I might be mistaken, but I could swear that the state used stimulus money to
make up for a budget shortfall last year.I could also swear I read
recently, in this very electronic paper, that Utah was to receive some $4
billion in additional stimulus dollars?Toss in the surplus taxes
already collected(but spend the Education Fund surplus where it belongs) and it
quickly becomes not such a tall order.
MANY HIGHWAY projects were greatly accelerated by the stimulus SOOOOOO put them
on hold for a year so as to maintain education and other critical programs.
Why not eliminate the tax breaks they give to businesses who move here,why not
eliminate the tax deduction for families that have more than two kids,why not
eliminate the pay of our legislature and their health benefits(since it is a
part time job and should be considered as a civic duty and honor),why not
heavily fine companies that use illegal aliens(which use tax payer paid
resources), and the many other superflous things which Utah could cut back on.
The Stimulus highway projects were funded federally and would require federal
actoin to "hold" them. Although if I recall correctly, Transportation folks said
they'd have those projects all done this fall, so that money is probably spent
The legislature is out again preaching doom and gloom, so they can go into the
session and tell us how they rescued us from another disaster.If it
is not raining yet, when will they use the rainy day fund. Stimulus money is
still available (it was a two year plan) and the economy is recovering already.
Come on legislature, it is time to quit cutting education and other social
programs you do not like and start finding a way to invest in our future.
I know people will hate this but frankly the rates I pay for Health Insurance
benefits are significantly lower than the private or federal sector for the
excellent benefits we receive. I would be willing to pay higher rates to help
others keep their jobs.
A couple of years ago, the Legislature was pushing vouchers for private
education - swearing up and down that the money was in the general budget and
that is where is would come from.Voters did not want vouchers and
voted against them. (Thank goodness.)Now, out of curiosity, if
vouchers had passed, would they be getting cut in the current budget crisis, or
would education cuts be limited to public education?My guess is that
vouchers would be protected. This current budget crisis illustrates exactly why
vouchers were a bad idea and why they were voted down.
It's time to defund the Utah Foster Care Foundation. They are not doing the job
for which the taxpayer is forking over millions. They have been unable to
recruit the quality and quantity of foster parents, particularly to meet the
needs of teens, sibling groups and other high risk youth. They have no problem
recruiting those who are interested in infants and toddlers and who are
ultimately interested in adopting those children. The salaries paid to
employees, most former DCFS workers, are considerably higher than those paid to
State employees. Bring the recruitment process back into the State and save the
wasted money and admin overhead of the FCF. The FCF has been a sacred cow for
too long and cost far too much taxpayer money.
I am also a State Employee. We typically work for a much smaller salary than
the private sector because we have very good benefits. If you start to hack
away at those benefits and they begin to cost me more, I won't be able to afford
to work in State government. I will have to give up some of these benefits and
find a job that can pay me a higher salary where I can afford to pay a greater
share of my benefits.
Yesterday I said Ben Bernanke was wrong. More proof!
To the State employee who thinks they will quit and find a higher paying job
where they can afford higher benefit costs - I'd be happy to work for a State
salary AND pay higher benefit costs. I worked in the non-profit community and
beleive me State employee salaries, in many, many cases are comparable to
private and federal salaries, especially in the human services area, not so
great in technology/IT but in today's world, any job is worth keeping.
The great flat tax, is the reason less income is being realized this year. In
2007 we had a dual tax system, the old indexed and the 5.35% flat tax, in 2008
that went down to a flat 5.00%. One taxpayer who's return I prepared saved an
additional $175,000.00 in 2008 over 2007 and in 2007 they had already saved
$421,000.00 over the traditional tax calculation. Why is the budget coming up
shorter this year? Face the facts, you blew it with the flat tax.