April 30: Spending Accountability Tour
We had a great crowd over breakfast in Council Bluffs. I shared our concern with the increasing levels of spending and taxation at all levels of government. However, it wasn’t all doom and gloom. One of our activists shared some great news: the City of Council Bluffs has made a real 10% reduction in spending over the last year. It has also received a national award for being fiscally sound. It is nice to know there are people that understand we must spend tax dollars wisely.
Our conversation ultimately turned to the pressing state issues. Several folks expressed concern with the unpopular gas tax. They were also concerned with a proposed and costly Medicaid expansion that we know the state can’t afford.
We had a great time in Council Bluffs and spent a great amount of time talking one-on-one with our activists. I got so engaged in conversation that my field coordinator had to remind me that our next event was coming up shortly! We quickly packed up and headed north in our Prosperity ‘Burb to Sergeant Bluff.
We arrived at the Pizza Ranch and immediately hit the buffet! Almost every county seat in western Iowa has a Pizza Ranch restaurant. These restaurants have great pizza and nice meeting rooms, making them perfect for local gatherings.
Between bites of delicious pizza we discussed local issues. The Council Bluffs county board of supervisors isn’t as fiscally responsible as their counterparts in Pottawattamie County. They want to raise taxes instead of setting priorities for their spending. There is also talk of bonding (i.e., increasing county debt) for a $7 million agriculture expo building. Is that really a priority at this time?
We then started talking about the federal budget. One activist said we spend $850 billion a year on 2,000-plus subsidies. He thought one idea to reduce spending was to cut those subsidies across the board by 10% on an annual basis.
We spent close to 2 hours in Sergeant Bluff discussing the road ahead for Iowa and our nation. It was an action-oriented meeting that left everybody energized. Drew Klein, my field coordinator, and I packed up the Prosperity ‘Burb to head back east to Des Moines for the night. We put in over 12 hours and it was well worth it!