What exactly is going on in Des Moines? Another $131 million is to be added to the $118 million January state budget deficit, according to reports.

Republicans first claimed we do not have enough money for mental health, Medicaid, public schools and universities and other vital infrastructure and must cut spending. The Democrats suggested using the rainy day fund to make up the shortfall. “No," said the Republicans, "it is inappropriate to use that money for such things.” Now two months later, after massive cuts, they think it’s necessary to use the fund to prevent totally crippling our schools, public safety and essential services.

Could these shortfalls be because we don’t have a spending problem, we have a revenue problem? Could it be we have given too many tax cuts to profitable businesses? In 2013, we were told our taxes would be lowered -- for me, not so much, but Rockwell Collins, John Deere, DuPont-Pioneer, they got some wonderful cuts. With these breaks costing the state up to $500 million annually, it is no wonder we’re broke four years later.

Republican legislators are blaming everyday people for this red ink, because we want to spend, spend, spend. This is misconception. Truth is Gov. Branstad and special-interest groups like ALEC and Americans For Prosperity have brought the state to this tipping point. They are responsible for Iowa’s fiscal failings.

Republicans have created this problem, they have failed Iowans: they must now put politics aside and straighten out this mess.

Pat Bowen

Iowa City

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