Maybe it’s from the years I taught accounting in high school. Maybe it is from being a turn-around CEO. Maybe it’s from being married to a CPA. Or maybe it is because I’m Dutch. Whatever the reason, I simply don’t understand the concept of spending more money than one takes in. Darla and the boys would definitely say that I am "tight" with our family’s funds.
Darla and I are working hard to pass fiscally conservative habits on to our children in a culture that tells them that more 'stuff' and more entertainment will somehow buy them happiness.
Advertisements continually send the message that a lack of cash shouldn’t mean a lack of fun. The buy now, pay later mentality has become the rule…not the exception.
And our government has fallen into the same line of thinking. Our children do not deserve a legacy of deficit spending that leaves us unprepared for an emergency. Instead, our children need to see government leaders modeling restraint when it comes to spending and implementing responsible savings plans.
My real-life record of leadership demonstrates a commitment to balanced budgets and common sense priorities. The fundamental budgeting principles that I believe in so deeply go back to my tenure as a business teacher, when I taught my high school students the basics of successful budgeting…basics that many politicians seem to have forgotten.
Because of my passion for responsible money-management, I issued a statement this week calling on Congress to go back to the drawing board, and to reconsider their plan for an across-the-board spending cut.
It takes no intellectual firepower to cut spending across-the-board and it is reckless to save pork and pet projects, while placing vital programs and our most vulnerable citizens at-risk. This example of a budget "solution" is not responsible, nor what we need in Iowa.
Tough times require decisive leadership. 'Politics as usual' is addicted to spending and quick-fixes. Leadership achieves results with economic integrity.
Our founding fathers would be appalled by the practice of earmarking funds for special projects that most Americans deem unnecessary; spending millions on highway landscaping projects while heat assistance and Medicaid are at risk.
I have long-promoted the practice of targeted spending. Much of my success in education, healthcare, and business is due to strategic budgeting. Budget surpluses are a natural reward for leaders who focus only on that which adds value.
Iowa has outstanding potential. Reaching that potential requires high levels of fiscal discipline. We need leaders in Iowa that demand integrity in managing tax-payer money. Iowans must not settle for hasty, politically-correct budgeting practices.
The budgeting habits of Washington D.C. are simply not the answer to the challenges facing Iowa’s budget.
It is time for leadership. The Vander Plaats for Governor Team is offering voters the opportunity to elect a proven, fiscally responsible leader for Iowa’s next Governor.
Please join us in the exciting endeavor to provide leadership for the state we love.
Sincerely, Bob Vander Plaats