r.robert From the Rod Roberts campaign:

Republican gubernatorial candidate State Representative Rod Roberts today called on Governor Chet Culver to admit that his $1.6 billion job-creation program, known as I-JOBS, has failed to create new jobs. Roberts’s call comes in response to a recently “leaked” report from the Culver Campaign which shows that many counties receiving I-JOBS funding since the program began last year have actually experienced an increase in their unemployment rate.

“This leaked report shows that Chet Culver knows his I-JOBS program has been a failure. Even though it’s an election year, Culver needs to be honest with Iowans about his record. Instead of trumpeting I-JOBS as an accomplishment, Chet Culver should be apologizing for needlessly increasing state spending for future generations of Iowans to fund his failed I-JOBS program,” said Roberts, a 10-year veteran of the Iowa Legislature.

Culver originally said last year that the I-JOBS program would create as many as 30,000 new jobs. Then in January, Culver revised his prediction to “hundreds if not thousands” of new jobs. According to the Culver Campaign’s leaked report, however, it’s now clear that I-JOBS isn’t creating jobs at all. In fact, many counties have experienced substantial unemployment losses despite significant state spending through I-JOBS. For example, since March of 2009, Polk County’s unemployment rate has increased nearly 30% despite the county having received over $90 million in I-JOBS funding, while the unemployment rates in Linn and Woodbury counties have each increased by 34% despite the counties having received $102 million and $18 million in I-JOBS funding, respectively.

“Iowa’s nearly 7% unemployment rate is as high as it has been in three decades, and over 110,000 Iowans are out of work. Iowans need bold action to combat the state’s unemployment rate, but Chet Culver’s failed I-JOBS program is proof that it’s not government that creates jobs, it’s the private sector,” said Roberts, a 5-term State Representative. “Under Chet Culver, too many Iowans have lost their jobs. It’s time Chet Culver loses his this November.”

While serving in the Iowa House of Representatives, Roberts strongly opposed the creation of the I-JOBS program. Roberts’s job-creation plan instead focuses on empowering the private sector to create jobs by eliminating the corporate income tax and by championing Iowa as a “right to work” state. These two policies will bring new businesses and jobs to Iowa without requiring increases in state spending.

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