Vander Plaats: Once Again, Governor’s Long-Term Debt for Short-Term Gain is a Bad Deal for Iowa

SIOUX CITY – Fresh on the heels of proposing to sell the state lottery for a fraction of its real value in order to solve the budget problem he created, Gov. Chet Culver’s borrow-now-and-pay-later economic stimulus plan will only create one-tenth of the jobs he claims.

“We need a governor who under-promises and over-delivers not the other way around,” said Bob Vander Plaats, who has formed a 2010 governor candidate committee. “Chet Culver’s consistent pattern of offering up short-term fixes that Iowans will have to pay for over a number of decades proves he’s all about getting re-elected. This episode once again goes to the core of Chet Culver’s problem: He has poor leadership instincts. In a competitive global marketplace, Iowa doesn’t have the luxury of Chet Culver’s politics as usual.”

Vander Plaats said Culver’s eagerness to borrow $750 million underscores the Democrat’s philosophy of expanding government spending as aggressively as possible.

“Governor Culver has already led a 17-percent increase in state spending over just two years. He’s added $900 million in new government spending and 2,600 full-time equivalent employees in that time,” the Sioux City Republican said. “Meanwhile, the state has lost 11,800 manufacturing jobs, 9,000 professional and business services jobs, 2,900 construction jobs, 900 leisure and hospitality jobs and 600 information jobs since January 2008. Under Chet Culver, fewer Iowans have jobs but all of us are going to be saddled with higher taxes.”

Culver has claimed his borrow-and-build plan would create or retain as many as 30,000 jobs. David Swenson, an Iowa State University economics professor, calculates the number will be approximately 4,050, according to The Des Moines Register. Though he indicated infrastructure improvements would create other economic benefits, a Heritage Foundation researcher Ron Utt backed Swenson’s calculations on jobs creation.

Vander Plaats noted that legislative Republicans are defending against Iowans from long-term borrowing and debt, but they can’t do it alone. “They need a governor – and Iowans need a governor – who will create a positive environment for economic growth by reshaping government and squeezing more value from the state budget rather than borrowing more and more money that is only going to stifle long-term productivity,” he said.

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