For Kim Reynolds, Spending Causes Inflation, Except When She Does It

Photo by Starting Line staff

By Ty Rushing

August 24, 2022

Gov. Kim Reynolds blasted President Joe Biden’s plan to forgive small amounts of federal student loans for individual borrowers—$20,000 is the highest amount that can be forgiven for certain borrowers—and tied it to inflation.

“At a time of skyrocketing inflation, declining wages, and a national recession, Washington has again turned its back on hardworking Americans in Iowa and across this country,” Reynolds’ campaign told CBS 2 Iowa on Wednesday.

“President Biden isn’t canceling student debt, he’s shifting the costs to the taxpayer and to those who worked to pay off their loans in full. Enough is enough. Vote to stop the insanity in November.”

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On the contrary, Deidre DeJear, a Des Moines Democrat running against Reynolds this fall, welcomed the news in a statement provided to Iowa Starting Line.

“President Biden’s student loan forgiveness program is a historic step forward to not only modernize education but also begin to address the drastic wealth inequality in our country. This will have an immediate impact on countless Iowa students and families and open pathways for financial wellness,” the release said.

DeJear’s team also noted Biden’s policy coincided with their just released education policy.

“Our campaign’s education policy will provide student loan relief for educators who commit to teaching in Iowa for at least five years post-graduation. We must continue to work to make our education system accessible and affordable so that all Iowans, and Americans, have the opportunity for a limitless future.”

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This isn’t the first time Reynolds has attacked Biden for federal spending, but that also hasn’t stopped her from freely spending hundreds of millions in federal funds allocated to Iowa through initiatives led by the Biden Administration while downplaying where the dollars came from.

The state of Iowa received $1.379 billion in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)—which Reynolds previously referred to as a blue-state bailout—and the governor had discretion on how those funds were used.

Through ARPA alone, Reynolds has set aside $100 million for tourism—including nearly $30 million for two separate “Field of Dreams” projects—and used the surplus from Iowa’s federal bounty to change the state’s tax code from progressive to flat, which benefits higher earners.

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However, the governor has also used the federal funds she once decried to pay for a number of necessary initiatives in Iowa:

There are more examples out there and, again, these were all projects funded by the American Rescue Plan Act, so maybe some federal spending is OK?


by Ty Rushing

To contact Senior Editor Ty Rushing for tips or story ideas, email him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter @Rushthewriter 

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  • Ty Rushing

    Ty Rushing is the Chief Political Correspondent for Iowa Starting Line. He is a trail-blazing veteran Iowa journalist, an Emmy-nominated filmmaker, and co-founder and president of the Iowa Association of Black Journalists. Send tips or story ideas to [email protected] and find him on social media @Rushthewriter.

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