By Sen. Paul McKinley
Amidst the news that President Obama is proposing yet another costly multi-billion dollar ‘stimulus’, Governor Culver’s own $1.7 billion debt-laden temporary work program known as I-JOBS is again in the news – and not in a good way.
Late last week, Standard and Poor’s credit rating agency flagged the bonds used to pay for Culver’s program. They noted that they were being placed on it’s CreditWatch list because Culver and State Treasurer Fitzgerald failed to put sufficient reserves behind the bonds. This is a serious concern.
State Auditor David Vaudt was quoted in The Des Moines Register as saying, “I think it can impact the reputation of Iowa from the standpoint of the bond market,” and then went on to add that it could raise questions about Iowa’s truthfulness in the future.
This is just the latest in a long saga with Culver’s I-JOBS program. From the very beginning it has been controversial and unpopular and it has failed to come anywhere close to the 30,000 jobs that Governor Culver and the Culver Democrats in the Legislature promised when they rammed it through the Legislature in a partisan fashion last year. In fact, since I-JOBS was signed, over 18,000 Iowans have actually lost their jobs.
It is anything but a success.
Unfortunately, with this governor, fiscal mismanagement has become the norm rather than the exception. In four years, Iowa has had the four largest budgets in state history. As a result, we’ve witnessed unbalanced budgets, property tax increases amounting to $526.9 million dollars, record debt levels and higher unemployment. We simply have more government than our economy can support and Iowans are understandably frustrated.
It’s clear that we do not need more of the same expensive and inefficient government temporary work programs that Obama and Culver continue to offer. What Iowans do need and what Senate Republicans are working hard to provide is a jobs climate where private sector job creation can flourish. We need reasonable taxes and regulation and we have to stop spending more money than our state takes in.
The bottom line is that job creators need confidence so they can again invest and take risks that will lead to more jobs.
Iowans are now living with the consequences of the dismal record of this governor and the Culver Democrats in the Legislature during the last four years. It’s clear that record is not something Iowans can afford to repeat.
Yet through it all, there is still plenty of reason for optimism. Iowans are resilient and hardworking. They care about their communities, their neighbors and their schools. If you believe, as Senate Republicans do, that a more prosperous Iowa will come as a result of more private sector jobs, responsible and sustainable budgeting and real property tax relief, then it is time to stand with us.
Turning our state around will not be easy and it will not be accomplished overnight. But together, through hard work and with the right focus, we can begin to renew this great state and restore the assurance of a more promising tomorrow.
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