The reality is Iowa has a spending problem. Our state is over $40 billion in debt, creating a weak and unstable economy for hardworking Iowans.
Every year, Iowa’s spending increases with little scrutiny. The debate starts with the assumption that spending should increase – regardless of need. That’s fundamentally the wrong way to approach fiscal policy. Instead of Republicans arguing with Democrats over how much to increase spending each year, lawmakers should implement zero-based budgeting and require justification for all government spending with an eye towards streamlining government to make it more effective, efficient, and accountable.
The 2016 legislative session ended with a $7.35 billion budget for the next fiscal year—over 23 percent higher than just 8 years ago. Our state’s population and inflation have not grown at that rate, meaning government is growing unnecessarily large and spending more than it should. Remember, the dollars that get spent at the state level come directly from the taxpayers’ pocket.