Congressman Jim Nussle says as a Republican candidate for governor, he intends to come up with ideas for reducing the size of government first before promising Iowans tax cuts. “Too often in the past we’ve focused an inordinate amount of time on tax policy and have forgotten that tax policy is bolstering the size of government,” Nussle says. “We need to control the size of government and reform government at all levels.” In the past six years, two state agencies have been merged into one and the size of the state government workforce has been cut by nearly 10 percent according to Democrat Governor Tom Vilsack. Vilsack also convened a task force this past spring that discussed ways state could encourage — or force — cities and counties to downsize, merge or share services. Nussle says that’s not enough. “Government does not solve all problems and I realize there are those who will claim that they’ve already done the work of government reform,” Nussle says. “I think the proof is in the pudding, here, and I don’t believe government reform has gone far enough.” Nussle says he won’t ask cities and counties to pare back until state government has been trimmed first. “To often in the past the state bureaucracy has looked at the counties and cities and (said) ‘We want to reform government and you go first,'” Nussle says. He says state government has the biggest bureaucracy and collects the highest amount of taxes from Iowans, and that’s where his reform would start.
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