After mimicking Jim Nussle to the point of literal plagiarism, Chet Culver came out swinging with his campaign's first original policy proposal. How short the memory, only a year ago Chet and almost all other Democrat leaders squarely opposed permitting taxpayers to invest two and one half percent of social security in a diversified portfolio of Blue Chip stocks and government bonds. Now Chet proposes investing the public pensions of every Iowa public employee, including his most loyal and left wing supporters in the ISEA, in start up ventures. This proposal came in a prepared policy statement so it was no slip of the tounge.
Now, my last name isn't Smith, Malthus or Mills, not even Keynes, Friedman or Galbraith but that sounds nuts. While market investments are an excellent and necessary source of increasing pension savings for us baby boomers, but a 100%? Start up companies - you know, investments with a 90% failure rate? Chet's not a bad guy but doesn't this - his first display of new thinking - demonstrate that ingenuity isn't really his strength?
Chet's proposal is a form of strange egalitarianism - give everyone a chance to participate in failure. While I, like almost all Republicans, believe that Iowa must become a more hospitable environment for business creation, we've always thought of a more rational and less reckless alternative than the revolution in investment strategy Chet is now selling. Don't tax cuts, less and more certain regulation, and a non-adversarial relationship with government certainly appear safer than permitting, much less requiring, the IPERS fund managers to invest up to 100% of the fund in start up businesses.
The Real Sporer has learned that the Culver campaign didn't run this idea by anybody outside the campaign. While the Culver campaign having an original idea appears shocking in itself, even Chet's most liberal and loyal supporters in places like the ISEA are shocked by what emerged as that first original idea.
Do you really want to invest your IPERS savings in companies that are under represented in Iowa - demonstrating their inability to compete? Maybe Chet has a few more sawmills and bee keeping as advocated by team mate Denise O'Brien in mind? Chet's proposal is prohibitively reckless while concentrating breathtaking new economic power in the hands of government - a liberal exacta - but it does demonstrate a bold new and creative direction for the Culver campaign. Keep it up fellas.