Monday, July 30, 2012

Romney, Republicans to Iowa: "Drop Dead"

I do believe that we may be able to cross Iowa off the swing-state list pretty soon. Not only are the House Republicans delaying the farm bill and being stingy on drought relief because the Club for Growth is calling the shots...

"House Republican leadership should promise fiscal conservatives that they will not use a short-term extension as a vehicle to get to conference on a massive new farm bill,” said the group’s president, Chris Chocola. “Last month, leadership pulled a similar trick with the highway bill. Republicans should be fighting to cut spending and limit government, not compromising with Democrats to spend billions of dollars on farm subsidies and food stamps.”

... Romney came out against the wind production tax credit today - which is a Really Big Deal for the folks in the Hawkeye state. It was Chuck Grassley who wrote the thing in the first place.

Top GOP leaders in Iowa — including Republican Gov. Terry Branstad and the entire congressional delegation — champion the tax break as a vital economic development tool.

Monday evening, U.S. Rep. Tom Latham said the position Team Romney laid out “shows a lack of full understanding of how important the wind energy tax credit is for Iowa and our nation. It’s the wrong decision.” Latham called for Romney to re-evaluate.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley said Monday he considers the tax credit he authored to be a tremendous success, but he has been talking with wind backers “about options that include a multi-year phase-out along with tax reform.”

This is going to cost Iowa jobs, as plans for new development on now on hold because House Republicans will not extend the credit in time to plan for 2013.

But it would undoubtedly put a damper on future economic development in Iowa, Prior said. If more wind farms are built here, it would mean more capital investment, an increase in the property tax base, more people hired to operate and maintain the turbines, and more money paid to Iowans in land lease payments, he said.

Without the tax credit, there’s no guarantee that $6 billion or $7 billion in additional wind farms planned for northwest Iowa will be built, Prior said.

And although Iowa manufacturers are bulking up on overseas orders (good for them), eventually the domestic loss will hit them too.

Iowa has five major manufacturers: Acciona in West Branch, Clipper in Cedar Rapids, Siemens in Fort Madison and TPI and Trinity in Newton. Together they employ around 2,300 people. Counting suppliers and other wind-related smaller businesses, the job count is 6,000 to 7,000, industry representatives said.

The uncertainty of the wind tax credit’s fate has already caused orders for turbine production for next year to drop steeply. When Congress delayed extension of the tax break twice in the past, wind projects faltered and workers were laid off. Clipper laid off 90 people in 2009 when projected orders for turbines fell from 450 to about 200.

Mitt Romney and the House Republicans - officially killing jobs in Iowa. Time to crank out some ads, Democrats...