LETTER TO THE EDITOR - Governor to blame, says his political foe

Thursday, September 6, 2001

Last session, legislative Republicans approved a $17.4 million deappropriations bill that would have more than covered the shortfall. Governor Vilsack vetoed this bill and it led to the state having a deficit for the first time since 1992.

Governor Vilsack's fiscally reckless budget policy has created the first budget deficit since the early 1990s. When Vilsack took office, the state had a $450 million surplus and $450 million in rainy day funds. In two short years, the $450 million is gone thanks to Vilsack's policy of growing government instead of growing Iowa.

First, he negotiated the largest wage increase in the state's history for his allies and continually demanded more government spending. Then, when the surplus was gone, Vilsack blamed tax cuts, not spending, for the problem.

When legislative Republicans tried to correct the spending problem with spending cuts, Vilsack continued to support the bureaucracy and vetoed the bill.

Iowa is $7.6 million in the red, and it is because the Governor turned his back to Iowa's financial situation. It is fiscally reckless behavior like this that earned Governor Vilsack an 'F' in fiscal management, as published in the Wall Street Journal earlier this year. In addition, if tax cuts are to blame for the deficit, Governor Vilsack should tell the legislature which tax cuts he wants to repeal. The bottom line is that Vilsack's demand to spend the surplus on growing government, not the Republican tax cuts, have led to the budget deficit.

Steve Sukup

Republican candidate

for governor of Iowa