Chet Culver, like Solomon, has said he will cut the state budget by 1.5% across the board. That's fair, right? No one gets special treatment, everyone has to tighten his or her belt-- that's the Iowa way, eh?
With respect to my fellow Iowans, equal is not fair. If we have state departments that are underperforming, should they receive equal budget consideration as those that are performing well? How about those agencies that have the ability to receive funding in ways other than the budget? Should entrepreneurship not be encouraged? And finally, what about those agencies whose primary purpose is to keep a safety net under those Iowans who are laid off, ill, hungry, or homeless? Usually during economic hardship, the need for aid to human service agencies increases, shouldn't this be considered?
I would argue that the governor and the legislators need to evaluate the best way to slice the budget pie such that human services are put on top of the needs list (with the caveat being that the agencies should be looking for opportunities to streamline their processes) to assure that Iowans in need are best served. The governor should then look for underperforming agencies and push those administrators to shape their departments up and to reward those workers who find ways to do more with less and show poor managers the door.
Iowa doesn't need a hatchet man to do a conditioning coach's work. The governor needs to work with the legislators to help the state to get in better all around shape, not just lose weight.