Vander Plaats Statement in Response to Culver’s Across-the-Board Budget Cut

DES MOINES – Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats issued the following statement in response to Gov. Chet Culver’s 10-percent, across-the-board budget cut announced this afternoon:

“When I was growing up in Sheldon, my Dad always used to say to me, ‘Don’t start something you can’t finish.’ He said that because he knew it was especially important that you don’t let people down when you make a promise to them. Chet Culver started a lot of things with the state budget he signed that he just can’t finish. It’s not the result of the national economy; it’s the result of his failure to contain spending even as he was being warned the recession was going to hit Iowa hard. As a result, a lot of people are going to be hurt. State employees are going to pay a high price for his fiscal irresponsibility. Iowans who were counting on state services because of the promises inherent in the budget he signed into law are going to feel a lot of unnecessary pain and suffering. And, property tax payers are going to feel the impact of this action, too.

“Chet Culver once again has proven that his procrastinating when it comes to taking on problems has only made them worse and worse. The idea that the Department of Corrections, for instance, must make a $40-million reduction three months into the fiscal year really means the cuts are deeper than 10 percent.

“If I had been governor I would never have approved the exorbitant spending increases over the past few years that got us into this trouble. I would’ve exercised foresight and caution rather than increasing the state budget roughly 18 percent in the past few budget cycles at the same time Iowa families and businesses were being forced to cut their own budgets.

“Finally, it doesn’t require a lot of leadership to make an across-the-board cut. It’s an easy way out. It says outdated and ineffective programs are just as important as public safety, human services and education. Going forward, Governor Culver should be working closely with legislators from both sides of the aisle to prioritize spending and budget cuts. The time of a crisis is where effective leadership matters most. Unfortunately, Chet Culver has already failed the test.”

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