Apparently our local state government misses the concept of being fiscally conservative just as much as the federal government does. Rob from SayAnythingBlog has a great recap of Hoeven’s tax plan for the next fiscal session. (Every 2 years in ND.) This is a 26% increase in government spending – on the heels of a 24% increase in spending during the last session!
Hoeven’s budget requests $3.11 billion in state general fund spending from July 1, 2009, until June 30, 2011, an increase of 26.4 percent. North Dakota’s general fund is financed mostly by taxes on sales, income, energy, corporations, tobacco and gambling. Total spending, which includes federal funds, state gasoline tax collections, and other revenues, would rise 19 percent, to $7.71 billion.
I agree with Rob 100% on this part – [Hoeven is talking about] “one time spending.” Which is baloney. If you increase spending on an agency that is on going spending. Ummmm duh. It is in government agencies best interest to perpetuate their own existence. They will never voluntarily cut their own budgets. So increasing them is not “short term.” Whoever thinks so is smoking some really good crack.
Rob goes on to cover other points in his article, so very much worth reading. The only other part I really can contribute is the fact that part of this budget is raiding the oil tax trust fund. (To the tune of $562 million) With oil prices going down, that fund will not be replenished quite as quickly. So does draining it really make sense? That is exactly why I was so disappointed the protection measure on the ballot this year was defeated. It would have prevented this exact situation.