Since the day he launched his 2010 campaign for governor, Terry Branstad has been promising to raise Iowa family incomes by 25 percent. That aspiration is still highlighted on the front page of the governor’s website.
Family incomes haven’t increased in any significant way, according to a September 2015 report by the Iowa Fiscal Partnership: “Median household income was $53,712 in 2014 — compared with $53,031 the year before. It was also statistically unchanged from 2007 ($53,994 in 2014 dollars) and from 2000 ($52,483 in 2014 dollars).” U.S. Census Bureau data indicate that as of July 2015, the median family income in Iowa was $52,716.
Despite the lack of progress toward one of his central goals, Branstad has opposed various policies that would raise incomes, especially toward the lower end of the scale.
Most recently, he moved last week to block a new U.S. Department of Labor rule, which would make at least 120,000 Iowans eligible to earn overtime pay.