Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Herbert Ignores State Budget Realities to Chase Cheap Political Point

Governor Gary Herbert Hoover's Magic Pixie Dust Plan for Utah's Budget

[...] just a few days removed from the summer meeting of the National Governors Association, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said he disagrees with the majority of his colleagues.

“I don’t think we can afford it,” Herbert said Monday in an interview with The Salt Lake Tribune. “Some states are hurting and they are looking for some kind of lifeline, or life preserver. In Utah, we are not in that situation, so maybe if I was from California, Arizona, Michigan or New York, maybe I would be a little more desperate.”

Governors from 42 states signed a letter in February asking Congress for an additional six months of extra Medicaid payments first made available through the economic stimulus bill.
Naive, at best.  Considering that the stimulus money bailed Utah out two consecutive years, and you can only do so much with "fees" (they will not, nope, never raise taxes... except on smokers), is this Herbert's way of announcing a tax increase, a "leave taking" of the balanced budget, or just more proof that proving your conservative bonafides has nothing to do with the real world?

He's either implying massive (MASSIVE!) spending cuts in 2011, or tax increases on the state level because the fed's shouldn't spend anything more.  The reality is, there is little more cutting the legislature can do, the essentials are already gone... except that 12th grade! 

So Herbert thinks what would be best is if the fed's keep your money, and Utah either a) take more of it or b) stop offering law enforcement, fire departments, roads, education, water, etc.  That or he's just saying this so you'll think he's cool at the next Tea Party and to sure up that ever important Patrick Henry Caucus vote.

Trashing the federal government while ignoring the practical realities this would have on Utah isn't leadership, it's middle school.

In the words of a few real Governors:
Gov. Pat Quinn, D-Ill., said: "We need more help from Washington to protect against job cuts and health care cuts. If we don't do that, we're following Herbert Hoover economics."  Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat, said that without Washington's assistance, "the danger of a double-dip recession is greater." Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer of Montana, called for "a little less talk and a lot more action" from Washington.

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