A liberal think-tank says the state budget will be in red ink far into the future unless lawmakers make some tough choices. Peter Fischer of the Iowa Policy Project says the republican-led legislature and democratic governor are equally to blame. Fischer says short-sighted tax cutting in the 1990s and budget gimmickry in the last few years have produced “chronic deficits.” He says the crisis is not over. Elaine Ditsler, a researcher for the Iowa Policy Project, says in the past five years, the state has borrowed over two billion dollars from accounts that were supposed to be reserved for other uses. “Each year Iowa has dug a bigger hole for itself,” Ditsler says. Ditsler says Iowa’s at a cross-roads as she says the state isn’t able to meet current needs. And Ditsler says the recent recession isn’t to blame for state government’s economic woes. Ditsler says the large state tax cuts of the 1990s are responsible for the current budget crisis. The Iowa Public Policy Project and the Iowa Child and Family Policy Center joined forces to issue a report today in which they are critical of past actions and future plans of lawmakers and the governor.
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