Letter: Beware ‘bipartisanship,’ ‘historic’ in lawmaking
Op-Ed · January 24, 2014

With the legislature back in session, we’ll soon be bombarded with letters from our elected officials in Des Moines, telling us what wonderful things they accomplished last year, and what they have in store for us this year.

Be sure to watch for key words like “bipartisanship” and “historic.” While last year’s agreement on property tax reform was historic, and passed with bipartisan support, it’s not something to brag about.

Cutting taxes for commercial and industrial property owners is going to be expensive, and no magic back-fill is going to be able to pay for it without a hike in residential property taxes.

If Iowans have to subsidize big business to ensure their sustainability, can we truly call it Free Enterprise? I thought we believed in the philosophy that businesses would make it or break it, based on the principles of supply and demand.

While our elected officials are ignoring this inconvenient hypocrisy, it might be a good time to point out other problems that occurred last year.

While Governor Branstad issued line item vetoes that cut $91.3 million in appropriations for the Peace Officers’ Retirement Fund, the House Republicans refused to act. While Governor Branstad’s Administration refused to hire additional nursing home inspectors with the money that was appropriated for that, again House Republicans refused to act.

Think about that the next time you hear your elected officials talk about their concern for elder abuse. It’s time for less happy-go-lucky rhetoric and more action. I don’t want to hear what legislators say they care about.

I want to see what they care about through their actions. It’s time for our legislators to show their concern for these issues by standing up to Governor Branstad when he crosses the line. Governor Branstad’s actions are inexcusable, but if the legislature refuses to act, they’re complicit by their inaction.

David Johnson, West Branch

Candidate for State House District 73

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