Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder has responded to Governor Jay Nixon’s State of the State Address, criticizing Nixon for calling for new programs and for attempting to fund those programs with money Kinder says Missouri does not have.
“Just like Washington politicians, Governor Nixon called for several new government programs but each of these programs will cost money – money that we do not have,” said Kinder to an audience of invited guests and reporters in the House Lounge. “Now is not the time for ideas to grow the size of government. Our most important goal should be putting people back to work. Period.”
Kinder then said that while Nixon pledged to not increase taxes – he has actually raised a tax on agricultural producers.
“Just weeks ago his Tax Commission voted to raise taxes on Missouri farmers by almost 29 percent,” said Kinder. “This is a devastating blow to our agricultural producers after one of the worst farm income years since 1945.”
Kinder told his receptive audience that Missouri Republicans would move to stop this tax increase and any other. He then took a shot at Nixon over the Governor’s office staff, saying that while education budgets are cut there is no belt tightening in the Governor’s office.
“I don’t believe that you can effectively propose to overhaul government, transform budgets, and reform ethics when you aren’t willing to take those steps on your own,” said Kinder. “Here are the facts: the Governor has the largest and highest paid personal staff of any Governor in our history.”
Kinder then commented on ethics reform proposals at the State Capitol, saying the effort must start at the top.
“In the past year lawmakers have credibly charged the Governor’s staff with offering them jobs in exchange for their votes,” said Kinder. “The Governor has rewarded the top donors with the state’s most lucrative fee offices and withheld vital health and safety information from the public. Right now, a Senate committee is reviewing the actions of Governor Nixon’s Department of Natural Resources. It’s a sad day when journalists have to ask the Governor, ‘Who knew what and when?'”
Kinder also took aim at the health care overhaul legislation making its way through Capitol Hill in Washington, saying it would come with a bill Missouri could not afford to pay.
Audio: Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder’s response to State of State (12:00 MP3)