Tags: iowa | ethanol | education | ranking | california | taxes

Iowa Quietly Bests More Famous States

Iowa Quietly Bests More Famous States
The Iowa state flag flies in front of the Des Moines skyline on April 11, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

By with Michael R. Shannon Saturday, 17 March 2018 09:30 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Iowa may have fallen for The Music Man, but that’s the last time a fast-talking stranger took advantage of the Hawkeye State. Now the situation can be said to be reversed. Iowa has managed to con the rest of the nation into buying Iowa corn to produce ethanol. If your knowledge of alcohol products begins and ends with Jack Daniel’s, let me explain. Ethanol is an alcohol product for which no natural demand exists in the quantities Iowa is producing. Particularly, since what driver in his right mind would want to dilute his car’s gasoline with ethanol and thereby reduce mileage and increase wear on the engine?

Hence, the “ethanol mandate” which forces U.S. drivers to do just that.

Farmers aren’t the only people doing well in Iowa. In fact, U.S. News in a recent report contends the rest of the U.S. would do well to imitate Iowa, instead of just flying over it on the way to the right or left coast.

U.S. News ranks Iowa No. 1 in its “Best States Ranking.”

Iowa’s win came after scores in health care (#3), opportunity (#4), education (#5) and quality of life (#9) were totaled and compared with the rest of the nation.

To see how Iowa is able to make the best of the resources it has, it is helpful to look at education spending, since that is something every state does. Iowa spends $10,944 per pupil on K–12 education. New York and Alaska spend almost twice as much money per pupil as Iowa ($21,206 and $20,172 respectively) yet finish far down the educational achievement ranking. Iowa is #5, New York is #23, and Alaska is #40. My own California spends almost as much as Iowa — $10,467 per pupil — yet finishes in a pitiful 26th place, 21 slots below Iowa.

Besides the money spent, another index of how well a state is managed is found by examining how the money is allocated.

California spends less on K–12 education than Iowa, but its tax burden is right at the top. The Gouging State has the 6th heaviest state tax burden at 12.6 percent of income, while Iowa is 31st at 9.2 percent. Yet little Iowa allocates more tax dollars to education and gets geometrically better results than Californians receive.

There is a lesson in priorities there for left coast taxpayers.

Michael Reagan, the eldest son of President Reagan, is a Newsmax TV analyst. A syndicated columnist and author, he chairs The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Michael is an in-demand speaker with Premiere speaker’s bureau. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.

Michael R. Shannon is a commentator, researcher for the League of American Voters, and an award-winning political and advertising consultant with nationwide and international experience. He is author of "Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!)." Read more of Michael Shannon's reports — Go Here Now.

© Mike Reagan

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Iowa may have fallen for The Music Man, but that’s the last time a fast-talking stranger took advantage of the Hawkeye State.
iowa, ethanol, education, ranking, california, taxes
Saturday, 17 March 2018 09:30 AM
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