An Open Letter To Joni Ernst On Tax Cuts And Deficits

We spoke at a town hall in Boone this past January after the Republican tax cut passed, and agreed that the proof of its value would be whether it would produce increased revenue – whether it “pays” for itself. The figures are in for fiscal year 2018: the deficit was up by 17 percent to $779 billion over the previous fiscal year. The Congressional Budget Office reports that tax receipts rose by only  $14 billion dollars or just four tenths of a percent. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget reports that that is the eighth lowest growth rate in […]

Grassley: “Appreciate” The Wealthy Over Those Who Live “Day To Day”

I try not to yell at the radio. I don’t like to scare passengers in my car or passing drivers. I try to stay calm. But I wasn’t just shouting when I heard Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley’s interview with National Public Radio host Robert Siegel on “All Things Considered” Thursday evening. I went clear through to stomping in anger. The topic, of course, was the giveaway to the wealthy that was careening through the Senate like a runaway garbage truck. Throughout the five-minute interview, Grassley either lied or deflected questions with non-sequiturs. What really sent my blood pressure up, however, […]

Should Democrats Cooperate With Or Resist President Trump?

Democrats – and the world – have had nearly a month to acclimate to the unthinkable: An egomaniacal, bullying, boasting, undisciplined and willfully ignorant man will be president. We’ve had time to consider how we should react, including whether and how to engage a President Trump and his administration. Most Republicans have made their choices. Even party leaders who denounced Trump in damning terms ­– declaring him unfit, a con man, a fraud and a danger to democracy – now seek jobs in his administration. These former opponents, like 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney, know Trump has multiple conflicting interests […]

Trump Was The Right-Wing Radio Candidate. Here’s What To Do About It.

When I run errands in the afternoon, I frequently turn to WHO to hear right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh. It’s my way of understanding the conservative id. You must know your opponent. That’s why Donald Trump’s rise wasn’t such a shock for me. Trump was the right-wing radio candidate. He and Limbaugh (and Sean Hannity and Michael Savage and many others) could be identical siblings. Listening to the hosts, you hear the same lies, distortions, racist memes, conspiracy theories, simplistic solutions and preening, bullying behavior as you get from Trump. He’s the strong man Limbaugh has longed for since Ronald […]