Determined Leadership. High Expectations. A Brighter Future. Rants 2010 Iowa Governor



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    A Conservative Approach to the Fuel Tax

    Posted 2/9/2014 by Christopher

    The most important issue that should be addressed by this year's Iowa legislature is a needed fuel tax increase to support Iowa's critical infrastructure needs. Failure to act will result in more debt and higher property taxes.

    In an unfortunate choice of words, Republican Party of Iowa Chairman AJ Spiker last week referred to Rep. Byrnes efforts to pass the bill as a "Frankenstein's monster" and the "bill that just won't die."   Perhaps Mr. Spiker needs to more closely examine the underlying reasons that a fuel tax increase will continue to be an issue until the legislature and Governor Branstad finally take action. 

    First, while the gas tax has remained unchanged for over twenty years, the cost of concrete, rebar and steel has risen with inflation.  I challenge Mr. Spiker to name a product or service that hasn't seen an increase in cost or price since 1989.  Yet somehow he believes we can maintain our roads and bridge at the same level without any increase in revenue. In truth we've lost 25% in spending ability due to inflation.

     
    To read the rest of the column that appears in the Sioux City Journal please click the link above.

    GOP Primary & Ethanol

    Posted 12/28/2013 by Christopher

    This month the Obama administration decided to roll back America's Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS for short) and reduce the amount of ethanol used by American drivers.   Swearing to turn back the EPA's decision Governor Terry Branstad, Senators Grassley and Harkin, Congressmen King, Braley, Latham and Lobesack have been organizing, working the phones, and building coalitions of farm belt politicos.

     

    When the EPA announced their decision, I wondered how the Republican candidates for US Senate would react.  The RFS pits contradictory political bases within the GOP against each other.  On one hand Republicans eschew mandates -- except for ones we like.  Ie, health care mandates bad, ethanol mandates good.   On the other hand, corn is king in Iowa, and from pure dollars and cents the ethanol boom has been fueling Iowa's economy.   Many city folk tend to forget Iowa's economy, despite diversification efforts, is still agriculture based.   In our own community the single largest development project in the last twenty years is not a computer or insurance company - it's a fertilizer company. 

     

    Thus candidates get pulled  in opposite directions.  

    To read the full column that appeared in the Sioux City Journal 12/29/13 click the link above.

    Dear Governor Christie

    Posted 11/15/2013 by Christopher

    Come to Iowa, Governor, come soon and come often.  Come for the state fair, visit our manufacturers and offices, dine at our county party chili feeds, and come to our caucuses.

     

    Since your landslide reelection national pundits have written that you may be an east coast favorite, but you are ill suited for Iowa’s brand of Republicanism.  As an actual caucus goer I’d tell you there are many hues of red in our state.  Before Iowans elected a King, we’d elected a Ganske, Grandy, Latham, Leach and Nussle.

     

    Some Iowans have also said you can’t win in our state.  Perhaps.  But then again you don’t have to win – you do, however, have to show up.  Neither Reagan nor Bush (41) won the caucuses the year they captured the White House.  Neither Romney nor McCain won when they captured the nomination.  You don’t have to win by having the most caucus goers, you often win by beating expectations.  The press has already proclaimed you aren’t “anti-this” or “anti-that” enough for Iowans.  So be it.  Come campaign on your pro-jobs and pro-reform agenda and finish a close second.  Maybe even surprise them. But come to Iowa.

     

    Be honest with us, Governor, about what Chris Christie really believes.  There are enough cows in the state that our noses are trained to identify something other than authenticity. If you disagree with a certain portion of conservative orthodoxy, tell us why. Don’t be someone you are not to try and win the caucuses, because it will not serve you well later.  Don’t shy away from us, thinking you can win it all elsewhere.  Mayor Giuliani failed with that strategy.  Be honest about why you disagree, our responses may surprise you.

     

    Tuesday you stated, people “more than anything else want the truth..” and while they don’t always agree, they don’t have to wonder where Chris Christie stands.  You also claimed that you “show up in the places that vote for us a little… we show up in the places where we’re uncomfortable.”  I’m sure there is a great Jersey colloquialism about proving that.  Come to Iowa Governor, be uncomfortable.

    (This article appeared in the Sioux City Journal November 17, 2013) 

    My Insurance Story

    Posted 11/15/2013 by Christopher

    October 11th I received notice from my family’s health insurance provider that our plan was not compliant with the benefits mandated by the Affordable Care Act and in January we’d be transitioned to a new plan. 

     

    I’m self-employed so I am responsible for picking the insurance that meets my family’s needs, and I pay for it.  My wife and I chose a high deductible policy and set up a corresponding health savings account.  We have other options, but this has been our choice.

     

    In backing away from his original “if you like it you can keep it” promise, President Obama has now made clear he never intended his promise to cover “sub-par” plans.  So now the President has declared he knows better than my wife and I about what is best for our family.  

     

    A week later another letter from my insurer arrived with the opportunity to immediately terminate our current policy and start a new policy that would “keep the benefits you have today.”  There are two catches however.  First, the premium is 17% higher. I knew rates would go up, but 17% is surprising.  Second, it creates a gap in our “accumulators” -those out of pocket maximums.  Nothing we spend in December counts toward 2013 or 2014 maximums.

     

    I took the offer.  I don’t like it, but I’m skeptical of doing better in the exchange.  Because I am locked in for 2014 I’m in the blatantly selfish position of wanting Congress to keep the enrollment deadlines unchanged.  Delaying the deadlines to protect Congress’s political backsides would result in the sick signing up to use the system but the healthy do not.  An insurance pool disproportionally filled with the sick means that my 17% rate increase is only the beginning. 

     

    (This column appeared in the Sioux City Journal November 17, 2013)

    Checking in on the GOP Primary

    Posted 10/13/2013 by Christopher

    Folks are choosing up sides as Republican battles Republican.  No, I’m not talking about a Ted Cruz vs John McCain throwdown.  I’m more interested in the Iowa GOP primary for US Senate.

     

    My May column addressed the question “Who are we going to run for Senate.”  My answer was “first person to raise $250,000.”  It’s time to check how our candidates are doing in reaching that goal. 

     

    To read the rest of my column that appeared in the October 12 Sioux City Journal click the link above.

    Bring On the Heat

    Posted 9/8/2013 by Christopher

    The mercury closing in on one hundred degrees is as predictable as the cries from parents, students and teachers questioning the wisdom of starting the school year before Labor Day.   Governor Branstad has questioned allowing schools to start before September 1st because it isn't  "fair to the tourism industry."  Even candidates for school board are bemoaning our early start date.

    Really?  Our kids are falling behind their counterparts across the globe, and they need less school?  How will that improve their academic achievement?


    To read my column from the September Sioux City Journal click the link above. 


    The mercury closing in on one hundred degrees is as predictable as the cries from parents, students and teachers questioning the wisdom of starting the school year before Labor Day.   Governor Branstad has questioned allowing schools to start before September 1st because it isn't  "fair to the tourism industry."  Even candidates for school board are bemoaning our early start date.

    Really?  Our kids are falling behind their counterparts across the globe, and they need less school?  How will that improve their academic achievement?

    The mercury closing in on one hundred degrees is as predictable as the cries from parents, students and teachers questioning the wisdom of starting the school year before Labor Day.   Governor Branstad has questioned allowing schools to start before September 1st because it isn't  "fair to the tourism industry."  Even candidates for school board are bemoaning our early start date.

    Really?  Our kids are falling behind their counterparts across the globe, and they need less school?  How will that improve their academic achievement?

       
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