Yesterday, Governor Culver announced his plans for a new program he's calling I-jobs. He wants the state to bond for $750 million and says that will create 30,000 jobs in Iowa through the projects it goes toward. Just doing the simple math, that $750 million would be eaten up by paying the salaries of those 30,000 jobs. It breaks down to $25,000 per person salary. That's before anything even goes toward the actual projects.
The other night, the Senate debated a bonding bill. It passed along party lines and was for $175 million for 20 years. Here's a poignant quote from that debate spoken by the Senate Majority Leader to all Senate Republicans:
“As our unemployment rate climbs in the state of Iowa, your ‘no’ vote tonight is a ‘no’ to 5,000 jobs in this state. I can’t believe Republicans are ‘no’ to jobs, ‘no’ to veterans and ‘no’ to being tough on crime. Unbelievable." - Sen. Michael Gronstal D-Council Bluffs.
Since we keep our calculator handy, we broke down those 5000 jobs from this bonding bill to equal salaries of $35,000 - again, not even touching the projects themselves. Seeing 5000 jobs come to Iowa would be great, but is it realistic? Maybe, maybe not. (And since when is anybody pro-crime?)
And should the state bond simply because it can? Bond now and let our kids and grandkids pay for it later? Passing the buck will get us nowhere.
Seen around the Capitol this week:
Senator Johnson talks to UNI research students
Senator Tim Kapucian talks to regional 4-H clubs.
Panora Middle School students and Senator Nancy Boettger