Is Another Round of Economic Stimulus Needed?

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 …

How Much Does Government Cost in Iowa?

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 …

A Way Forward for State Budgets after COVID-19

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 …

Spending Restraint: A Conservative Budget

Spending Restraint: A Conservative Budget

Crafting a state budget is never an easy process and this year was especially difficult with drafting a budget amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the COVID-19 emergency, Iowa was in a strong economic position with healthy and stable revenue growth. By March, all of this changed as the pandemic …

Uncle Sam’s “Free” Handouts

Uncle Sam’s “Free” Handouts

Iowa, just as with other states, has become dependent on the federal government for support. Iowa’s $7.6 billion state budget is dependent on the equivalent in federal aid to help fund numerous programs. Through these funds, the federal government can impose both funded and unfunded mandates on the states.  This …

Iowa Revenue Source

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 …

Methods to Economic Recovery

Methods to Economic Recovery

Iowa’s economy is in a recession marked by high unemployment, not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Iowa’s economic crisis is a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19), which has  forced an economic shutdown of the state. Low commodity prices are also having a detrimental impact on the farming …

Uncle Sam to the Rescue?

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 …