Every time Democrats tell us they are going to debate House File 807/Senate File 468, which repeals Iowa’s Income Tax deduction on Federal Income Tax (also referred to as putting a “Tax on a Tax”), the public shows up to convey their opposition and watch the proceedings, only to have them postpone the debate to another day.
Why, when Grand-stall and Smurphy tell us that they have the votes to pass the legislation, do they delay getting the work done?
- They don’t have the votes.
- They are afraid that the presence of actual voters might cause some Democrats to think twice about how they will vote.
- They are afraid that the presence of actual voters might cause Governor Culver to think twice about whether he will sign the bill.
- They are afraid they might be forced to say something that is blatantly stupid or a lie in order to make their case stronger.Â Like the bill is revenue neutral (lie) or that lower income Iowans will benefit (lie) or that only rich people will be negatively impacted (stupid).
- Or they are just plain afraid of a headline that might read “Iowa Democrats Lead Government Rebellion Against Taxpayers”.Â I kind of like that one… I hope I don’t get to use.
I suspect we will see a quiet attempt to slip this bill through once they think no one is looking.Â We must, all Iowan taxpayers, keep our eyes and ears open in the coming days to ensure we are there when the votes are cast… the politicians must not be allowed to sneak this through without public scrutiny.
Don’t let them raise your taxes.
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I really don’t get this one when I look at face value.Â Who benefits?Â What is the problem that this solves?Â Don’t be fooled, it’s not about making life better for those with lower incomes… it’s about increasing revenue.Â Even with a “revenue neutral” model for 2010 and 2011, there is a dramatic increase in revenue in 2012 and later.
And if this does pass, two things need to happen:
- Get Democrats out of office.
- Make Republicans PROMISE to fix it when they have control.
If we don’t hold Republicans’ feet to the fire, it will be too easy even for them to accept the inflated revenue and spend it on something.Â This is not intended as a criticism of Republicans (I count myself in their number), but of human nature.
No matter who is in office, you have to hold them accountable.
The political fallout continues for Democrats as they try to fend off criticism for Pat Murphy’s behavior Tuesday evening.Â A letter to the editor in this morning’s Des Moines register lays it out pretty succinctly: characterizing the behavior of the public at Tuesday night’s public meeting prior to being expelled as anything more than brief expressions of disapproval or aproval (granting the first speaker deserved to be treated better) is spurious at best.Â And Kiernan’s accusations that the public’s actions were orchestrated by Republican leaders is an outright lie; I was there during the preparatory time and there was nothing more than providing people with shirt and buttons… no direction to behave in any way.
If you watched KCCI news on Tuesday night (or the story on the web site), you briefly would have seen my ugly mug.Â A number of people have mentioned they noticed and were surprised at what happened.Â One friend’s Facebook Wall comment: “Way to stand up to the man!”.
Democrats have backed up the bus and skipped debating HF 807 either today (Thursday) or Friday it seems.Â Kent Sorenson twittered us last night that majority leaders were working on an amendment that would ensure enough votes would be garnered to get the bill passed.Â They are still working with the Governor to ensure they don’t get surprised by him (like they did on the Voter Irrelvancy Act that lost steam last month).
Iowa Independent had an interesting piece on the use of Twitter during the proceedings.Â I was monitoring Kent Sorenson and the Senate Republican Caucus tweets, while I was commenting via Twitter myself.Â I was also exchanging messages via email with one of the House members.Â If you were following my tweets, you’ll know that my cell battery died shortly after the last speaker finished.
So here’s my two cents worth: One might think that Democrats would wise up and give up on this foolish venture and let it lie for now with the economy the way it is.Â Passing this bill, which is just another case of a solution in desperate need of a problem (if you take it at face value), will just make a large portion of the Iowa voters angry… winning for Democrats on this bill may be worse than losing because they will probably lose over this.Â A bold move at this point would be to stand up and say “We’ve heard Iowans and we get it: we will work on other methods to help lower income Iowans.”.Â Democrats won’t get what they want, but then again they are less likely to lose seats in 2010.Â And if they think that getting this in during the 2009 session has a better chance of being forgotten by November 2010 than if they pushed it through in the 2010 session, that’s a gamble for them.Â This is something that they would be better to find smaller increments to achieve over a longer period.
If their only goal was this bill, that might work.Â The bad news is, this bill IS one of those small increments.Â If you think this HF 807 is a big deal, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!
Lastly, one of the speakers Tuesday night, Mark Grittmann, got in contact with me and we’ve shared emails and a phone call back and forth over the past couple of days.Â He was kind enough to share the text of his speech at the hearing, which one needs to understand is very much tongue-in-cheek, and conveys eloquently the point I made above:
Good evening and thank you for listening to the people of Iowa.Â Iâ€™m Mark Grittmann.Â Iâ€™m not a lobbyist and Iâ€™m not representing any special interest group.Â Iâ€™m just a hard-working American taxpayer.
Iâ€™ve heard the Elimination of Federal Tax deductibility may cause up to a $600 Million tax increase and Iâ€™m all for it.Â And those of you supporting this, say this would be good for the State of Iowa.Â So if a $600 million tax increase is good for Iowa, then I think you should do more, so wouldnâ€™t a $1.2 Billion tax increase be even better?
Some have foolishly argued against it.Â Can you believe it?
- Some say the 20% increase in State spending over the last 2 years should be reversed.
- Some say this Bill is revenue neutral.Â But if that is true, and it doesnâ€™t change anything, then why do it?
- Some say that Government, like family households, should live within their means and not let spending get out of control.
- Some say a tax increase during a Global Financial Crisis and Recession is the worst thing for the economy, and that tax increases would hurt employers, causing a loss of jobs and people would leave Iowa to find work in other States.
- Some say the facts about this Bill as to its true impact on taxes isnâ€™t known or has not been fully disclosed, so how can this Bill even be debated yet?Â One news report showed that 40% of the individuals receiving a tax increase make less than $40,000 per year.Â And 69% of the individuals receiving a tax increase make less than $70,000 per year.
- Some say that in November 2010, voters will remember the legislators who raised their taxes by 20%.
And thatâ€™s why I think this $600 million tax increase is good for Iowa.Â It will bring new and improved, and more fiscally responsible Legislators to the State of Iowa in November 2010.
Thank you for listening, and good night.
That gives me an idea.Â We should call this “The Legislative Replacement Act of 2009/2010”.
The news links herein are to Des Moines Register and Iowa Independent.