Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Unfunded Mandates

Unfunded mandates are not a sexy topic. They don't sound-byte well. It makes voters yawn. Nonetheless, this is a subject on which Governors and state legislators of all political stripes are agreed upon. Unfundeded mandates are often bad.

If a state is going to accept any Federal money, the Congress often requires the states to have additional programs, programs which may not be funded, which means the state has to cough up local tax dollars to pay for it. While the Democrats invented them, the Republicans have learned to love them. It lets the majority party claim to have done something while shifting the cost of doing it onto the backs of the states.

Jim Nussle, as Chairman of the House Budget Committee, has become a master at the smoke and mirrors of unfunded mandates. Special interests get their federal taxes cut, while Jimbo offloads previously funded federal programs onto the states as unfunded mandates.Considering that Iowa has been a victim of this chicanery, one can only admire Jim-boy's chutzpah in running for Governor. It seems he wants to preside over the fiscal mess he is so singularly responsible for. If you have been following the past few legislative sessions, there is little more that can be cut from the Iowa budget: the Republicans are the biggest complainers. Facing a tax-increase or cutting out some Republican sacred cows, they delayed the 05 legislative session, playing cutsy with the Democrats and the media.

What happens in 07 if Nussle wins? A tax increase? Undoubtedly, and one squarely aimed at the middle class.

Nussle, in Congress, is a big-government, borrow-and-spend Republican. As governor, he would be a big-government, tax-and-spend Republican.



Blogger Chris Woods said...

Excellent post. I'm working on one now about the article/interview the DSM Register had with him today.

5:24 PM  

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