CEOs Reaping Obscene Payoffs From GOP Tax Cuts

Five months after Republicans passed their massive corporate tax cut, the CEOs of American companies are popping their champagne corks, toasting their bonanza of pay increases. American workers are still waiting for Trump’s promised wage increase of $4,000 per year. Pfizer Pharmaceuticals CEO Ian Read should be the poster child for runaway corporate greed. Thanks to the Republicans’ new tax cut, Pfizer received a $10.7 billion windfall in tax savings. Pfizer in turn used their massive tax savings to lavish a 61% increase in pay for their CEO. His total compensation went from $17.3 million in 2016 to $27 million […]

No More Excuses, Governor. Come Clean On Medicaid Costs

Last week, Governor Kim Reynolds’ Department of Human Services (DHS) gave three separate and wildly contradictory estimates of Medicaid privatization savings. Not only do these three latest estimates conflict with one another, none of them come close to earlier estimates made by Reynolds’ office. Adding to their latest wacky estimates, Reynolds has failed to provide any substantiation of these alleged savings. The first savings estimate put out on Thursday was described as a “projected annual range” of $140.9 million. The next day, they reversed their description, calling it a “cumulative” savings since April 2016. Later on Friday, they changed their description […]

Don’t Hide Government Officials From The Public

I sometimes think government officials overlook the important role the public plays in our system of government. That was my takeaway last week from the monthly meeting of the Iowa Public Information Board. When Mrs. Gentry lectured in my high school government classes 50+ years ago, I remember her talking about how American government is participatory. The public can attend meetings of government boards, she told us. People are free to express their opinions to government leaders. Mrs. G’s explanation doesn’t quite square with the legal analysis laid out by the Iowa Public Information Board’s lawyer last week. I think […]

Grassley And Ernst Vote To Kill Your Internet Freedom

Why did Senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley vote against a Senate “net neutrality” resolution that would protect both consumers’ and businesses internet rights? We must demand they explain their vote to give monopoly power to giant internet service providers (ISPs) like Comcast, Spectrum, AT&T, Verizon, and CenturyLink. Net neutrality is the Obama era rule that levels the playing field for users of the internet. Imagine each of the ISPs as giant tubes carrying you and others’ data back and forth on the internet. Under internet neutrality, the ISPs can’t favor or discriminate one user over another. Senator Ernst and […]

Poll: Young Republicans Support Democrats On The Environment

Recent polling among young Republicans on environmental issues show them siding with Democrats rather than older leaders of their own party. In this highly polarized political atmosphere, the environment could become a bridge to common ground between Democrats and younger Republicans. This shared environmental view could provide an opening for Democratic candidates to appeal to young Republicans by highlighting their advocacy on environmental issues. An indication that younger Republicans are changing is the College Republicans’ recent endorsement of a Democratic climate change initiative putting a price on carbon. A recent Pew Research Center survey compared millennial (born between 1981-1996)  Republicans […]

Where’s The Outrage Over Iowa’s $4.35 Tipped Minimum Wage?

Why is all the attention focused on raising Iowa’s minimum wage of $7.25 per hour and no discussion on raising the tipped sub-minimum wage of $4.35 per hour? In Iowa, an employee that receives more than $30 per month in tips is considered a “tipped employee” and can be paid at the lower $4.35 minimum rate. Many workers in food service and hospitality receive tips including those who wait tables or serve and mix drinks. Iowa law mandates that the tipped wage be set at 60% of the minimum wage; therefore, Iowa’s sub-minimum tipped wage is pegged at $4.35. Iowa […]

Restore The Public’s Right To Sue Gun Manufacturers

Perhaps it’s time to go after the gun lobby with the tool they fear the most: the courts. Gun manufacturers and gun dealers have special immunity from lawsuits thanks to a National Rifle Association (NRA) sponsored bill they rammed through Congress in 2005. Following the passage of the lawsuit shield law, Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), NRA Spokesman Wayne LaPierre said that it was critical to keep the gun industry solvent. “It’s the most significant piece of pro-gun legislation in 20 years,” said LaPierre. It was an admission that the threat of liability lawsuits could severely limit […]

Kim Reynolds Gives $25,000 Tax Cut To Millionaires

Under the tax bill signed by Governor Kim Reynolds, millionaires cash in with nearly $25,000 in tax cuts annually while middle class Iowans will receive between $100 to $300. Lower income Iowans will get a whopping $18 per year in cuts. The Iowa Policy Project (IPP), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that focuses on tax and budget issues, has issued estimates of the tax cuts on various income groups. Reynolds’ original tax plan differed from the more extreme version ultimately passed by the Republican controlled legislature. However, since Reynolds happily signed it, she owns it and she must be forced to […]

The Fundamental Balance Of Iowa Is Slipping Away

I’m sure you have heard the old tale about Iowa’s bountiful cornfields — about closing your eyes in the summer, listening carefully at night and being able to hear the corn grow. Here’s different image to ponder: If you open your eyes and look around carefully, I think you can see our state changing right in front of us. And I’m pretty certain we are not going to like where we end up. Through the years, Iowa has been the geographic and sociological equivalent of Baby Bear’s porridge. We have not been a state that is as well off economically […]

Trump Breaks Iran Promise; Will The World Trust Us Again?

President Trump’s decision to break America’s word by pulling out of the Iran nuclear agreement has stunned the world. Trump intentionally defied three of our closest friends and allies – France, Germany and Britain. The Iran deal was negotiated by all five of the permanent members of the UN Security Council – the US, UK, France, China and Russia with the addition of Germany (P5+1). The 2015 nuclear agreement was an enormous success by stopping Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Iran was literally months away from completing their weapons when this agreement abruptly ended their program. This breakthrough was a […]