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March 7th, 2009

McKinley’s Memos – Senate Republican Leader Paul McKinley

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Written by: The Iowa Republican

mckinleyThis week we unveiled an ambitious three component job creation initiative designed to provide an immediate jolt to Iowa’s economy through job creation, ensuring job sustainability and working toward developing future employment while cutting taxes and stopping the growth of state government. The “Grow Iowa Not Government” jobs creation initiative is designed to offer an immediate shot of adrenaline to Iowa’s economy and provide incentives to Iowa employers in order to help the 80,000 unemployed Iowans get back to work without adding a penny to the state’s budget.

The proposal is aimed at re-establishing the principle of free market capitalism as the engine of economic growth in Iowa and move away from the mentality of having government serve as the arbiter of economic development by allowing bureaucrats to pick which businesses will win taxpayers dollars for their project and which will miss out. During the past decade, Iowa has drifted away from supporting existing and potential employers that dot the landscape of Iowa and has instead focused on chasing a few elite and already established mega corporations. I believe it is time to make Iowa open to all – not just a select few.

Throughout Iowa’s history, there have been many wonderful examples of employers, businesses, inventors, entrepreneurs and manufacturers who have taken a dream and vision and built a legacy that has shaped our communities and touched generations of Iowans. Many of these successful individuals have created wonderful opportunities for many fellow Iowans. However, they did not get their start by first coming to the capitol with a glossy brochure to see what kind of deal or handout they could get from legislators or bureaucrats – they got their start because they found local investment and worked hard to build the business into a success from the bottom up. I know that every big business once started as a small business and every smaller businesses once started as a good idea.

The three point jobs creation initiative seeks to provide immediate and substantial tax credit incentives to Iowa’s job creators and then lay in place two other components that will lead to sustainable job growth and prosperity in the future. The initiative provides for a one-time tax credit for every new job created at the level of 50 percent of the annual wages. This is a bold, limited time tax credit that will provide Iowa employers with immediate and substantive tax relief while incenting employers to hire more Iowans to keep the economy moving in a positive direction.

While I know Iowa’s economy needs an immediate and aggressive economic jolt, it is also important to ensure that Iowa is looking toward the future by providing an employment environment that is stable and sustainable. A recent study reported by US News & World Report noted that Iowa is second to last in attractiveness to businesses and employers because of high taxation, high regulatory burdens, and excessive and unreasonable government interference. To further complicate matters, the current anti-jobs legislative agenda and bonding proposals being pushed by Governor Culver and his party counterparts in the Legislature will not reduce this startling trend and would instead make the state even less competitive and inviting. However, their proposals will grow government and add even more burdensome debt for our children and grandchildren to contend with.

In order to start eliminating many of the barriers that are hindering job creation and entrepreneurial expansion in Iowa, I am also focused on ensuring that we peel back many of the onerous rules and regulations that holding Iowa’s economy back. I am advocating for the creation of a small business ombudsman who would serve as a watchdog and investigate any and all complaints made by job creators against state government and work diligently to comb through Iowa’s administrative rules and regulations. The ombudsman, with the help of an all volunteer commission, would serve as an advocate for every small business and entrepreneur in the state and make recommendations about which rules and regulations should be scaled back so that employers can more easily create jobs and opportunities for Iowans. Many surrounding states, like Nebraska, have a similar position and have utilized it with success. The already established Grow Iowa Values Fund would pay for the ombudsman position and the commission members would not receive any compensation so taxpayers would not be asked to pay even more to an already swollen state government.

In this plan, I have also addressed the need to plan for the economic future because the economy is constantly evolving and our state needs to be prepared to adapt for the new jobs that will be coming in the years and decades ahead. We must create a volunteer task made of dedicated Iowans from distinctive backgrounds that will head out into our communities to cultivate ideas and look for entrepreneurial Iowans who may not have the knowledge or tools to go about starting a business. In every one of our communities there are individuals or groups that have good ideas but may not have the information, knowledge or tools necessary to turn the good idea into a good small business. We believe it is time to give them the assistance they need and deserve.

These challenging economic times require serious solutions to get Iowans back into the jobs that will keep our communities strong and thriving. While we offer ambitious and bold pro-growth solutions that will cut taxes without growing the scope of government, Governor Culver continues to ask Iowans to put another $750 million dollars on the state’s credit card through bonding to pay for infrastructure projects but that project will only create work – not jobs.

We remain optimistic that Iowa will weather this current economic storm because there is a strong economic foundation to build upon. We must always remember that two out of every three new jobs that are created in Iowa are created by small businesses and employers. Common sense, hard work and Iowa ingenuity have come to define this state and it is time to get back to the economic traditions that have allowed so many employers and businesses to positively impact our state, our communities and our families. We must keep Iowa open for business so we can grow our economy, help our communities and put our citizens back into good paying Iowa jobs again.

As always, I welcome hearing from my constituents and can be reached by phone at 515-281-3560 or by e-mail at

Paul McKinley
Iowa Senator

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The Iowa Republican

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