Osborne: No New Taxes

By: Mr. Wilson on September 14, 2005
Gubernatorial candidate Tom Osborne has come out in favor of tax cuts as a way to boost Nebraska's economy. In particular, he is no fan of a 7.2% increase in state spending this year. A tax cut sounds great, but I will need to see more details before I can say that Osborne isn't just blowing smoke. Among Osborne's priority projects are outmigration, education in entrepreneurship, increased venture capital financing, economic development tax credits, development of bioscience, distance learning, tourism development, and hunting promotion, all of which will likely require increases in state spending to address. To what is Osborne willing to give the budget axe? The short Journal Star article does not address two important facts about the state's 7.2% spending increase. First, some state expenses can't be touched. Medicare and Medicaid, for example, are (nearly) untouchable, and the expenses associated with each are climbing rapidly. Second, the 7.2% increase came after several very lean budget years. One could argue -- I'm not making the argument, I'm just presenting it -- that the increase was a one-time "catch-up" increase that does not reflect a trend in state spending habits. How would Osborne respond to that argument? What, specifically, would he have done to prevent such a large spending increase? I look forward to learning more about all the candidates' plans for Nebraska. But I hope we get some specifics as the campaign moves along.


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