What Would Make Iowa a Better Place to Live?
State Republican Leader Jerry Behn says there's already much to love about Iowa but more jobs would make it an even better place to live.
Submitted by Jerry Behn
When you turn on a television, open your Internet browser or read your newspaper, sometimes it is easy to get a little down about much of the news we see and hear - high unemployment, unrest in the Middle East, economic turmoil in Europe, massive government debt, high gas prices…just to name a few.
Yet with all the challenges we face at home and abroad, we should pause a moment and appreciate what we DO have – right here in Iowa.
There is a lot to love about Iowa. We are a state that has unquantifiable potential and so many wonderful assets. All of us should be proud of what we have to offer.
We have Interstate highways that run coast to coast and border to border, barge traffic with locks and dams and a double track railroad across our state.
We have the finest natural resources, the most productive soils and ample water supplies.
We have great manufacturing, agriculture, agribusiness, insurance and banking sectors.
We have incredible institutions of higher learning – the University of Iowa produces some of the world’s best doctors and lawyers. Iowa State University provides some of the finest engineers and scientists and the University of Northern Iowa some of the best teachers and business leaders. We have great community colleges and private colleges that provide so much value, training and workforce development.
Yet, without question, the people of Iowa are truly this state’s greatest asset – their independence, self-reliance, honesty, resilience, work ethic, volunteerism and concern and care for others should serve as an inspiration to us all.
We have incredible, hardworking people in all 947 communities doing extraordinary things to renew the promise that exists in all 99 counties. These Iowans just want to make a good living and raise their families and they deserve a government that respects, appreciates and encourages them.
That’s why we must take the great potential that already exists in Iowa and take it to a higher level.
It starts by making Iowa the best place in the world to open a business, expand a business and create jobs.
As Iowans, we have to be aware of how we compare. We are not just in a competition for our jobs – we are in a competition for our very way of life. Everyone else in the world wants what we have and we have to always take proactive steps to protect it and enhance it.
So how do we do that?
During the last two years, there has been a focused effort to re-open Iowa to business and economic growth. We have seen great leadership from not only Governor Branstad but also from legislative Republicans.
Governor Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Reynolds have taken the lead on reducing our property tax burden to make Iowa more competitive and to reduce the cost of doing business in Iowa. Lower property taxes will encourage investment, growth and most importantly – job and career creation. We need to be aggressive in pursuing new businesses without forgetting about the great ones we already have.
Senate Republicans have led the charge on government regulation reform by spearheading a statewide listening tour to hear directly from Iowans about how we can make government more efficient and effective and remove red tape and barriers to success.
House Republicans have been fiscal stalwarts, pushing hard to reduce the overall cost of government and finally get Iowa’s budget in order. Their leadership has produced important progress yet more can and must be done.
The truth is, Iowa’s best days will happen when a healthy combination of all three is implemented.
To date much of what we have set out to accomplish has been blocked by Senate Democrats. It’s a good reminder that elections do have consequences.
However, with the right leadership in place going forward – the excitement for Iowa’s future knows no bounds. We know the potential exists – so now we must just capture it build upon it.
It can happen if we all work together and stay focused on what really matters.
Senate Republican Leader