To save our Wyoming way of life in these trying economic times, we need to find candidates that will figuratively give their last full measure to achieve substantial spending cuts to protect Wyoming from tax increases and an income tax.
Yes, the liberals (Democrats and Republicans) repeatedly moan, “You can’t cut your way out of this.”
That may be true, but we won’t know until we elect a legislature that will try to make significant real spending cuts. The budget has seen cuts recently, but it is primarily the theatrics of budget cuts that don’t cut spending. Instead, in large part, choosing to eliminate projects not done and job slots never filled.
Even the uber-liberal big-spending Governor Mead knew better. Governor Mead’s 2017 Alverez and Marsal report showed Wyoming could save up to $200 million per biennium with common-sense reforms.
Instead of fixing what is broken, Governor Gordon and Speaker Barlow have been finding ways to spend the American Recovery Act funds creatively so they can claim the budget is smaller than ever. Meanwhile, the hundreds of millions in ARPA funds were sprinkled around to fund ordinarily budget items (water projects, for example), making the deceptive claim that the budget is the smallest in years.
Speaker Barlow has never met a spending program he doesn’t like, and that won’t change if he gets elected to the Senate.
In 2022, Mr. Barlow voted against spending 4 of 34 times on the House and Senate budget bills and amendments, a ninth-worst 11.8%. Five Democrats voted against spending more often than the Speaker. It was probably worse than that, as only 45% of House votes are recorded.
With education spending being the second-largest driver of our state budget, it is no wonder Mr. Barlow earned a 96% rating from the Wyoming Education Association. He was joined by all the Democrats and Republicans Brown, Case, Eyre, Flitner, Harshman, Henderson, Kinner, and Kost.
If you love low tax Wyoming, it’s time to raise the bar and elect men and women who will cut spending before putting their sticky hands in the pockets of Wyoming taxpayers.