Is Iowa Recession Ready?

Although Iowa’s economy will not be immune to a national recession or other outside pressures, the fiscal condition of the state is solid.   The national economy is on the verge of recession. Inflation is at a 40-year high and continues to be a major concern for the economy. Out-of-control spending, which is a leading cause of inflation, has been […]

Be Thankful and Eat Turkey

The turkey industry in Iowa employs or supports over 38,000 total jobs and is responsible for as much as $10.64 billion in total economic activity throughout the state.   Iowa has a lot to be thankful for this holiday season. Our governor and legislature enacted the largest tax reform in state history, state revenue continues to exceed projections, the state […]

C’MON MAN: Are Our Costs Really Going Down?

President Biden’s claim of lowering our everyday costs doesn’t hold up when measured against prices at the pump; a gallon of gas now costs nearly 80% more than it did two years ago. President Joe Biden took the stage at a recent  Democratic National Committee Event to proclaim “Democrats are lowering your everyday costs like prescription drugs, healthcare premiums, energy bills, and gas […]

Reynolds Gets an “A”

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds was not only one of just five governors who received an “A” grade, but her score was the highest in the nation! The Cato Institute has released its 2022 Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors.  Iowa’s Kim Reynolds was not only one of just five governors who received an A grade from Cato, but this […]

Conservative Budgeting Continues to Pay Off for Iowa

Governor Kim Reynolds announced that Iowa’s budget will end Fiscal Year 2022 with a $1.91 billion surplus, which follows Fiscal Year 2021’s $1.24 billion surplus. Iowa’s financial position is due to prudent budgeting and fiscally conservative policies. Governor Reynolds and the legislature are demonstrating that their fiscal policies work to create a healthy economy and a strong financial foundation.

Kraig Paulsen, who serves as the Director of both the Departments of Management and Revenue, stated that “Iowa’s strong financial status again proves that we continue to over collect from Iowa taxpayers.” As a result, Governor Reynolds and the legislature have made it a priority to return the money back to taxpayers.

A History Lesson for President Joe Biden

A nation emerging from a significant pandemic and an economic downturn awaited President Joe Biden in early 2021. President Warren G. Harding inherited a similar situation after winning the 1920 election in a landslide. But Harding overcame it by getting government out of the way. The economy recovered quickly—whereas Biden enacted bad progressive policies that have resulted in a double-dip recession with 40-year high inflation.

Make the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Permanent

No one knows the future direction of the American economy, but several danger signs are ahead. One is continued inflation at 40-year highs or worse — a cruel hidden tax that eats away wages and savings, with more suffering for families struggling to afford groceries and gasoline. Another is a recession triggered by high interest rates designed to fight inflation. This means job losses, lower incomes, smaller nest eggs as stock markets contract, and even tougher times for businesses reeling from supply-chain shortages.

The Impact of the National Recession on Iowa

Politicians, policy makers, and members of the media are scrambling to redefine the term “recession” for the American public. Sometimes these explanations are counter to the traditional economic classification of a recession which is two consecutive quarters of negative growth, as measured by the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). For anyone keeping track at home, though, the economy declined by 1.6 percent during the first quarter of 2022, and the first estimate of second quarter activity is scheduled to be released on Thursday, July 28; the next announcement of GDP data could signal the arrival of a recession. That GDP release will likely follow another interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve as the FOMC tries to turn back inflation that’s at a 40-year high.

State Government Employment Trends

One topic that comes up frequently when we sit down with taxpayers across Iowa is the number of people our state government employs.  Iowans intuitively understand that there are very real and significant costs shouldered by the state for each member of its workforce.  For instance, the Legislative Services Agency reports in their most recent Factbook that Iowa spent over $1.5 billion in total compensation just three years ago, accounting for roughly 20% of that year’s state budget.  And that doesn’t even count employees at the three regents universities*!

Unemployment Rate Continues to Fall: Biden Recession Ahead?

Iowa’s economy is in strong condition. Problems remain, such as the need for more workers to fill the thousands of open jobs throughout Iowa. Nevertheless, thanks to sound conservative fiscal policies from Governor Kim Reynolds and the legislature, the state is on a solid foundation. Conservative budgeting and pro-growth tax reforms are creating a stronger economy. However, national economic headwinds are creating problems and it appears more likely that an economic recession is imminent.

Iowa’s Unemployment Rate Continues to Decline

Iowa’s unemployment rate declined to 3 percent in April, which is down from 3.3 percent in March. “The number of unemployed Iowans decreased to 50,900 in April from 55,600 in March. The total number of working Iowans increased to 1,646,800 in April — a figure that is 10,000 higher than March and 45,100 higher than one year ago,” reported Iowa Workforce Development. Unemployment insurance claims are at their lowest level since 1973.

Iowa Poised to Make a Move

For fifteen years the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has produced Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index. This broad index measures 15 policy variables that ALEC has deemed important to economic growth, with a particular focus on tax and spending policies.

What Would Hamilton Say About China?

A few recent headlines have passed without much attention. The first story is our national debt has reached $30 trillion, while the second is the trade deficit for 2021 hit a record  $859.1 billion. Both stories were virtually ignored because the American people have just become numb to the topics, though they may be missing some wider ramifications, especially when it comes to trade.

A Very Short Primer on What Causes Inflation

By Patrick Barron What almost everyone calls “inflation” is really a rise in the general price level. OK. But the real definition of “inflation” is inflation of the money supply. A rise in the general price level is a consequence of inflation of the money supply. Technically, the price level is determined by supply and demand, one of economic science’s […]

Governor Reynolds Proposes 4% Flat Income Tax

Governor Kim Reynolds, in her Condition of the State address this week, delivered a Reagan-esque take on the finer points of governing.  “Under these ceilings, next to this marble, among these columns and portraits, it’s tempting to believe that nothing good happens unless we legislate it, regulate it, or fund it.  But in the small towns, around kitchen tables, in […]

Ask the Economist

  ITR Foundation Deputy Director Walt Rogers recently interviewed Dr. Ernie Goss, a professor of economics at Creighton University Heider College of Business. They covered many topics facing our economy today. Among them were: Supply chain: We do a monthly survey at Creighton University of supply managers and manufacturers, and we’ve been doing it for 25 years. This is the […]

America’s Supply Chain Crisis

Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) is a leading conservative who is fighting for the America First agenda. Recently, Senator Hawley introduced the “Make in America to sell in America Act,” in an effort to address the supply chain crisis and the troubling dependency upon foreign countries for necessities. Americans are being confronted with increasing prices due to inflation and a clogged […]

Biden’s Spending Will Hurt Iowans

Our friends in Texas have published a new report entitled Reversing the Recovery, that details how the proposed Build Back Better spending plan could affect our national economy, including how it would impact each individual state. Their conclusion? Iowa would be responsible for shouldering $43 Billion in new debt and lose 51,000 jobs. From the report: “This plan includes heavy […]

Democrats’ Tax and Spend Agenda Threatens Iowa Taxpayers and Economy

Iowans are known for being plain-spoken and clear-thinking. Perhaps that’s why President Biden’s approval rating in Iowa has recently sunk to a dismal 31 percent.  Afghanistan and COVID notwithstanding, another of the Biden Administration’s promises that seems to have failed the believability test is his insistence middle-class Iowans won’t be hurt in the pocketbook by his $3.5 trillion budget blueprint. […]