In 1998, Governor Terry Branstad (R-IA) did not run for an unprecedented fifth term as Iowa’s governor. He announced that he would retire from politics and enter the private sector to spend more time with his family.
Fast forward to 2010, at the Hamburg Inn, in Iowa City, IA. Candidate Terry Branstad (R-IA) met with about 75 enthusiastic supporters to talk about 12 years as a college professor, financial advisor, University president, and most proudly, grandfather as he made a stop on his Iowa Comeback Tour in the bluest county in the state of Iowa. I was pleased to welcome Terry Branstad back today and was happy to hear of his plans to help to revive my adopted state.
Iowa is in serious trouble. Our tax revenues are dwindling. Unemployment is at a 20 year high. Our young people are graduating from college and leaving this state for higher paying jobs and more opportunities in other areas. Small businesses are being closed because of the high tax burdens imposed by one of the highest property tax rate states in the US.
When Gov. Branstad left office in 1998, unemployment in Iowa was at 2.8%, the farm economy had recovered from the disaster of the 1980s and there was a $900 million surplus. In the convening years of Democratic leadership (?) from both the Governor’s office and the state legislature there is a $1 billion budget short fall. A 10% across the board cut by the current governor has negatively affected public and higher education, public safety, and mental health in this state. Teachers are being laid off, the number of state troopers today is equal to that of 1959, while the cost of government programs such as Vision Iowa and I-Jobs have bloated the state budget.
I believe that Iowa is ready for a change, back to the future as it were. I was happy to see an energized and invigorated Terry Branstad campaigning in an Iowa- manufactured Winnebago camper today. The next governor of the state of Iowa faces challenges that have not been seen in this state in anyone’s recent memory. After a 12 year absence, I for one am pleased that Terry Branstad is willing to take on those challenges.