Iowans Oppose Cancelling Student Debt

A majority of Iowans (57.9 percent) oppose the cancellation of student debt, while 32.5 percent support President Biden’s plan. There were mixed emotions in August when President Joe Biden announced his student loan forgiveness plan. This plan forgives up to $10,000 in federal student loans and up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients. Private loan holders are not included in […]

Inflation Reduction Act? Not Likely

After multiple rounds of negotiations, the United States Senate recently passed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) by a strictly partisan margin of 51-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the deciding vote in favor of the bill.  As the name implies, the purported aim of this effort, which the House of Representatives will soon consider, is to slow down the historic levels of inflation America is experiencing.  Only in Washington, D.C. could someone refer to a $750 billion bill as “anti-inflationary” with a straight face.

Talkin’ ARPA

Washington D.C. gave local governments across the country trillions of dollars through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).  To understand how that money was spent, ITR Foundation focused on a selection of cities and counties across Iowa, asking each: How much money did you get? How much have you already spent? How much is left? What did you spend ARPA […]

Where Did Iowa’s Local COVID Relief Funds Go?

In March 2021, the United States was in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to previous large-scale stimulus measures, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) on a party-line vote. Relief for state and local governments was among the most thoroughly debated provisions of the legislation, ultimately sending $130.2 billion to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments. Iowa cities and counties collectively received $1.162 billion. The state’s largest eleven metropolitan cities received nearly $335 million, while counties took in $612 million and smaller governments received $216 million in payments.

Is Iowa Prepared for the Federal Debt Crisis?

Uncle Sam is broke and the nation is on the verge of a serious debt crisis, if we are not already in one.  The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released an alarming report regarding the nation’s fiscal health and their conclusions aren’t good.  The report, which should be taken very seriously, flatly states, “The federal government faces an unsustainable fiscal future.”  Consider the magnitude of Congress’s own watchdog cautioning the nation that we cannot continue down the same spending path we are on.

Can Uncle Sam Afford a $1.9 Trillion Stimulus?

President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress are pushing for a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package. Congress has already approved $4 trillion in pandemic relief and stimulus measures and billions of that money has yet to be spent. Congress is also considering a $6.1 trillion budget and the $28 trillion national debt continues to escalate. Federal policymakers should avoid another […]

Is Another Round of Economic Stimulus Needed?

Congress continues to debate whether more stimulus is needed to aid state and local governments from the economic recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, federal policymakers should avoid another bailout until states have been able to utilize all relief funds that have been appropriated by Congress.   History has proven stimulus spending does not work to revitalize the economy […]

How Much Does Government Cost in Iowa?

Can you think of any area of your life that is not directly impacted by government? Government, whether at the federal, state, or local level, has grown considerably overtime. The escalating $26 trillion national debt is the most symbolic description of the growth of government.  As more demands are placed on all levels of government, it creates a problem. As […]

A Way Forward for State Budgets after COVID-19

JONATHAN WILLIAMS, SKIP ESTES   Most states close their books for fiscal year 2020 this week and continue to look at the uncertainty ahead. Every state but Vermont has some variety of a balanced budget requirement. Some are far more meaningful than others, but at least some thought goes into presenting a plan to balance revenue and expenditures. Moreover, states lack […]

Iowa Revenue Source

Do you know that the income taxes you pay to the state of Iowa makes up the majority of the General Fund budget? Iowa’s General Fund is supported not just by income taxes, but also sales and a variety of other taxes, fees, and revenue sources. In addition, the budget is supported by taxes paid to the federal government. In […]

Uncle Sam to the Rescue?

David Kennedy, prominent historian and Stanford University professor, in an interview with Governing discussed the COVID-19 (coronavirus) emergency in relation to the Great Depression. In that interview he stated, “[President] Calvin Coolidge said that if the federal government went out of business, the average person wouldn’t notice for six months, except for the post office. Now, the federal government is twice the size of the states all put together.”     […]