By Sen. Paul McKinley
As Labor Day approaches on Monday, we again take this opportunity to celebrate the labors of the American worker and entrepreneur whose collective toils have built this country into a nation that is second to none.
As Iowans gather this weekend for community celebrations and parades, join with friends and family at a backyard barbeque or head off to see their favorite football team begin the season, they do so on the back drop of an economy still struggling to gain any momentum.
Today, Iowa Workforce Development notes that there are 113,800 Iowans out of work with tens of thousands more that are not fully employed or have stopped looking for work completely. A year ago there were 106,400 Iowans unemployed and four years ago the number was 60,300.
As we commemorate Labor Day in 2010, at a time when so many of our fellow citizens are looking for work, Senate Republicans believe now is the time to renew our commitment toward working to get more people into jobs – so they too can once again become part of Iowa’s labor force.
We must get serious about giving our employers and entrepreneurs certainty and so they can move towards expanding, growing and therefore adding more employees here in Iowa.
As it stands today, because of the constant onslaught of new and larger taxes, new health care laws, out-of-control spending, unreasonable regulation and unsustainable debt – government at both the national and state levels continue to send a message of uncertainty rather than one that inspires confidence. Our small businesses and employers need to be confident that government is not going to continue to punish them so they can again take risk and move forward with expansion and job creation.
Now is not the time to continue repeating the mistakes of the last four years. Governor Culver and the Culver Democrats in the Legislature have ballooned the state budget, raised property taxes by $526.9 million over four years, created record amounts of debt that is leaving our state with an unprecedented $1 billion dollar deficit for the upcoming year.
Continuing the job-killing agenda of the deep-pocketed union bosses who want to gut our Right-to-Work status, dismantle our outstanding workers compensation system, radically alter our collective bargaining procedures, implement a price-fixing prevailing wage and eliminate federal deductibility is exactly the agenda that this governor and the Culver Democrats in the Legislature have pursued in the last four years and we cannot afford for it to continue.
Senate Republicans believe it is time to get serious about making it easier for jobs to be created so more Iowans can get back into work and our state can grow again. We need real and broad-based property tax relief, responsible budgeting and reduced spending.
Yet, Labor Day is more than just a celebration of the accomplishments of the American worker and entrepreneur – it is also the unofficial end of summer. During election years, it’s a time when the campaign season begins to really heat up. We are now just over 8 weeks away from the election and as Americans really begin to tune and engage more heavily, we are experiencing a political mood that believes we need to bring in innovative ideas, fresh leadership and a new direction.
Iowans – and even more broadly Americans – are looking for a renewal of the principles that have made this country great and a rededication to the policies that will lead to future prosperity, opportunity and hope for a better tomorrow. It’s time to create an environment where more Iowans can get back into good paying private sector jobs and let’s hold our leaders accountable and demand that government live within its means.
May you enjoy this Labor Day weekend with family and friends but together, lets continue to celebrate our nation and our successes. Let us always look to the future, move forward toward prosperity and away from the mistakes of the past.
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