This year the Republican Party selected Governor Kim Reynolds to deliver the official response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address. Governor Reynolds and President Biden offer two completely different views of both political philosophy and statesmanship. Selecting Governor Reynolds to speak on behalf of the Republican Party was not just a high honor, but it also reflected her leadership as a conservative. This contrasts with President Biden’s progressive philosophy and his embrace of a radical liberal agenda that threatens constitutional government. 

President Joe Biden and Democrats are celebrating the passage of the $750 billion Inflation Reduction Act. The Inflation Reduction Act, just as with the America Recovery Act (ARPA), is another attempt by the federal government to spend taxpayer dollars to bring about an economic recovery. The Inflation Reduction Act is nothing more than a dime store version of President Biden’s Build Back Better proposal that failed to pass. With signing the Inflation Reduction Act into law, President Biden has also written a new economic law to fight inflation. By throwing massive amounts of taxpayer dollars and tax credits at green energy inflation can be lowered. President Biden even had the gull to say that “the American people won and the special interests lost,” when celebrating the Inflation Reduction Act. 

It is absurd to think that spending on green energy initiatives is a cure for inflation. President Biden and Democrats fail to understand that spending is one of the leading causes of high inflation. President Biden should learn from Henry Morgenthau, Jr., who served as President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Secretary of the Treasury. In 1939, after years of massive amounts of New Deal spending to resolve the high unemployment caused by the Great Depression, Secretary Morgenthau confessed:

“We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. And I have just one interest, and if I am wrong…somebody else can have my job. I want to see this country prosperous. I want to see people get a job. I want to see people get enough to eat. We have never made good on our promises….I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started….And an enormous debt to boot!”

Morgenthau’s confession is a lesson that government spending cannot create an economic recovery. President Biden in his first 18 months in office has spent a record $9.7 trillion. “Biden is the spending champion of American presidents-both in total overall spending and per capita spending,” noted Terry Jeffrey.

This is the direct opposite of Governor Reynolds, who is governing as a fiscal conservative. Since assuming office in 2017, Governor Reynolds has advanced a policy agenda rooted in limited government and the protection of traditional conservative values. Governor Reynolds and the Republican-led legislature have consistently passed prudent budgets while delivering three separate rounds of tax cuts.

Since 2018, Governor Reynolds and the legislature have placed an emphasis on passing tax reforms and restraining the growth of spending. This legislative session delivered the third (and largest) round of tax cuts yet, which was accompanied by a budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 of $8.2 billion. This is a slight increase from the $8.1 billion FY 2022 budget and will likely mean yet another large budget surplus. The Taxpayer Relief Fund, which is specifically designated for income tax relief, is expected to have a balance of $2 billion and the reserve funds are full at their statutory limits. 

Iowa’s historic tax reform will create a low individual flat tax rate of 3.9 percent by 2026, which will replace the onerous nine bracket progressive income tax with the top rate of 8.53 percent. In addition, the corporate tax rate will be gradually reduced from 9.8 percent to a flat 5.5 percent. This tax reform was made possible because of prudent budgeting. 

Governor Reynolds has led by balancing the priorities of the state with protecting the interests of taxpayers. She has been a champion for taxpayers and her fight for a more competitive tax climate will continue into the 2023 legislative session with a priority on property tax reform. 

“On the economy, the contrast couldn’t be more stark. While Democrats in D.C. are spending trillions, sending inflation soaring, Republican leaders around the country are balancing budgets and cutting taxes. Because we know that money spent on Main Street is better than money spent on bureaucracy,” noted Governor Reynolds in her response to the State of the Union. 

Governor Reynolds is also on the frontlines fighting to stop progressive, liberal, woke, policies. Whether it is fighting against vaccine mandates and other federal overreaches, Governor Reynolds has always stood with freedom even when it is unpopular. She is fighting alongside parents who are growing more frustrated and disgusted with the indoctrination and inappropriate, and often vulgar, curriculums and other resources being made available within public schools A cultural revolution is occurring, and it is threatening to destroy traditional values. “But it’s the American people who are waiting to exhale. Waiting for the insanity to stop,” noted Governor Reynolds.

“Americans are tired of a political class trying to remake this country into a place where an elite few tell everyone else what they can and cannot say. What they can and cannot believe,” stated Governor Reynolds.

Governor Reynolds has increased more freedoms for parents in terms of education options and she is continuing to fight for greater school choice in Iowa. During the COVID-19 pandemic she successfully balanced public safety, while keeping the economy open. As a result, Iowa’s economy recovered quickly from the pandemic triggered economic downturn. 

Iowa is becoming a brighter beacon of freedom and liberty because of Governor Reynolds policies. She has demonstrated that leadership and a commitment to conservative principles and values are the foundation for a successful state. Iowa offers a policy blueprint which the nation desperately needs. 

John Hendrickson serves a policy director for Iowans for Tax Relief Foundation