Category: Fiscal Policy

Braley Votes Again For Obamacare—Why This One Was Worse Than The First

Bruce B.Yesterday the Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted once again to repeal Obamacare in full—a vote that passed 229-115 on party-lines besides two democrats who crossed over.  Not the least bit surprising was that Rep. Bruce Braley once again voted in favor of Obamacare—but my how much different this must have felt than his first vote for it three years ago.

A Different Landscape

Besides the obvious fact that Braley is now a U.S. Senate candidate, a variety of things made yesterday’s vote a much bigger political gamble.

Consider this, on the day the Senate passed Obamacare through the Reconciliation process—March 25th 2010—the Real Clear Politics approval rating for Congress was a shocking 17.4% approve to 77% disapprove.  As bad as that seems, at that time


Braley Sits For Interview — Makes Outlandish Claim

Deeth and Braley  2 crop

 

Last week liberal blogger John Deeth scored an interview with Democrat Rep. Bruce Braley as he embarks on a bid for the U.S. Senate.  Though you may not agree with Deeth often on policy (or ever)—he is an excellent writer out of Iowa City and he knows his stuff.

Most of the interview was standard liberal fare (read here), but on the topic of immigration reform Braley made a pair of false claims, the second of which was a real whopper that could haunt him later in this campaign.

Why No Reform?

When asked generally what’s happening with immigration reform and how it will be resolved Braley said this:

“One word has kept us from having meaningful immigration reform, and that word


The Harsh Republican Reality of the Fiscal Cliff

I break from a majority of Republicans on the current fiscal cliff negotiations and believe the rate increases that Democrats are seeking should eventually be agreed to. More specifically I would support John Boehner signing on to taking the top bracket from 35% to 37-38% (short of the 39.6% Obama wants).

Of course the argument against doing so is the superior one—essentially that the Senate and the President want more money to spend while having not passed a budget in 3 years and having not yet put any real spending cuts or entitlement reforms on the table. But the two Parties have been at a stalemate over this issue for years and in my view the trump card is that last month they held the …


In Latham vs. Boswell Congressional Race—The Candidate’s Voting Records Speak Volumes

Below is the full text of the “Letter to the Editor” I sent to several newspapers in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District.  I believe it makes the case against re-electing Leonard Boswell in a concise fashion.  If there is anyone you know still on the fence in this race feel free to forward it to them.

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For the last ten years I have been represented in the U.S House by Rep. Leonard Boswell.  During this time I have often disagreed with his positions, but never have I been more convinced that he has grown out of touch with the challenges facing my fellow Iowans, and our nation at large, than I am this year.

The number one piece of evidence proving this has been his …


Waechter’s Final Pre-Election Weigh In: No Matter How You Vote, the Economy Will Not Improve

I cast my ballot early. I didn’t vote third-party and therefore my vote isn’t being wasted. It also isn’t going to matter.

Since 1990, the United States has run aggregate trade deficits above $8 trillion. This is funny, because in 1990 the M2 metric of currency supply was only $3 trillion. There should be nothing but dust coming out of the ATM machines. We have purchased entire merchant-fleets full of foreign goods, and paid for it by quite literally printing money.

Foreign countries, being more blatant about their currency devaluation policies, have been willing to go along with this arrangement. The result is this dynamic: The US prints dollars to buy goods from China, and the Chinese central bank prints yuan to buy the dollars. …


2nd Presidential Debate: Complete Re-Cap & Analysis Of A Dynamic Evening

Following a week and a half of Democrats either piling criticism on President Obama’s first debate performance or making excuses for it, few could question that tonight the Country’s microscope was squarely focused on our 44th President.  Would he over-correct and turn voters off by being too aggressive?  Would he be able to effectively go on the attack in the Town Hall format?  How will he handle personal questions from the very people struggling due to “his” anemic economy?

After the dust settled tonight, not only were these questions and the 11 questions the audience asked answered—we might have just gotten the answer to the biggest question of them all.  Let’s jump right in.

President Obama (Art Smith)

Last night’s debate proved to be much …


Vice Presidential Debate: Recap and Analysis

Though few would have predicted it two weeks ago, going into tonight’s Vice-Presidential debate the real pressure to perform was squarely on the shoulders of Joe Biden.  This prospect was clearly one that Republicans across the Country have been giddy about in the days leading up to this debate—but tonight the meltdown they were hoping for didn’t happen.  Joe Biden performed well, avoided any big gaffes, and the two candidates essentially dueled to a near draw.

Paul Ryan (Justin Arnold)

As mentioned in our prior debate analysis, we focus on themes because they are the messages that each candidate comes in with for a reason.  These are the issues and messages they have determined will move the needle in their favor and each candidates …


Latino Heritage Festival: A Time of Celebration & Time to Consider Who Best Serves Latinos

(The following piece is a guest writer contribution from Chad Brown)

Iowa’s Latino Heritage Festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and has grown into the largest cultural event in our state.  This is a family event that offers something for everyone.  It is a time of celebration.  I also feel it is time to engage in an honest conversation.  I want to present my argument for why the Republican Party is the best Party to advance the best interests of Latinos in our city, state and country.

We are witnessing the progressive growth of Latino businesses in Iowa. They generate millions in sales every year and create thousands of jobs for Iowans.  Latino businesses are among the fastest growing   segments of the small-business-community …


2012 Legislative Session Ends Minus Tax Deal: Analysis and Governor’s Statement

After failing to reach a compromise on tax reform for the second consecutive session, today the Iowa Legislature adjourned until next year.  In the end the Governor-backed House proposal on property tax reform failed to even see a vote in the Senate, as Senator Gronstal refused to bring it to the floor.

We will have analysis on this in the coming days, but my gut tells me that privately many Republicans, especially those in the 2010 crew, are more than willing to gamble on a majority in the Iowa Senate after November.  This is not to say that they did not want to put something on the books this session, but there are multiple reasons why this conclusion was advantageous.

First, considering the alternative, the …


Senator Joe Bolkcom’s Political Theater Reveals Utter Disregard For Iowa Taxpayers

Perhaps no issue better illustrates the philosophical divide between left-wing Democrats and right-wing Republicans than the Earned Income Tax Credit.  Here in Iowa a theatrical stunt a few weeks back by ultra-Liberal Iowa City Democrat Senator Joe Bolkcom put the issue front and center.  In the hopes of pressuring Governor Branstad to support a huge increase in the Iowa Earned Income Tax Credit, Pleasantville resident Julie Heck was brought in to symbolize the need for this action by taking part in a press conference before then testifying in front of the Ways and Means Committee.  Ms. Heck is a single mother of three who is currently receiving the Iowa Earned Income Tax credit, and on this day set about making the case that while she …


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