Critics of ALEC and Art Laffer have just about all the affiliations you'd expect

December 5, 2012

The Iowa Policy Project and Good Jobs First recently released a report that purported to debunk Rich States Poor States, a premier policy document compiled by the American Legislative Exchange Council that features the work of Dr. Art Laffer. Interestingly (or perhaps not so interestingly), IPP and GJF have just about all the affiliations you'd expect opponents of pro-growth policies to have. The mix of policies these groups support are equally predictable, as well.

According to its website, IPP is a nonprofit organization, the previous funders of which include the Iowa Finance Authority and the United States Department of Labor. According to the IPP website:

“IPP is affiliated with the Economic Analysis Research Network (EARN), which includes similar policy groups in about two dozen states. EARN was initiated by and is supported by the Economic Policy Institute.”

According to the EARN website, another affiliate is the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Also according to the EARN website:

“EARN seeks to advance progressive policy at the state and regional level, to deliver important national messages, and to use the collective capacity of its organizations to develop new ideas and strategies.”

According to the IPP website, IPP affiliates itself with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ State Fiscal Analysis Initiative (CBPP) and the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). Both CBPP and EPI have received substantial funding from George Soros’ organizations.

According to its website, IPP loves Obamacare, engages in the politics of envy, supports inheritance or estate taxes, strongly advocates for broken tax credit programs like the Earned Income Tax Credit (IRS reports an error rate of 23 to 28 percent or $13 billion to $16 billion) that promote welfare through the tax code, charges "wage suppression" and advocates for increasing Iowa’s state minimum wage, attacks Iowan lawmakers for shunning recommendations to deal with climate change, asserts that public employees are the real job creators, advocates federal overreach by the EPA and questions whether Iowa has the will to govern itself, advocates for the federal stimulus, and cites national liberal groups to blame deficits on “Bush Policies”. That last claim was debunked recently by no less a sympathetic media outlet than The Washington Post. It's so dubious an assertion that it earns four “Pinocchios” by WaPo.

Good Jobs First is equally ideological. The group says that one of the few bright spots in today’s U.S. economy is the prospect of “green jobs” and agrees with the nation's leading green jobs advocacy organizations, including the Apollo Alliance, Green for All and the Blue-Green Alliance. GJF suggests the promise of millions of new jobs and a healthier planet deserves broad public support and smart taxpayer investments, demonizes “suburban sprawl,” declares that “union members earn better wages and benefits than their unorganized counterparts” and says “it is no exaggeration to say that unionization is economic development.” According to the GJF website, the GJF executive director (and founder) has spoken to or trained for meetings of such diverse organizations as AFL-CIO, Blue-Green Alliance, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Economic Policy Institute, National Conference of State Legislatures, Progressive States Network, Rail~Volution and the Sierra Club. The group receives significant funding from a number of unions like the AFL-CIO and SEIU, as well as from left-leaning foundations like the Tides Foundation.

Note: Iowa Policy Project and Good Jobs First are not only firmly entrenched in a particular ideological camp, but they've also produced a strikingly flawed study. Read more here.