November 19, 2015

If voters enact a Constitutional Amendment limiting the power of politicians to increase spending, will it hurt education?

Let’s look at how the Taxpayer Protection Act might affect education. The Taxpayer Protection Act caps increases in government spending to no more than inflation plus population growth. The Taxpayer Protection Act puts a reasonable speed limit on how fast politicians can increase spending.

With a new conservative majority in the Legislature , spending has basically been kept within the guidelines of the Taxpayer Protection Act, even though it isn’t law.

Since the last Democrat budget was passed in 2010,inflation has increased 9.4% and population grew 4.8% and is now over ten million.

The Taxpayer Protection Act would limit spending to no more than a 14.2% increase.

In reality, spending actually grew from $18.959 billion in 2010 to $21.735 billion in 2015 – a 14.6% increase which essentially tracks the spending limit of the Taxpayer Protection Act.

Now what happened to education spending? By cutting waste and controlling other spending, the conservative majority increased education from $7.086 billion to $8.517 billion-a 20% increase.

So with spending for public schools growing significantly faster than the total budget (a budget within the limit of the Taxpayer Protection Act), real experience shows that limiting how much politicians can increase spending is not going to hurt education.

Putting the Taxpayer Protection Act into our Constitution will prevent future Legislatures from going hog wild spending money. Polls show 64% of the public supports the Taxpayer Protection Act.

They recognize that politicians left to their own devices can be a dangerous force.

There is no guarantee we will always have a fiscally responsible Legislature.

The people deserve a chance to vote on putting the Taxpayer Protection Act into the Constitution.