Lieutenant Governor Sally Pederson, the chair of the Iowa Democratic Party, today blasted the federal budget plan crafted by Iowa Congressman Jim Nussle. Nussle is the chair of the House Budget Committee and is also a republican who’s running for governor. Pederson says the budget plan cuts 50-BILLION dollars from “vital” services” while also including 70-BILLION dollars in tax cuts. She says,”This practice is a sort of bait and switch. They’re telling the American public that these cuts are necessary, and a necessary sacrifice for Americans to make in order to pay for the Gulf Coast relief, when in reality, they’re actually going to pass tax cuts for wealth Americans that will increase the deficit.” Pederson says the budget plan will increase the deficit by 20-BILLION dollars. She says it really has nothing to do with hurricane relief, “It has everything to do with a continued effort by this White House and Republicans to line the pockets of the wealthiest people among us at the cost, at the expense of average Americans and the poor.” Pederson says Nussle’s action in Congress raises questions about his ability to be Iowa’s governor. She says, “I do not see how Congressman Nussle can expect Iowans to believe that he can handle a state budget, when being in charge of the (Budget) Committee in the House, he’s been the architect of these enormous deficits.” The executive director of the Republican Party issued a statement responding to Pederson. Cullen Sheehan’s statement says, “Democrats don’t seem to understand the impact recent events have had on our budget. While the President and Congress have chosen to act responsibly in trying to cut spending to solve this short-term problem, Democrats instead prefer to criticize and offer no solutions of their own.” He says today’s news conference “is proof that Iowa Democrats are playing the blame game while Republicans are working hard to solve problems.” Sheehan says “if Democrats are so concerned about finances, they need to look no further then the Iowa budget. Governor Branstad left office with a budget surplus that was soon squandered when Governor Vilsack showed up at the Capitol. Where was their press conference then?” Also today, the Iowa AARP criticized the budget plan Nussle helped craft, saying it would deny health and long-term care services to people who can least afford them.