July’s Revenue Report Hints At Economic Trends

July Revenue Figures Show Strength in Uncertain Times

The first month of Iowa’s new fiscal year is now behind us. While looking at a single month is just one small slice of the pie, it might be hinting at some economic trends we are seeing nationwide.  

ITR Foundation reviewed the July state revenue report which revealed higher than expected income tax payments likely due to the record low unemployment, while fast growing inflation and a national recession might be causing people to spend less of their money.

With mounting concerns over the national economy, see how Iowa’s current financial state is not a cause for alarm, and how our diverse economy may have us poised to weather whatever event may happen.

Make the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Permanent

No one knows the future direction of the American economy, but several danger signs linger with inflation at a 40-year high, a shrinking economy due to the recession, and the continued disruption of the supply chain. Yet, President Biden and his allies in Congress still have failed to learn the economic lesson that governments cannot tax and spend their way into prosperity. 

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed during Donald Trump’s administration, along with unshackling businesses from excessive regulation, created a strong economy by benefitting both individuals as well as businesses. Thankfully, states such as Iowa have taken this proven path with policies of their own, providing better prospects for economic growth and a stable financial foundation.

Fortunately, policymakers have an opportunity to steer the nation in a genuinely hopeful direction by making the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) permanent and working to reduce government spending.

Herbert Hoover, America’s Forgotten Conservative

President Herbert Hoover led a remarkable life that was based upon public service, humanitarianism, and a belief that America is an exceptional nation. Nevertheless, many conservatives today are often critical of Hoover calling President Joe Biden the next “Herbert Hoover” because of the current state of the economy.

President Hoover’s policies during the Great Depression can be debated, but they deserve more consideration, more than just the standard knee-jerk reaction often provided by many conservative and libertarian commentators. 

Read John’s article that was published by by the President’s hometown newspaper, the West Branch Times, as well as the Iowa City Press Citizen and Cedar Rapids Gazette, to learn how Hoover’s “New Deal” response could be applied today.

Reviving Civic Education in Iowa

If anything good has come out of the COVID-19 pandemic it is the growing awareness by parents across the nation about what is being taught in schools. This is especially true concerning civic education. 

For decades a crisis has existed over the decline of civic education. Numerous surveys and studies have shown that at all grade levels, including higher education, students do not have an adequate understanding of American history, American government, or Western civilization.

The objective of education should not just be about obtaining skills for an occupation, but also to be a responsible and informed citizen. Therefore, we need to renew and strengthen civic education in Iowa. We have a responsibility to our ancestors and for future generations to preserve our great Republic and heritage.

A set of social studies standards by the National Association of Scholars will help to improve civic education.

Food Freedom Law Appetizing to Home-Based Businesses

Everyone loves a good farmers’ market on a hot summer afternoon, and Iowa has a long history with these classic representatives of direct retail. However, the number of farmers’ markets across the state have dropped significantly from 2019 to 2022.

The pandemic affected many areas of our economy, but small, home-based businesses, like those that participate in farmers’ markets, were hit extraordinarily hard.

Many Iowans look for ways to earn a living or grow a small business with relatively low start-up costs. Producing homemade food is an affordable, flexible, and safe way to do that. Unfortunately, cities and counties stand in the way of these dreams when they regulate home-based businesses and impose costly restrictions through a patchwork of outmoded zoning, licensing, and permitting requirements.

Learn how the new food freedom law has reduced regulations making it easier for entrepreneurs and existing small home-based businesses.

ITR Live Podcast: Save Our States

John joined ITR President Chris Hagenow and special guest Trent England, Executive Director of Save Our States, for a two-part series protecting our states. 

In Part 1, the group discussed some very important and difficult questions. 

  • What is Federalism, and why does it matter?
  • Why do we have the Electoral College?
  • What is so dangerous about the National Popular Vote movement?

In Part 2 of the podcast, the discussion turned to related state-level policy considerations.

  • Can states regain some of the power lost to the federal government?
  • How do states prepare for when the federal government can no longer live up to its commitments?
 Print a PDF