Category: Government Spending

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 …


Has The Tea Party Wave In Iowa Crested?

The year was 2010.  In Iowa, like in the rest of the Country, a reaction to the obscene growth in size and spending at all levels of government boiled into a loud and visible public movement.  The internet was a buzz, local Tea Party chapters were springing up, and the Iowa Capitol was the site of several well attended rallies expressing the sentiment of less government and lower taxes.  Two years later, it is time to ask the question—what results have come of this?

The short answer at the state level here in Iowa is—not too much so far.

Most will argue that more patience is required—and they are right.  Many will cite a variety of reasons that explain the lack of great action—some valid …


Why I am Caucusing for Ron Paul

“I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom…..And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents’ “interests,” I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can.”
– Barry Goldwater, Conscience of a Conservative

Perhaps more than any other politician of the twentieth century, Barry Goldwater captured the essence of the American spirit – ferocious independence. This spirit depends upon the Constitution for its life and energy. Without our Constitution, our nation is nothing more than another geographic location; nothing but more …


A First Time Candidate For A First Time District: An Interview With John Landon (Part 2 of 2)

This is the second installment of a two-part interview, to read part one click here.

Education

Governor Branstad’s legacy-minded education reform proposal has struggled to draw support since its release on October 3rd, and you can count Mr. Landon as one of those lacking in enthusiasm.

A core tenet of Landon’s philosophy is local control. The benefit he sees in applying this principle to education is that the parents of each child, and the teachers in the actual class room, will have their voices better heard and their concerns more directly dealt with,

“My first reaction (to the governor’s plan) is that it drives us towards more state control and more mandates on levels of performance. I think that we are going to


A First Time Candidate For A First Time District: An Interview With John Landon (Part 1 of 2)

This is part one of a two part piece.  A link to the second installment covering the topics of education, health care, illegal immigration,  gay marriage, the tea party and an early analysis of this race can be found at the end of this article or by clicking on Part 2 here.

The population explosion the city of Ankeny has seen over the last ten years has brought many changes to this Des Moines suburb. Along with construction of a new high school and the surge of large retailers that accompany a population growth from 27,000 to 45,000 in one decade, Ankeny has also received a make-over in its state legislative districts.

In terms of the Iowa House, what resulted is for the first time …


Florida GOP Debate Recap and Breakdown: Nine Candidates…Three Categories

This piece was written by Art Smith- Publisher of The Conservative Reader, Justin Arnold-Editor of The Conservative Reader: Iowa, and Brian Nygaard-Senior Contributor at The Conservative Reader.

The lead up to every Presidential Primary debate is accompanied by media hype and pundit proclamations that this or that candidate has to “do well” or they are doomed going forward.  Often times the hype out measures the eventual importance of the proceedings and the proclamations prove to be mere misguided conventional wisdom.

Since last cycles debut of the “interactive” debate (CNN’s YouTube offering) saw ridiculous questions from a melting snowman (on global warming) and a citizen holding an assault rifle (on the 2nd Amendment), one sure would have been justified in being skeptical.  That said, for …


Default is Inevitable, Part II

Talking points are truly amazing things. They capture the essence of the obsessions of political operatives. The political news has recently been dominated by the talking points surrounding the debt ceiling debate, with the main terms of choice being the assorted variants of “apocalypse.”

First of all, failing to raise the debt ceiling would not automatically lead to a default on the national debt. The federal government would continue to collect revenue, and could use that revenue to pay debt obligations as they fall due, or in other words, pay the coupon interest on time. This would involve deep cuts to everything else, and if you are a professional politician that is synonymous with impossible, so there is an assumption that default would be the …


The Stench of Impropriety: Your Tax Dollars, Your Body Image, and The Government (Part 2 of 2)

The following is the second installment of a two part piece. The first is entitled “The Stench of Impropriety: Tom Harkin, Al Franken, Herbalife International, and The F.R.E.E.D Act”, and can be viewed below.

In part one of this piece, I introduced you to the relationship between Tom Harkin and his largest campaign contributor, Herbalife International. A partnership that demonstrates the perils of an incestuous system of politics and money, and ultimately played a part in Harkin’s introduction of the F.R.E.E.D. Act in the U.S. Senate. As bad as that looks, what the bill actually proposes to do is just as bad.

The act itself is only impressive in that it manages to hit the Liberal trifecta—it is completely devoid of any traditionally rational …


The DSM Register Independence Day Weekend “Progressive Trifecta” (3rd of 3) “Keep Social Security Safe”

The Des Moines Register’s Opinion Section on Sunday, July 3, 2011 featured a “Progressives Trifecta” of half-truths and sophistry:

Richard Doak – What if the founders were around today?

Donald Kaul – My favorite 4th of July speech

Dean Baker – Keep Social Security safe from politicians who want to save it

This week I will focus my comments on Dean Baker’s article sub-titled “Real patriotism requires coming to terms with the grimmer side of American history”. Mr. Baker is co-director for the Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR). The CEPR home page lists 10 funders, mostly far left organizations including the Open Society Foundations, which was founded by and led by George Soros.

Dean Baker-He advises the reader that two thirds of people …


    Log in    
Error, group does not exist! Check your syntax! (ID: 7)