Iowa Republicans still wrong on the economy and I-JOBS

The business network CNBC threw a wrench in the Republican sound bite machine yesterday by ranking Iowa the fourth best state in the country for doing business. Click the link to read Iowa’s scores for 2008 and 2009 in the ten different categories CNBC considered in compiling these rankings. (Iowa ranked ninth overall in 2008.) You can also watch the CNBC segment here.

Iowa improved in almost all of CNBC’s categories from 2008 to 2009. The biggest improvement was in the “economy” category, where Iowa went from 29th in 2008 to 4th in 2009, even as the national recession deepened. While the recession is hurting Iowa along with every other state, we are doing reasonably well under the circumstances. CNBC also moved Iowa up quite a few notches under “technology and innovation” and “transportation and infrastructure.” We have a ways to go to reach the top-ranked states in those areas, which is why the Culver administration is smart to be investing heavily in our infrastructure with the I-JOBS bonding program.

Speaking of I-JOBS, now that most of the bonds have been sold, money is starting to be awarded:

Every city and county in Iowa will receive a portion of $45 million in additional funding under I-JOBS for local street and road projects. These funds will begin being distributed to cities and counties starting next Tuesday.

In addition, $50 million in I-JOBS funds will improve 55 state highway system bridges in 29 counties across the state. Projects in the metro Des Moines area include two I-35 bridges over the Iowa Interstate Railroad, the Iowa 17 bridge over the Des Moines River, and U.S. 69 bridge over Scott Avenue.

Scroll to the bottom of this page to find links to pdf files containing a “list of I-JOBS road funding amounts for all Iowa cities and counties, as well as bridge projects.”

Meanwhile, Iowa Republicans continue to proudly oppose the I-JOBS program. Today Senate minority leader Paul McKinley and others are triumphantly Twittering about an article in the Des Moines Register: Economists question impact of I-JOBS plan. My response is after the jump.

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