DSCF1260Former First Lady of Iowa and Democrat Congressional Candidate, Christie Vilsack, spoke at The Des Moines Register’s Soapbox at the Iowa State Fair.  It was mainly a biographical speech, but she also took time to provide a contrast between herself and Congressman Steve King whom she hopes to unseat in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District.

The speech showed her lack of depth on the issues and was full of mischaracterizations about her opponent.  In the end of the speech she made a promise to those listening that “everything I say, every ad I run and press release we send out will be researched and factual.”

So let’s hold her to that promise and pick her speech apart shall we?

First we have her ambiguous reason for running…. she wants to bring the spirit of something or other to Congress with her.

  • First she said she wanted to bring the spirit of civility and cooperation with her… I guess that is why she said that Congressman King talked “about immigrants as if they were animals.”  Really?  That’s civil?  More on that later.  Then she’s demonstrated civility and cooperation when she politicized the drought we’re having and lied about Congressman King’s efforts to get a farm bill passed.
  • Then she wants to bring the spirit of cooperation and making eye contact to Congress… I don’t even know what that means.  She was referencing a major intersection in her hometown of Mt. Pleasant that didn’t have a stoplight.  I guess she wants to look both ways so she doesn’t get killed.
  • She wants to get along and that is the spirit she wants to take with her to Washington – again reference my first point.  She’s been anything, but civil.

Second she wants to be about the local in order to represent the 39 counties in the district and by doing so she is focusing on small towns and jobs.  As a focus that isn’t bad, “all politics is local” and her district is mainly rural and small towns, but how she describes job creation sounds more like coddling than actual economic development.

“We can’t keep young people there (small towns) if we can’t offer them a job that pays a good wage and is interesting,” Vilsack said.  She described the events that led up to her family moving back to Mt. Pleasant from New York was enlightening.  Her dad wrote to her and said, “here’s a job for Tom in my law firm and this is how much it pays, and here’s a job for you and this is how much it pays.”  She then said, “I want everyone to look at their son and grandson (no girls?) and to be able to say, ‘Here is the job.’”

That sounds more like a handout for young people than sound economic development.

And here is how she wants to create jobs…

Through education which she describes as “the keystone of our democracy.”  That’s funny, I thought the Constitution was the “keystone” of our Republic.  She didn’t say what she wanted to do to make education better, just that we need education.

Wonderful… it’s not a role of the federal government, that is a state and local issue.

She wants Iowans to develop bio products in order to develop small businesses in the small towns in the 39 counties she seeks to represent.  Because of our biofuels production Vilsack said that “we’ve been able to weather the economy better than other states.”

Wow, because our unemployment was a little less than the national average that’s something to celebrate!  I don’t think we can give biofuels all of the credit here.  I’m not sure what proof she has to offer that biofuels kept us afloat.

She then wants to bring high speed internet to the small towns.  The Iowa Utilities Board in an assessment learned that 94% of Iowans have access to high speed internet from at least one provider.  So what exactly does she want to do that isn’t already being worked on?

There is relatively little that can (or should) be done at the Federal level.  While she wants to “think local” she really needs to “think federal” otherwise perhaps she should run for the State Legislature instead.  For instance, with biofuels and bio products, sure she can be in favor of tax credits or subsidies (we don’t really know what she plans to do to promote bio products as her speech was horribly vague) beyond that it is up to state policy.  You can promote biofuels and bio products all you want, but if you’re state has a horrible business climate it won’t do much to help economic development.

She wants to help create jobs, but she criticized Congressman King for not wanting to raise taxes on job creators.  She says she wants to balance the budget, but she said noting about cutting spending and nothing about Obamacare which will continue to drive budget deficits. 

Third we have her other lies and distortions…

She said Steve King talks “about immigrants as if they are animals?”  When?  Where is your research and facts Mrs. Vilsack?  That sounds like partisan sniping to me.  He has been outspoken on illegal immigration because it not only impacts us at the national level; it impacts those 39 counties in the Iowa 4th Congressional District.  It drives up entitlement spending.  It impacts jobs.  I’ve heard him say he wants to secure our borders, but if Christie Vilsack thinks that wanting President Obama to enforce the law is “talking about immigrants as if they are animals” then she is completely out of touch.

She also criticized Congressman King’s advocacy of the Fair Tax.  She correctly stated that the goal is to replace the federal income tax with a consumption tax of 23%.  She then went on to say it would raise taxes on the middle class and it would only be ok for those making over $200,000/year.  No mention of the prebate that is a chief component of the Fair Tax which would offset any additional tax burden.  No mention that you only pay the tax on new products.  No mention of how much money this would save at the Federal level in that you could drastically shrink the IRS if not eliminate.  No mention of how much money this would save businesses and families in their tax preparations.   Also this would eliminate income reporting and increase privacy.  Along with a whole host of other benefits – not to mention that everybody would pay taxes.  If you buy new things – you pay, no one could cheat the system.

Then imagine what the Fair Tax would do at the corporate level.  No more hidden costs of taxes added to the price of products that businesses sell.  It would lower business costs not having to deal with payroll taxes.  It would level the playing field with imported products.

Talk about misrepresenting a position!  What happened to being factual?  This shows me that Christie Vilsack doesn’t have a clue about the Fair Tax.

She also said that a Fair Tax would increase state income tax in Iowa because we’d lose Federal income tax deductibility.  So let’s keep an onerous income tax system because it may save us some money with state income taxes?  That is completely asinine.  Iowa can change its law and likely would to reflect the change.  There are many who are pushing for a Fair Tax at the state level as well – 9%.  Also is she aware that Iowa Legislative Democrats during the Culver administration tried to get rid of federal deductibility?  I suppose not since she appears to be clueless on other issues as well.

Vilsack also lied when she said that Congressman King said, “states should be able to ban contraceptives.” When?  I’ve heard him address taxpayers not having to fund contraceptives and that employers, in particular religious organizations, shouldn’t be forced to pay for them.  That is a far cry from advocating that they are banned outright.  Facts?  Research?

She accused Steve King of suggesting that people who don’t own property shouldn’t vote.  Again – facts?  Research?  Also did he really suggest that people should work until they’re 74 or was he pointing out a problem with Social Security if it isn’t dealt with.

Christie Vilsack’s speech demonstrated a lack of depth, a lack of knowledge with issues that impacts Iowan, that she doesn’t have a clue about job creation, and that she is willing to lie and distort her opponent’s position in order to win.

But hey I’m glad she wants to be civil and cooperate.  She can start by telling the truth about her own positions and quit lying about Steve King’s.

You can watch her speech below:

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