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Spending is not out of control

By Staff | Oct 25, 2010

By Craig Wollenburg

In a letter to the editor in last week’s Pierce County Tribune (History must be remembered, Oct. 16 Tribune issue), John Ford completely misrepresented my position on spending at a recent legislative forum in Towner.

Mr. Ford asked what we should be doing with the state’s “out of control spending.” My response was that the state of North Dakota’s spending is not out of control. I went on to explain that North Dakota is required to balance the budget. We can only spend what we take in but because of this requirement we have not been able to fund and meet every need that has been identified. I went on to state that because of the recent growth in North Dakota’s economy, we have a budget surplus. Using part of the surplus to address some of these needs is only prudent. Businessmen and farmers know that it makes sense to reinvest or put money back into their operations during good times while at the same time putting something away for the future. That’s just common sense.

At the state level, we need to do the same. The state’s sustained growth will allow us to fund ongoing programs and at the same time start and finish prioritized and needed projects using cash and not burdening future generations with debt. We also need to set aside part of the surplus for the future. This is what I proposed and related to the crowd that evening.

What would you have us do, Mr. Ford? Should the state sit on our surpluses while Devils Lake continues to flood, endangering downstream cities and towns? Should we sit back while our roads and bridges continue to deteriorate, freeze funding for education, rural healthcare, human services, and drop funding for water projects in rural communities? Sorry, Mr. Ford. These are not the values we hold to in North Dakota. Identified needs in North Dakota have presented us with many challenges. Fortunately we have the abilities and the resources to meet these challenges.

If elected, I will work hard to meet the needs of citizens of District 7, and it will be in a fiscally sound and efficient manner.

Wollenburg is the District 7 Republican candidate for state senate. He resides in Rugby.

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