State Auditor Dave Vaudt has a new presentation about the state budget and he’s ready to hit the road. Vaudt, a Republican, charges Democrat Governor Chet Culver’s recent budget numbers are bogus and he’s put together charts and graphs to make his point.
“It’s very important that the information that we provide to the public is all the information that the public needs to make the appropriate conclusions,” Vaudt says. “Omissions of certain facts can be very confusing for people.”
Governor Culver and his staff recently trumpeted gross state tax collections in July which are about a percent ahead of tax receipts in July of last year. But Vaudt says the real story is net tax revenues, which fell about six percent in that period.
“If you get to see the visuals that I will use in my PowerPoint presentation, it becomes very obvious that facts are being presented, but do you have all the facts to reach the appropriate conclusions?” Vaudt says. “And it pretty much stands out.”
Vaudt debuted his “PowerPoint” presentation this week at a meeting of the downtown Des Moines Rotary Club.
Phil Roeder, a spokesman for the governor, argues the “only real revenue number is the gross amount…The net figure that some choose to use is nothing more than an estimate.” Roeder suggests Vaudt may be among those who “have political interest” in talking about “gloom and doom.” According to Roeder, “there are some signs at both the state and federal level that indicate the recession is nearing an end.”