Governor Tom Vilsack said today the state’s economy has turned the corner and “the worst is over.” Republican challenger, Doug Gross, disagrees.Gross says the statement comes from a Governor who recommended spending more money two weeks before the state had to cut 400-million dollars — and then didn’t make a recommendation on how to make the cut. Gross says Vilsack is like the old general who declared victory before he even entered the war. Vilsack, a democrat, says he and other policymakers made the steepest budget cuts of any state to manage the budget crisis.Gross says to ask people who’re still waiting for their delayed tax refunds how well the state has managed the budget. The Governor says the state will have a 50-million dollar surplus when the books are closed on the last fiscal year. Gross says that’s not the whole story.Gross says it’s a paper surplus that doesn’t reflect the actual obligations and the amount of money borrowed for next year. Gross says the state has a one-point-two-billion dollar “structural” deficit, which he calls a “fiscal headache.” Gross says he won’t let up on his claims of fiscal mismanagement by Vilsack. Gross made his comments via phone while campaigning today in Cedar Rapids.
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