already earmarked 4% allowable growth, but many districts are concerned that the legislature could cut that funding to 2 or 3% allowable growth. The uncertainty that is being caused by the lack of any budget projections from the Governor is wreaking havoc on some school districts. I don’t think Culver said hardly anything about education in his speech yesterday. Should we be borrowing $700 million when our schools are in the dark about what level of funding they will be receiving? I don’t think so.
I know what the Democrats and the liberal media are telling us, that all of this will be paid with gambling revenues. Heck is you read the paper, gambling revenues is the states version of the Easy Button. Polk County has a $1.6 million shortfall, yet they want to retrofit Vets auditorium for more convention space, how do they propose to pay for it? Gambling Revenues! I believe that some gambling revenue already goes into the general fund, yet under Culver’s new proposal requires that $56 million in gambling revenues a year would be allocated to pay for his $700 million dollar infrastructure plan.
When do run out of gambling revenue to use? In FY 2008 the state of Iowa had $322,441,000.00 in appropriations and outlays from gambling revenues. Is Culver suggesting that an additional $56 million a year is going to be needed to pay for his plan, or will does he plan to eliminate using gambling revenues to fund Vision Iowa, School Infrastructure, and Capitol Complex renovations for the next 20 years?
Simply put Culver’s speech yesterday created more questions than answers. It’s troubling that the media his fellow Democrats are ready to sign the loan papers without asking any questions. What is likely to happen is another expansion of the gambling industry in Iowa, the reintroduction of TouchPlay, and a sweetheart deal leasing of the State Lottery to a casino operator. Leaving our future generations in debt and over-reliant on the gambling industry.
Posted by Krusty at Wednesday, January 14, 2009