Republican gubernatorial candidate Terry Branstad wanted to emphasize that he thinks the state budget is on the wrong track--so he brought State Auditor David Vaudt and a bunch of charts with him on a campaign stop in Decorah on Tuesday.
Branstad says the issue is simple--the state has been spending a lot more money than it has been brining in. "That's why the state has big financial problems," Branstad told the Decorah group--noting that next year's projected $1 billion shortfall represents 18 percent of the overall state budget.
The former governor--with Vaudt's help--showed charts representing the scope of the state's budget problems. Branstad told the group the state needs to end bad budgeting procedures, such as relying on one-time-only sources of funding. Vaudt was even more direct: "We need to face reality," he said.
Branstad said fixing Iowa's budget might take several years. But he proposed switching to a two-year state budget and creating a five-year strategic budget plan. And in addition to criticizing Governor Chet Culver and other Democrats for spending too much money, Branstad made a promise that he would veto any state budget bill that called for spending more than 99 percent of the amount of projected state revenues.