One thing that is certain is that Gov. Rounds is pushing the Legislature to propose a tax increase, and already his administration has passed many fee increases on to the people. I could tell with his revised budget and also how his office is pushing the agenda that he wants a tax increase, but Gov. Rounds does not want his name to be on it.
He has also said that the Legislature is "lacking the guts" to raise revenues for programs that are facing his budget cuts this year. I believe Gov. Rounds is the one with no guts, as he has not proposed any solutions or taken any leadership in this budget crisis. The governor cut programs that will hurt important education and health programs that affect children, seniors and the unfortunate people in this state without looking at his own personal budget. That lacks guts to me.
Gov. Rounds is showing no leadership with the budget and is blaming the Legislature for all of its downfalls in the past. He is not coming up with any solutions on to how solve it besides the hopes that President Obama will help us with his stimulus package.
We need real solutions this year for our budget, and we cannot count on the federal government to bail us out like Gov. Rounds is hoping. We need to find money inside the Government to fund the good programs that the governor cut.
I know we can look at selling four out of the six airplanes the executive branch has, cut out our South Dakota lobbyist that makes $200,000, open up no-bid contracts that will save money for the state, cut 2 percent throughout the general fund except for education and Medicaid, increase the state's cut from video lottery and the Deadwood gaming, and cut legislative travel outside of the state.
I am sorry I am being negative in this column, but when we have a governor that blames the entire downfall of the budget on the Legislature and then does not come up with any solutions to the problems of this state, I get a little upset, especially when I am getting phone calls, e-mail, and mail from people in our district that are concerned if their child can get access to the Birth to 3 program, or is the state is going to match the federal government for the Medicaid program, or if their school will have to shut down because they are not getting the increasing or decreasing enrollment-based program monies.
All of these programs are needed and cannot be cut just because Gov. Rounds is lacking leadership and is not willing to cut his own personal budget in a crisis like this [emphasis mine; Rep. Mitch Fargen, "Legislative Report," Madison Daily Leader, 2009.02.10, p. 3].
Sure, saying the governor has no guts and no solutions is negative, but sometimes being negative is exactly the right thing to do. Keep on negating the failure of the executive, Mitch, and keep on affirming the idea that even a rookie legislator can lead with positive proposals for solving problems.