To the Editor,
Governor Branstad's effort to create jobs in Iowa is failing. He's brought back the risky economic development schemes that failed middle-class Iowans and Iowa small businesses in the 1980s and 1990s.
The latest example is the record-setting giveaway for a fertilizer factory in Lee County. State and local taxpayers will pay a whopping $1.4 million for each of the permanent jobs created. The cost per job doubles when you include the federal subsidies.
If we stick with the Governor's approach, the state will go bankrupt long before he reaches his goal of creating 200,000 new jobs in Iowa.
Senate Democrats have a better approach to job creation. We focus on investing in Iowans and in Iowa businesses. It includes:
One, cutting commercial property taxes for every Iowa business, especially for small and Main Street businesses.
Two, strengthening the best anti-poverty program this nation has ever created: the earned income tax credit for working families.
Three, investing in community colleges and helping Iowa workers improve their skills.
Four, keeping college affordable for all Iowa families.
Five, increasing K-12 student achievement by helping Iowa teachers be the best they can be.
Six, buying Iowan and buying American. It just makes common sense to require state and local governments to use Iowa-made and U.S.-made products when they are available and cost-competitive.
Seven, preventing future economic development disasters by increasing accountability by state agencies offering incentives to potential employers.
Iowans want a new approach to job creation, one that focuses on creating economic opportunities for middle-class families and Main Street business. Iowa Senate Democrats agree.