My New Year’s Resolutions for Iowa:
The first few days of every new year we hear a lot about New Year’s Resolutions. I think most people make some type of resolution. At the gym, you see it in the long lines of people with new memberships waiting to use workout equipment and folks working the drive-thru windows would probably tell us they sell a lot more salads than cheeseburgers in the opening weeks of each new year. I think these types of resolutions are an integral part of refocusing our lives and priorities which can tend to get thrown off course over the preceding year. That’s why I’ve put together this list of five New Year’s Resolutions for Conservatives in Iowa.
1) Cut state income tax to one low rate of 3%. Iowa’s individual income tax rate causes sticker shock to individuals looking to move to Iowa and to employers looking to recruit more workers to our state. We haven’t cut the tax rates since I was Speaker of the House twenty years ago. We’ve fallen behind and it’s time to get ahead again so we can compete.
2) Stop borrowing! Conservatives don’t borrow to balance budgets. The current Governor is borrowing at rates that would make even liberal borrower Chet Culver blush. We need to reform and modernize state government. Borrowing one-time money to pay ongoing expenses isn’t conservative and isn’t sound fiscal policy.
3) Fix Iowa’s budget mess and reform the Revenue Estimating Conference. Iowa’s current revenue estimators have gotten it wrong time and time again. In fact, they haven’t been RIGHT in years. I’ve proposed revamping the system and expanding the number of people involved to include people from all industries and walks of life that affect Iowa’s economy. People who work in the real world every day are more likely to see trends and get the numbers right.
4) Save taxpayers $4M a year by eliminating the Board of Regents. The regent system was put in place 100 years ago. It was put there to help control the costs of college education in Iowa. This outdated system is no longer working for Iowa families. Costs are rising dramatically and most recently the state schools have asked to increase tuition by more then 40%. The regents are a posterchild for outdated bureaucracy and they cost taxpayers a fortune. Other states have been successful appointing volunteer trustee boards to oversee each state school. This model would save taxpayers and Iowa families money and help our state budget woes.
5) Honor the will of Iowans by funding water quality initiatives. In 2010, Iowans voted to create a natural resources and outdoor trust fund to address the issue of water quality. It’s been nearly a decade and lawmakers in Des Moines have failed to act to fund this initiative and honor the will of voters. Failing to act is the same as telling Iowans their will and their voice don’t matter. I propose funding water quality immediately with a 3/8th of one penny sales tax like voters approved 8 years ago.
According to Forbes Magazine, just 8% of people follow through on their New Year’s resolutions all year. The evidence is clear as gyms become less and less crowded and as salads are traded for double cheeseburgers. I suspect the number of politicians who keep their promises is even lower. But, I’m not one of them. I’m a man of bold, conservative action with a proven track record. And I’m challenging the politicians in Des Moines to join me and commit to these conservative resolutions for Iowa.