Ken Sagar, president of the Iowa Federation of Labor and treasurer of the Iowa Democratic Party, urged legislators yesterday to stop making budget cuts and instead increase taxes to bring in additional revenue to help deal with the state’s financial problems.
If Governor Culver and legislative Democrats follow Sagar’s recommendations, they will have to increase taxes on Iowans by more than a billion dollars for fiscal year 2010. Democrats are already committed to move forward with a plan to eliminate the federal deductibility tax deduction, a move that will increase taxes on Iowans by $600 million per year.
Sagar, who was joined by the liberal group, Iowa Community Action Association, held a press conference yesterday where he highlighted some tax breaks he would like to see eliminated. Their targets were massage therapists and aircraft repair equipment.
What is interesting about Sagar’s comments is that he fails to address how we got into this mess in the first place. Since Culver and the Democrats have had total control over the entire state government, they have increased spending in state budget by 20% – that’s more than a billion dollars.
Sagar also fails to realize that Culver and the Democrats have already increased taxes and fees drastically under their watch. Iowans are already paying higher taxes to license their automobiles and to purchase cigarettes. Democrats have also talked about increasing fees on hunters and increasing the gas tax by an additional eight cents. Iowans will also see tax increases on the local level due to Culver underfunding local governments and school districts.
How much more in increased taxes does Mr. Sagar think Iowans can withstand?
Iowa needs to get its spending in line with its revenues; we cannot sustain the current level of spending. That mean Culver and the legislators must make some difficult decisions and take a scalpel and cut the fat wherever it exists.
Living within our means also means saying no to Culver’s massive bonding bill. It’s ridiculous to see legislators cutting the current budget on one hand and advocating taking on a massive amount of debt on the other.
I guess State Senator Swati Dandekar, D-Marion, said it best when she told the Register, “It’s fun when you’re giving extra, but it’s not fun when you’re taking money away from departments.”
Sen. Dandakar needs to realize that it’s other people’s money she is having “fun” giving away. Democrats need to realize that the party is over. The people don’t want to give you any more of our hard earned money.
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