Senate Republican Leader Paul McKinley
We are now into the third week of March, which means warmer weather, longer days and a change from the dark and drab winter season to a more vivid and stirring spring season. Soon farmers will be out in the field, flowers will be blooming, children will be out riding their bicycles and families will be enjoying picnics in the park. The warm energy of spring seems to finally be in the Iowa air – everywhere in Iowa except for the capitol building. Under the great golden dome in Des Moines, the season of spending seems to be still in the air and Iowa taxpayers may not get much of a chance to change seasons anytime in the immediate near future.
During the past two years, the governor and his legislative counterparts have unsustainably ballooned the state’s budget by nearly a billion dollars – a 21 percent increase while at the same time creating hundreds of millions in budget deficits. Ten full weeks into this year’s legislative session are now in the books and the governor and his party allies in the Legislature have not yet brought forward a single piece of legislation aimed at creating permanent and sustainable jobs here in Iowa. Instead, they only propose more unfettered spending sprees that will only dig deeper holes of debt for our children and grandchildren to shoulder.
Recently the governor revealed a $750 million dollar temporary work plan that, over a 20 year span, would actually cost taxpayers over a billion dollars when all the interest and finance charges are added. Had they kept government living within its means during the last two years and actually worked to prioritize the state’s budget just as any Iowa employer or family would do, existing revenue could have been utilized to build and modify Iowa’s infrastructure. Instead, this proposal puts over a billion dollars on the state’s credit card and does nothing to stimulate job creation – only temporary government work.
I believe we must do more than just create government work. We need to create Iowa jobs. Just last week, I unveiled an ambitious series of bills aimed at stimulating sustainable job creation – not creating government work. These jobs initiatives would provide an immediate jolt of adrenaline to Iowa’s economy which would invigorate Iowa’s communities and help get the over 80,000 unemployed Iowans back into gainful employment.
Iowans deserve and expect to have infrastructure that is safe, reliable and well maintained and we understand that government must have a limited and focused role in providing that essential service to every citizen who makes a home here and every visitor who enjoys our beautiful state. Sound and durable infrastructure is not only vital to our public safety; it is necessary to keep our economy moving and our communities thriving. Though our public officials have a duty to taxpayers to provide dependable roads and bridges, we also recognize that we owe it to every hardworking Iowa taxpayer to ensure that every dollar is spent wisely and efficiently.
We must be responsible stewards of tax dollars and reject the reckless budgeting tactics that have jeopardized the economic health of the state. I believe that it is not acceptable to borrow over a billion dollars at a time when Iowa families are having to prioritize their budgets and make tough decisions about where to cut back. We believe that our state should budget within its means just as any family would and we should not be creating even more debt now and then asking our children and grandchildren to foot the bill later. It is time for the governor and his legislative allies to cut up the credit card and get serious about putting Iowa’s financial footing back on solid ground.
With the economy in recession, markets acting with uncertainty and current fears of job insecurity, we are committed to working to remove the roadblocks and barriers that are hindering – not helping – to create and retain jobs in Iowa. It is essential that we do not do any more harm to Iowa’s economy by imposing new taxes or regulations on our small businesses, employers, manufacturers and entrepreneurs. The key to creating a more vibrant economy in Iowa is to unleash the ingenuity that exists in our private sector and in the free market.
Just as we got through the bitter cold and treacherous winter snow storms, we know eventually the season will change to spring, the weather will warm up, the robins will reappear, and the grass will again show its beautiful lush color. Though this economy may not be as strong right now, we know that if we make the right decisions, a more optimistic and energetic economy will emerge just like what happens with the change from winter to spring. It is time to end the season of spending and begin to grow Iowa’s economy again. I believe Iowans are up to the task because Iowans have common sense and are hardworking, creative, conscientious, diligent, reliable and responsible. I believe it is time we have a state government that matches the people it is supposed to represent.
As always, I welcome hearing from my constituents and can be reached by phone at 515-281-3560 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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