Why is it that the mantra in real estate is “location, location, location,” and the political mantra in economic growth is “taxes, taxes, taxes”?
The political mantra, which crumbles regularly when put to serious analysis, also takes hits when the benefits of Iowa’s “location, location, location” are seriously put in jeopardy. Case in point: the drive to gut Iowa’s universal voluntary preschool program.
On Monday in the Iowa Senate Education Committee, Elliott Smith of the Iowa Business Council told lawmakers that the preschool program helps attract companies and employees, and will pay off in increased productivity by students.
Now, no one is under any illusions here. The business lobby will also keep pushing for tax cuts. Its influence is the fundamental reason corporate tax giveaways are out of control. The Legislature has not cracked down on them, and has rejected serious attempts to do so, cheered on by the business lobby. This fiscal negligence is costing Iowa tens of millions of dollars every year, shaking the foundations of critical public structures such as education that support economic growth and opportunity for all Iowans.
What is clear, however, is that you cannot have tax cuts and have the services, too. And if research, and common sense — as illustrated by Mr. Smith’s support of Iowa’s preschool program — make a clear case for services, then tax cuts should simply be off the table. We cannot afford new tax cuts, let alone the gigantic giveaways already in place, and they don’t really improve the Iowa economy even if we could.
Posted by Mike Owen, Assistant Director