Monday Reads — Inflated Claims

The Gazette and Quad-City Times each front Charlotte Eby’s story about regional economists who slap an “unrealistic” label on claims by Gov. Chet Culver and the White House that bonding and stimulus bucks will create tens of thousands of jobs. Culver argues that his $750 million infrastructure bonding plan would create 21,000 jobs over three years. Iowa State U’s David Swenson disagrees:

According to Swenson’s calculations, if Culver’s infrastructure plan spent $250 million in each of three years, it would create roughly 4,000 jobs the first year and sustain those jobs for two more years.

Culver’s spokesman Phil Roeder says if you asked 10 economists, you’d get 11 answers. I also bet you wouldn’t get 21,000 jobs from any of them. To be fair, inflating the job benefits of economic development programs has probably been going on since the Roman Empire. The “All Roads Lead to Rome” project will create 100,000 jobs, Caesar said.

Still, while we’re waiting for all those jobs to be created, the Legislature has to cut more out of the state budget after Friday’s bleak Revenue Estimating Conference meeting. The panel further slashed its estimates for incoming tax revenues over the next 15 months. Legislative Democrats, who already undercut Gov. Culver’s budget plan by $133 million need to find another $140 million in reductions.

On the politics front, a familiar name in Democratic circles may challenge U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley next year, according to Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson. Bob Krause, 59, served in the Legislature in the 70s, ran unsuccessfully for treasurer in 1978 and has been active in numerous campaigns. He’s a member of the state central committee.

Elsewhere:

You can check out this Globe-Gazette video of a guy building a grain bin house.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier carried news Sunday of efforts by gays and lesbians to build support for their side of the marriage debate ahead of an Iowa Supreme Court decision later this year.

And a woman drove through the blood center in Rock Island Saturday morning. The center did not have a  drive through, but it does now. The woman was arrested for driving under the influence. No word on her blood alcohol level, however. The blood center was back up and running Saturday.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Monday Reads — Inflated Claims

  1. Iowa Cynic

    “Culver’s spokesman Phil Roeder says if you asked 10 economists, you’d get 11 answers.”

    And the answers would all be variations on “Chet, you’re wrong.” What percentage of this money is going to be spent in CR, IC, and other cities in Eastern Iowa to relieve the ongoing flood emergency? Katrina was two disasters: The hurricane, and the government response. The ’08 floods are shaping up to be the same thing. Heckuva job, Chet.

  2. Dan

    It would have been a shame for any of your readers to have seen my comments We must be carefull and not let any diversity exist.

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