The editorial in Saturday’s Des Moines Register, “Politics over problem-solving” demonstrates a hubris that I have not seen in Iowa media for quite some time. The editorial board wrote:
The House of Representatives is particularly pathetic. Its new Republican majority has been obsessed with measure after measure that its members know full well will never even be considered in the Democratic-controlled Senate, but they press ahead anyway, not to make good law but to amass campaign fodder for 2012. It’s all about politics, not problem-solving.
This hubris is matched by Iowa Senator Mike Gronstalling (D-Council Bluffs) who has single-handedly prevented debate and votes on a number of House bills. The Register believes that he along with his Democrat caucus should determine the agenda for the state.
You know what, let’s just let them govern because they *obviously* know better than Iowa’s unwashed masses.
The writer of this editorial whines about the Voter ID bill… Apparently voter fraud isn’t a problem in the mind of the Register or Iowa Senate Democrats! How having to show an ID disenfranchises anyone I’ll never know since anyone (who is a legal resident of Iowa) can get a state ID for very little money. They complain that the bill would “have the effect of suppressing Democratic voter turnout.” Does the writer believe that somehow Democratic voters would have a harder time proving residency (or citizenship)? Also don’t forget the fact that Iowa Secretary of State Matt Shultz campaigned on this very issue and beat Michael Mauro handedly. I think Iowa voters have a different idea about this bill.
The editorial also sets its sights on (can I say that anymore?) the public employee collective bargaining bill complaining that it would “undermine Democratic-leaning public-employee unions.” Forget the fact that public employee collective bargaining, as it stands now, undermines the taxpayer! I guess they believe our state representatives need to look after the needs of the unions, not the people who sent them to the Statehouse in the first place.
Then they write…
Then there was the 20 percent cut in income tax approved by the House. A cut of that magnitude is insane at a time the state is starving its schools and universities, but a "yes" vote was a cheap way to keep the campaign cash flowing from the anti-tax groups and big-bucks donors who reap the lion’s share of income-tax cuts.
Cutting taxes helps bolster spending… which in turn helps the economy, helps create jobs… and guess what? It will increase tax revenue! I understand that a bunch of liberal journalists don’t have a grasp of economics 101, but an income tax decrease is what we need right now, especially when accompanied with spending cuts that the House wanted to implement but the Senate balked at.
Speaking of education cuts – everyone needs to cut during a recession, even schools. The state needs to cut spending (the lions share of the state budget is education), perhaps we shouldn’t have added public funded universal pre-school a couple of years ago. If it were not for the gloat in spending over the last four years we wouldn’t be in this position to begin with.
Then they complain about other bills passed by the House…
Similarly, constant agitation over banning gay marriage, restricting abortion and freeing gun owners from liability if they shoot someone keeps the base fired up without doing anything to rebuild the economy.
Did they ever consider since Iowans threw out three Iowa Supreme Court justices that perhaps the constituents of some of these State Representatives actually wanted them to act on a marriage amendment? Many in Iowa do view this as problem. Also ask Council Bluffs residents if having Leroy Carhart come in to do late term abortions is a problem… it certainly is for the preborn children involved. This isn’t some trivial issue, it is life and death and it merits our consideration.
Regarding building up our economy what the heck do they think the tax cuts and spending cuts are all about? A spending cut bill was one of the first things the House did… the Iowa Senate is the one not taking the problem seriously. Evidently the Register believes the only way to bolster the economy was to keep the I-Jobs program going and increase the glut of state government. Let’s keep going with failed policy.
Yes Legislators were elected to address fiscal issues, and they are trying to do just that. However they can walk and chew gum at the same time. They can and should address other issues of concern for voters as well. The Iowa House has been incredibly fruitful this year. It’s the Iowa Senate which has done nothing.
But they can’t criticize that because the wrong party is in charge over there. If the Register’s editorial board were honest they’d admit it isn’t that the House isn’t solving problems, it’s just that they don’t agree with the solutions the House Republicans are providing.
Essentially they’re saying that House Republicans should only do what Senate Democrats want them to do. Iowans rejected Iowa Democrats’ failed polices and ideas last November, apparently The Register wants us to forget that.