Category: TAXES

The Harsh Republican Reality of the Fiscal Cliff

I break from a majority of Republicans on the current fiscal cliff negotiations and believe the rate increases that Democrats are seeking should eventually be agreed to. More specifically I would support John Boehner signing on to taking the top bracket from 35% to 37-38% (short of the 39.6% Obama wants).

Of course the argument against doing so is the superior one—essentially that the Senate and the President want more money to spend while having not passed a budget in 3 years and having not yet put any real spending cuts or entitlement reforms on the table. But the two Parties have been at a stalemate over this issue for years and in my view the trump card is that last month they held the …


First Presidential Debate, October 3, 2012

Debate, Podium, President, Discorse, PoliticsThe most impressive thing about Wednesday night’s Presidential Debate is what it was not: a contentious barrage of angry epitaths like those being thrown throughout the blogosphere or even in some of the Republican Primary Debates. Both men were smiling, civil, and even appeared to be listening as the other spoke. President Obama carried on the same criticisms of Romney’s plans, and the Governor politely said that the President’s information was wrong. They both agreed with each other regarding areas of common ground. We suspect that the rules holding applause had a positive impact on the cordial nature of the debate, although it certainly didn’t hurt that Moderator Jim Lehrer’s folksy demeaner and attempts to steer the conversation helped keep the discourse on an even …


Tax-Exempt Municipal Bonds Must End

In his autobiography, Calvin Coolidge singled out tax-exempt bonds as a travesty; idiotic, improper, probably immoral, and something which needed to be addressed.

Firmly believing that all the income of the nation had to be treated equally (and that public debt was hostile to liberty) Coolidge decried this special treatment, stating point-blank that it provided a way for the wealthy to hide their income from taxation, made it too easy for local governments to amass debt, and benefited local politicians and the buyers of their bonds all at the expense of the taxpayers who had to cover the interest on the debt.

In Coolidge’s day, the courts had ruled that the Federal government didn’t have the power to tax municipal bonds – cities are incorporated …


Warren Buffett’s Taxes

For some strange reason, probably because this is an election year, I decided to watch President Obama’s State of the Union address tonight.  I usually avoid watching because I don’t need to elevate my blood pressure beyond what’s safe, given my advancing age.  But I also don’t watch because I find the President boring.  His version of the State of America is not the same as mine.  And since he uses rhetoric instead of facts to support his arguments, and delivers them in a manner that is both condescending and arrogant, I generally choose to avoid his incendiary speeches.

But this is an election year, and much is being made about how the uber-wealthy are being taxed, whether it’s Warren Buffett, or Mr. Buffett’s secretary, …


Willie Nelson and Walking Toward Gingrich

“After carefully considering the whole situation, I stand with my back to the wall. And walking is better, than running away…and crawling ain’t no good at all”

Willie Nelson—Lyrics to “Walking” (1974)

While not known for his astute political analysis, with these lyrics Willie Nelson has managed to perfectly describe the conundrum myself and millions of other voters face in selecting a candidate to support for president amongst the Republican field.

For months now GOPers have been carefully considering the whole situation, and have yet to settle on anyone. With the voting only two weeks away a majority of those undecided now officially are standing with their backs against the wall.

In this regard I am no different—laid here are the reasons I am currently …


Bloomberg Debate Re-Cap: What We Thought We Knew…All Holds True

This piece was written by Justin Arnold-Editor of The Conservative Reader:Iowa and John Bloom-former Chairman of the Polk County Republican Party and Conservative Reader contributor.

Since the field of Republican candidates seemingly spent the entire month of September participating in high-profile debates, one would think these exercises would eventually become monotonous and lose their luster. Proving how high the stakes are, and how intense the opposition to our current president is, the exact opposite has been the case.

Instead what has transpired is that Republican excitement has counter-acted the law of diminishing returns. This has been proven by both the dramatic surges and plunges of the candidates following the debates and in the number of people watching them (over 12 million watched the last Fox …


A Sweeping Declaration of Intent: Gingrich unveils new “21st Century Contract with America”

If ever there is going to be a moment for former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich to create momentum and change the flat trajectory of his presidential run—now is the time. One day after the release of a Fox News poll, which surprisingly showed him gaining substantial ground in the race, Gingrich took to the stage at the Principal building in Des Moines to unveil his newly minted “21st Century Contract with America”.

Updated from the 1994 version, this new contract will serve as the backbone of his campaign and its acceptance or rejection will determine his fate one way or the other.

In the world of presidential politics such fate is largely decided by three things—the style, the substance, and …


The Politics of Obamacare, Medicaid, Illegal Immigration, and Education Reform: The Conservative Reader Interview with Sen. Jack Whitver (Part 2 of 2)

In part one of this interview, the last legislative session was the main focus. Now we will turn our attention to the major issues that will be hotly debated in 2012.

One of the first things to jump out at anyone who starts digging into the issues being wrestled with by our general assembly is how much they mirror the issues being debated at the Federal level. This being the case, there is no better place to start than how Obamacare and trimming entitlements manifest themselves here In Iowa.

Obamacare and the Politics of Medicaid

While scarcely publicized, last session included preliminary debates into setting up Iowa’s insurance exchange, which Obamacare mandates be done by next year’s legislative adjournment. The tricky situation for state legislators …


Why Iowa’s 2011 Legislative Session Matters to Conservatives: The Conservative Reader Interview with Senator Jack Whitver (Part 1 of 2)

Three weeks removed from ending the third longest legislative session in Iowa history, I had the pleasure of sitting down for an interview with District 35’s representative in the Iowa Senate—Republican Jack Whitver. The main focus of our conversation was the results of the 172 day session and the political clouds already forming on the horizon for next year’s Senatorial get together.

In the interest of adding perspective, here is a brief overview of Senator Whitver’s political and business careers: He joined the Iowa Senate this year by virtue of winning a special election to fill the seat of Larry Noble, first beating five other Republicans in a truncated primary and then defeating Democrat John Calhoun (63%-36%). The district covers most of the northern half …


Saving Jobs By Saving LIFO Accounting

In his recent visit to our state, President Obama toured Alcoa, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of aluminum, located in Davenport, IA. As a part of his visit, President Obama praised the manufacturing sector of the economy and touted the strong growth of private sector jobs over the last 15-months of his administration. President Obama also mentioned in his speech that not only had Alcoa rehired laid-off workers, but that it was anticipating the need to add new employees to its workforce.

I am delighted that the President recognizes the positive impact private sector manufacturers are having on the economy, but what he failed to mention as a part of his visit was that he is advocating for repeal of the Last-In, First-Out accounting …


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