Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Gas Tax Debate-Democrats oppress while Bob Vander Plaats draws a hard line.

This morning’s Des Moines Register provided the scene for the Democrats public embrace of an eight cent per gallon tax increase on every gallon of gas that Iowans and our visitors purchase.

Tom Rielly (D SD 38) sought to minimize the economic damage the proposed tax increase would impose on the average Iowan. Sen. Reilly failed. Last night from the floor of the Iowa House of Representatives the Democrats and their very special beneficiaries in Big Labor treated the people of Iowa to their socialist demand that Iowa adopt prevailing wage so that Big Labor can better compete against the more efficient and less expensive open shop contractors in public works. Everyone that has survived the poisons of a poor education and an even worse popular culture with the vestigial capacity to critically think understands that raising the cost of labor fifteen to twenty percent will increase the cost of public improvements to the taxpayer. Almost all of the public improvements are schools and roads. So what is the Democrat’s capital source to pay the contemplated fifteen to twenty percent increased costs?

Why you, of course. Read the DMR article linked above: Reilly’s smug disregard for your budget is palpable. Even if one assumes Reilly’s calculations accurately represent your household annual driving consumption, and be sure to ask yourself if they do, why is it fair to take your $80 and give it to one of the small percentage of closed shop contractors and their union employees? Even worse, why should the Democrats take your money and give to the bosses who run the unions so those bosses can in turn give it to Democrat politicians-a tawdry sequence that is obvious from even a cursory review of campaign reports of the Democrat proponents of prevailing wage legislation, much less the more murky financial reports of labor union political activities.

The foregoing questions would seem particularly important to the single mom getting by on $12.50 an hour, or maybe to the thousand of former open shop construction workers who have lost their jobs in the collapse of the urban housing markets, or to thousands of young unemployed white collar kids who just got the pink slip at the Register, Principal, Pella Windows, Wells Fargo, AEG Insurance etc……

At the same time, this issue has provided an opportunity for some on the political scene to show leadership. Gubernatorial candidate
Bob Vander Plaats has drawn a bright bold line on the issue. In a recent interview over at Iowa Independent, Bob made it clear that there are, in fact, better ways to fund a 21st Century infrastructure. More to the immediate point, Bob made his opposition to any tax increases unambiguously clear to all Republicans in the upcoming primary cycle.


Spotlight said...

It's so touching to see your concern that campaign contributions are a feedback loop: Give to politicians, get legislation in return.

It looks appropriate to raise the question of how to avoid this loop. Do you favor public financing of campaigns? Or do you approve of the feedback loop when it works for your party but not when it works for the other party?


Anonymous said...

Both parties are F'd up on this. It's all dirty - on both sides. A pox on all their houses.

I ask you Spotlight - how do you feel about the current massive tax evasion, Jack Murtha Stealing, Charlie Rangel stealing, Chris Dodd stealing, Obama stealing, Roland Burris stealing, Tom Daschle stealing, on and on...

in the most ethical congress ever?

Do you also agree that both parties have become corrupt?

Yes, I find myself wanting public financing and wanting term limits too. I want politicians to be banned for life from lobbying.

What do you say?

Spotlight said...

I agree corruption is rampant. I oppose term limits because they kick out experience and replace it with amatuers so rapidly that lobbyists become the real center of power year after year.

Lifetime banning of lobbying by ex-pols would be nice but (as Daschle showed) unenforceable.

Anonymous said...

I think what the public needs to hear is that the Prevailing Wage Law is basically a salary increase for construciton workers. My employees currently earn between 35K and 65K, depending upon skill and experience. They also get a long list of benefits. And they have NEVER experienced a lay-off from my company for fifteen years. They have the FREEDOM to negotiate their wages whenever they choose. If this bill passes, my lowest skilled employee with the least amount of experience and training will earn a MINIMUM of 71K! And this pay increase is now going to be paid by the tax payer when this employee works on a public project, such as a school. $71,000.00 a year is far more than a 40-year veteran teacher in the Des Moines Public Schools earns (with a college degree, I might add). It's about double that of a entry-level police officer or fireman. It is actually more money than I will take as a salary AS HIS EMPLOYER! And I don't get paid holidays or vacation like they do.
This morning the news said that the Des Moines school district is short 18 million dollars due to three things, one of which was pay increases for Union employees. Yet, the cost of building a new school or simply maintaing the one they got just increased 25%, due to wages. Hello? Can they not connect the dots?
Fair-Share is next, gang.