For some reason I find Pres. Bush and Gov. Culver quite alike. Neither sound nor look very smart but both have been very successful in their careers. Their political strategery should be commended. Their policy…not so much.
In the 2005 State of the Union Address, President Bush announced, “Tonight, with a healthy, growing economy, with more Americans going back to work, with our nation an active force for good in the world -- the state of our union is confident and strong.” Obviously this statement is correct but after looking back, Bush definitely missed some serious economic issues that would come to roost in the future.
Gov. Culver said today, “Even in a time of many challenges the condition of our state is strong because the people of Iowa are strong.” Once again, this statement is accurate, but I think we all know we have some serious economic issues that soon will come to hit us hard.
If you are a farmer, you are looking at farm land costs at record highs but grain prices down sharply. If you are a realtor, you see the houses selling for 70 to 80 percent of what they were only one year ago. If you are a factory worker, you are seeing your coworkers getting laid off or hours cut.
I normally don’t focus on the negative because it rarely helps the situation but I have the feeling Culver is going to screw this one up.
This is where I’m hoping Bush and Culver continue to be a lot alike. During the toughest hours of the financial crisis, Bush decided to throw out his free market principles and turn to socialism. I’m hoping Culver turns his back on his socialist tendencies and ushers in free market capitalism.
Iowa is still one of the worst, if not the worst, state in the country to operate a business. Our tax structure and regulatory structure makes it harder in Iowa to make money than anywhere else. It makes it very difficult for Iowa to attract new businesses with South Dakota being the most business friendly state right next door.
Culver obviously doesn’t believe in lifting taxes and regulations on corporations and small business. But in times of unprecedented challenges, politicians tend to do some weird stuff... i.e. Bush turning his back on free market capitalism.
So my plea to Culver is to turn toward capitalism and allow Iowa to grow out of these tough economic times. I know farmers, realtors, and factory workers – all Iowans - will benefit.