Very bad news this week for both Governor Kim Reynolds and the Republican-controlled Iowa Legislature. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported the second quarter economic growth by state (GDP). Iowa’s economic growth was a negative .7%, dead last among all 50 states. Of the 50 states, 48 had positive growth in this period. Only Iowa (-.7%) and South Dakota (-.3%) had a negative growth rate.
While one quarter’s performance doesn’t predict future growth, it’s a huge embarrassment for the Iowa Republican Party. The Republican Governor and the GOP control majorities in both branches of the Legislature and have driven Iowa’s economy to last place in the nation. They can’t blame the Democrats for this economic disaster.
This latest economic data simply confirms what most Iowans already know. Republicans’ mismanagement of state government has led Iowa to a budget train wreck. Under their management they have taken a budget surplus of nearly $1 billion in 2013 to a budget deficit this past year. In the Reynolds regime’s struggle to balance the state budget this past year, they slashed spending by $118 million and ended up borrowing another $144 million to end the budget year. One wonders if former Governor Terry Branstad didn’t foresee the budget mess he and Reynolds were creating and decided to abandon ship by taking the China gig.