Sen. Stouffer-The Stouffer Report-7/23/2009

Posted: July 27, 2009 in Senator Bill Stouffer, The Stouffer Report
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Below is the July 23rd copy of The Stouffer Report. Before I get to that, I wanted to mention a brief article I ran across in the news that mentions Sen. Stouffer. There was a gathering of state lawmakers, agriculture leaders and area farmers last week at a farm near Marshall, MO. The importance of agriculture to the Missouri economy was the topic at hand. I think that this is something we tend to forget especially those of us that live in the major metropolitan centers of the state. I second the comments Senator Stouffer made:

State Sen. Bill Stouffer, R-21, said people have become so used to having access to high-quality food that agriculture is often overlooked. He said the agricultural community needs to “tell its story” to let consumers know more about their food and its production’s role in the economy.

“When you have a strong agricultural base, it frees people up,” Stouffer said. “The strength of any country or any economy is based on agriculture.”

In the newsletter below Sen. Stouffer (MO-21) takes a look at the Missouri budget. For those that don’t know, the state budget is expected to run a deficit next year. But let your heart not be troubled, our super duper stimulus funds are on the way to save the day. Make sure you thank the Chinese when you get a moment. Oh what people don’t realize! Also, there is a video to go with this on YouTube make sure that you check it out.

The Stouffer Report:

4,620 Pennies

You may feel government spending in Washington, D.C., is out of control. How does the state budget compare?

The state’s Fiscal Year 2010 operating budget totals $23.1 billion. Since folks are not used to talking in billions of dollars every day, I decided to explain the Missouri budget using 4,620 pennies in a video I have posted on YouTube.

In the video, each of the 4,620 pennies represents $5 million of the state’s total budget. To put it in perspective, when we returned the pennies to the bank, we were short $15 million, or three pennies.

In 1990, Missouri’s budget was around $7.5 billion. In 2000, it was $16.8 billion and for Fiscal Year 2009, we planned on enough state revenues to afford a $22.4 billon budget.

As you can see in my video titled “Missouri Budget in Pennies,” today’s budget is over three times what it was only two decades ago. To make matters worse, there is currently a gap in the amount of money Missouri brought in versus what it is spending, and this gap is only getting worse. Today, that gap is filled by federal stimulus dollars — your tax dollars and borrowing — that we will stop receiving in 2012.

Unfortunately, these stimulus dollars have created a gap between what we are spending and the amount of money Missouri can afford. The state will have to use roughly $725 million in federal stimulus funds to fill this gap caused by declines in state revenues, and much of this includes expansion of spending programs including welfare, not shovel-ready construction.

Neither political party is immune to out-of-control spending. In fact, Republicans have had a majority in the legislature since 2003. However, state government has typically been able to create surpluses in previous years. Without a two-party system I fear we would be in the same situation as other states that are basically broke.

This was the year to scale back spending like several Missourians have done in their own homes. For this reason, several legislators opposed portions of this year’s budget bills. To balance the gap between what Missouri can afford and what Missouri is spending, I fear we have several tough decisions to make in the years to come.

Much of today’s discussions regarding politics are not based on Republicans and Democrats or liberals and conservatives as in years past. Discussions around coffee shops, little league games and on-line seem to focus more on whether or not we want more or less government in our lives. The future of Missouri’s budget should also center on these two options.

I encourage you to check out my video on the Missouri budget by going to the following website:http://tinyurl.com/MObudgetinPennies. All Missourians must realize that decisions we make now regarding the state’s budget will affect our children and grandchildren and will have a ripple effect on all the generations to come.

Senator Stouffer serves the counties of Carroll, Chariton, Cooper, Howard, Lafayette, Macon, Ray, Saline, and a part of Clay.

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