Pella Chronicle

Opinion

July 31, 2009

McKinley’s Memos

Late last week, Iowans received more sobering news about the economy. Iowa Workforce Development announced that Iowa’s unemployment rate climbed to a new 23 year high at 6.2 percent. There are now more than 104,000 jobless Iowans and the numbers could get bigger before they get better.

As Iowans learn about more of their fellow citizens being out of work, the news serves as a reminder about the consequences of inaction during the legislative session by Governor Culver and legislative Democrats. They failed to enact any real substantial legislation that would spur the creation of sustainable sector jobs. According to a U.S. News and World Report study, Iowa is second to last amongst all states in friendliness to small businesses, employers and entrepreneurs. Iowa received its unwelcoming rating because of our high taxes, onerous regulations and propensity by the Legislature to consider anti-jobs bills.

In contrast, I offered an ambitious and aggressive set of solutions during the 2009 legislative session that if enacted would immediately stimulate the creation of sustainable private sector jobs. However, Democrats in the Senate refused to even allow our solutions to even be debated. Instead, they pushed forward bills that would reduce worker freedoms and the quality of workers’ health care, garnish the wages of Iowa employees and increase property taxes. Iowans understand there is a bright line of distinction between the two parties and now are living with the consequences of an agenda that does not make Iowa more attractive to job creators. Keep in mind that Iowa must not only compete with other states - we must also compete with other countries too.

There is also a growing disconnect between the common sense Iowans who live in our communities making difficult financial choices every day and the Democrat governor and lawmakers in Des Moines who, instead of making cut backs, actually grew the size of the state’s budget on the backs of our children and grandchildren. Under the current administration, Iowa continues to have unbalanced budgets, record deficits that could easily top a billion dollars and debt that continues to pile up far beyond any level ever before seen in the history of the state. Once again, Senate and House Republicans offered hundreds of millions of dollars in savings but in partisan fashion, those smart savings were rejected. Legislative Democrats said “No” to cutting out inefficiency and waste and “Yes” to a bigger, more out-of-control government.

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