Reynolds-Branstad Have Been Disastrous for Iowa

{Four people who could easily do a better job than Reynolds. Unfortunately, Todd Prichard has dropped out already.}

Cutting Long-term care Ombudsman visits to nursing homes just the latest in a long string of bad decisions.

In an editorial in the Iowa view section of the Des Moines Register, Dean Lerner expounds on the lasting damage that the Branstad and Reynolds administration have inflicted on Iowa during their reign.

Dear Gov. Reynolds:

Thanks to you and Gov. Branstad, Iowa’s $800 million budget surplus left by Gov. Culver has been squandered by tax cuts for corporations and the already wealthy, all in the name of trickle-down economics.

Despite the largest recession since the Great Depression, Gov. Culver left the state with a AAA bond rating and hundreds of millions of dollars in reserve. You and Gov. Branstad lied about this at the time and have continued to do so. Or, shall I instead call your lies by today’s nomenclature: “fake facts,” like your promise of a 25 percent increase in family income, 200,000 new jobs, balanced economic prosperity, etc.

Your policies have decimated our state budget, degraded our environment, injured Medicaid beneficiaries, victimized disabled and mentally ill Iowans, assaulted education and the Regents Institutions, privatized government functions that were better and more economically handled internally, gutted the state’s workforce, failed to protect children, shuttered valuable state institutions, caused lawsuits against the state costing millions of taxpayer dollars, and the list goes on.

Well said, Mr. Lerner.

Note that while pointing out the horrible fiscal mismanagement of the Branstad-Reynolds administration, Mr. Lerner also points out in contrast that the previous Democratic administration kept Iowa financially sound in one of the worst economic times in this country – the Republican recession of 2008.

In doing so, Mr. Lerner busts one of the most ridiculous myths of our times and one myth that the corporate media lives and dies by. That is the myth that Republicans are better caretakers of the taxpayers money. That has never been true. Where it grew from one can only speculate. 

Evidence in the case of Iowa, in the case of Kansas – now swirling the bankruptcy drain – and evidence from our national experience, all prove that if you want financially sound government then you need to elect Democrats.

Most people forget that in the 1990s that the Clinton-Gore administration and made such a dent in the national debt that a commission was formed to plan a strategy on what to do were the federal government able to pay off its debt. And it was looking quite possible that the debt might be paid off within a Gore presidency.

Instead the Supreme Court staged a coup and selected the candidate who would be shown to actually lose the election when all the votes were counted. Within a few years the debt had once more been doubled, thus continuing the history of Nixon, Reagan and the first Bush, all of whom ran up enormous debts.

Before you say it, yes the deficit was run up under Obama because his hands were tied by a Republican congress on raising taxes. Still Obama was able to cut the yearly debt by more than half during his administration.

Iowans need to keep fiscal responsibility in mind when they vote next year. Not only when they weigh their vote for governor, but when they vote for their member of the Iowa House and the Iowa Senate. While the executive often gets the credit or blame, they could not have run Iowa into the hole that they are in without a legislature that gave them the bad legislation to work with.

The Branstad-Reynolds team has once more highlighted that the myth of Republican fiscal responsibility is a huge myth.

What Republicans have brought to government since the Reagan years is union busting, tax cuts for the wealthy, mismanagement at all levels, privatizing services that more properly belong to government, wars, decreasing and more expensive health care, lower wages and less good jobs, the cutting of health services for women, restrictions on voting rights, and let us not forget the very questionable voting machines which may have been exploited by Russia in our last election.

It will take a long time to repair the damage Reynolds and Branstad have done. It will also take a legislature that is focused for the good of all Iowans, not just those who make the biggest campaign contributions or those who have the biggest mansions.

Iowa can do better than this.

Reynolds and Branstad



About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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