Main Street Alliance of Iowa members and staff with Rep. David Young (R)
Earlier this week members of the Main Street Alliance of Iowa met with Congressman David Young to discuss minimum wage, tax reform, equal pay for equal work, and the public policy needs of Iowa’s small business community.
Mike Draper, owner of RAYGUN, a Des Moines-based printing, design, and clothing company presented his case for raising the minimum wage. From his perspective, small business owners are put at a competitive disadvantage when they commit to providing fair compensation to their employees while large corporations pay the lowest wages allowed by law. Mike asked the Representative to consider the fact that business owners like him are essentially subsidizing the wages of large corporations to who force their employees onto tax-payer funded public assistance programs. Representative Young told members that he sees movement in Congress towards passing a minimum wage increase, but he voiced his concerns over finding a federal wage that works for both urban and rural communities.
Chris Petersen, a family farmer, presented Rep. Young with a copy of the Main Street Alliance annual report, Voices of Main Street, highlighting the need for higher wages and passage of the FAMILY Act, providing workers with paid family leave. Rep. Young reviewed the findings and took notice of the statistics surrounding corporate taxes and the overwhelming majority of small business owners that believe large corporations are paying less than their fair share.
Congressman Young discussed the off-shoring of jobs and revenues and the practice or corporate inversions. He called these practices both “unpatriotic” and “bad for the economy.” When asked for his thoughts on how to end these tax avoidance and job-killing measures he said that rather than eliminating the practices by law, the US should consider lowering its corporate tax rate. A measure that Main Street members and the Representative could not come to an agreement on.
All those in attendance left with a better understanding of where each other stood on the issues and members in Iowa made certain the Congressman heard the voices of local small business owners. They left behind materials and the annual MSA report findings for him to reference when making future decisions regarding his position on the pressing issues facing the economy in Iowa, and nationally.