Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Opinion

January 25, 2013

The Sinclair Report

Committed to Helping Iowans Keep Their Hard-Earned Money

Des Moines —  

As a parent, I understand the value of sound budgeting practices. In our household, we don’t spend more than we take in because we choose not to bury our family in a pile of preventable debt. This also is a teachable moment for our children. They learn the valuable concept that just because you have a credit card, it doesn’t mean you should spend frivolously.  As we all know, when that credit card bill comes due, it has a significant impact on the family budget.
 
I received a phone call Wednesday from a Lucas County constituent urging me to do everything possible to hold state spending in check. He stressed he makes financial sacrifices in his household, and as elected officials we should exercise the same fiscal restraint. I couldn’t agree more.
 
In fact, I am pleased with the strides Legislative Republicans have made in recent years to help Iowans keep more of their hard-earned money to best use in their household budgets. When Republicans regained control of the Iowa House and the Governor’s Office in 2011, Iowans were burdened with one of the largest spending gaps in state history. 
 
It was projected in fiscal year 2012 spending outpaced projected revenues by more than $1 billion.  Remember, that credit card bill eventually comes due, and as taxpayers it is completely unacceptable to expect you to cover the tab for reckless state spending.
 
With the looming spending gap, Governor Branstad and Legislative Republicans implemented responsible budgeting principles and exercised sound fiscal discipline.  Those efforts have resulted in a healthy projected ending balance for this current fiscal year of more than $800 million. I have received numerous emails and several calls from constituents regarding this budget surplus, and let me say I understand that the money is not ours – it’s yours. This is hard-working Iowans’ money collected through over-taxation.  This money must be returned to the people.

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