Creating Jobs and Economic Development
The best approach to creating jobs and spurring economic activity is to invest in our local communities and grow them from the ground up. For too long the Iowa legislature has created special tax giveaways for big corporations that don’t create enough jobs and don’t help get incomes rising. That money should be used to grow local Iowa businesses — including expansion of broadband internet access across the state. The amount of money rural Iowans have to pay to simply access the internet in the 21st century is unacceptable.
Fred knows we must make investments that push incomes higher for Iowans all across the state. As Director of Economic Development, Fred prioritized investing state funds in projects that created good returns for Iowans.
As a state, we can’t be flooding the market with low income jobs. As governor, Fred will work to ensure Iowans have access to jobs and higher incomes where they live — not just in our growing cities, and definitely not outside Iowa. An example can be found in our growing wind and solar industry, where we could create thousands of new jobs while investing in renewable resources.
Restoring Workers’ Rights
Expanded collective bargaining is not only the right thing to do, it’s personal to Fred. He is a former labor union member, and both his daughter and son-in-law currently belong to a union. When Fred later became a business leader, he regularly worked with unions to encourage their representation in the workforce and ensure fairness at each and every level.
The dismantling of workers’ rights in Iowa is politically motivated and wrong. Every Iowan deserves safe working conditions and to be paid fairly for their work. As governor, Fred would restore Chapter 20, allowing for expanded collective bargaining rights, and restore the workers compensation laws that were recently stripped, allowing Iowans who are hurt on the job the protection they deserve.
Across the state, teachers are leaving Iowa to seek employment in states with stronger collective bargaining rights and better pay. If we want to provide our kids with a world-class education, we need to fix the damage done to workers rights by Republican leadership in the legislature.
Farmers are key to the success of Iowa’s economy. We need to support our hardworking farmers by ensuring strong trade partnerships not just with other states, but with other countries to expand our markets for Iowa-grown goods.
Continuing the investment in a robust renewable energy portfolio is a vital component in supporting Iowa’s agriculture industry. Iowa’s farmers produce much of this country’s ethanol and biodiesel supply, and that effort must continue. It’s good for agriculture, our economy, and the environment. As head of the Iowa Power Fund, Fred helped grow Iowa’s clean energy sector by making investments in more than 30 projects across the state.
We need an approach to taxes that puts people first. Our current tax system is too complicated and artificially inflates tax rates for individuals and businesses through excessive and ineffective tax credit programs. Iowa has so many tax credits, deductions and exemptions that it creates winners and losers depending on who has the best lobbyist or the most creative accountant. It’s patently unfair. In 2017, the state of Iowa awarded $208.8 million in tax credits, some of which are refundable and transferable credits the recipient can sell on the secondary market for cash.
Appointed interim Director of Economic Development by Governor Chet Culver to help clean up the disastrous film tax credit scandal in 2009, Fred also participated in a tax review panel that actually identified a bevy of wasteful tax credits and incentives that, if capped or eliminated, would have saved the state $161.5 million annually.
Governor Reynolds is giving out even more wasteful corporate giveaways, like the “Apple Deal”, which gave the richest company in the world $20 million in tax credits for only 50 permanent jobs. Meanwhile, to pay for these giveaways, Reynolds is cutting health care, higher education, infrastructure investment, funding for our court system, and much more. Iowans continue to suffer from Reynolds’ misguided priorities and fiscal mismanagement. It’s unacceptable.
As governor, Fred would propose a comprehensive reform of the state tax code that scrutinizes every tax credit and incentive to make sure they actually provide a good returns, simplifies tax law, and lowers rates for Iowa’s middle and working class families and small businesses.