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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/12/12

Veto the Poor, Enrich the Already Rich

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Michael Richards
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Iowa has a very long and deep moral commitment to taking care of those among us that have unmet economic needs. As Iowa developed as a state, each township had a social aid council that took care of those in need in their local area. As we changed and grew, those township by township responsibilities were taken on by counties. Now, with advanced communication and transportation, we have developed a statewide approach to social welfare.

Iowa Governor Branstad is literally going against a strong Iowa social ethic that has taken almost 200 years of our history as a people to develop. Iowans embrace our responsibility to take care of the least among us. Branstad turns his back on the least among us. Meanwhile, the State of Iowa can set aside $750 million dollars to dish out as direct funding to corporate interests in our state.  Many of those corporations that receive funds from Iowa taxpayers are actually owned by out of sate entities.

The Iowa State Department of Economic Development picks just 50 or 60 companies each year to receive that $750 million. The thousands of other Iowa businesses that pay 100% of their taxes and create almost all of the jobs do not receive a single penny of funding from the State.   In addition to a billion dollars that is given to just a few companies with political connections, many other large corporate entities receive huge tax credits. Some of the largest Iowa companies receive both; a case in point, is Rockwell Collins that pays absolutely nothing in State Taxes on nearly 5 billion of annual revenue, and then in turn they demand an annual $15 million as a cash gift from Iowa tax payers. Branstad then places CEO Clay Jones on the State Economic Cronie Council.

Branstad, and Iowa legislators have this totally backwards; It is not the place of government to give $750 million dollars to only 50 or 60 companies that the State chooses as winners in this political patronage game.   Let private business function in a fair and open free market. It would take a lot less than this $750 million of unfair corporate welfare to provide a basic safety net for those at the very bottom of the economic heap. Their welfare and raw survival is actually threatened,   and our Governor turns his back on them.   The Governor's attitude and action is totally counter to the moral and ethical foundations of this state. It's time for Branstad to retire from his Statehouse gig and move on to a cushy corporate job as a reward for his undying loyalty to the wealthiest among us.

Governor, so you veto a mere $500,000 for a food bank for the "least among us" while you strongly advocate for the largesse of corporate welfare? Governor, you are an embarrassment to the people of Iowa and our long standing ethic of caring for one another.   If you want to have the least among us stand on their own two feet, then deliver on your empty campaign promise of 250,000 new jobs for Iowans and a 20% increase in the income of every Iowa household. We need leadership in Iowa, not a career politician that delivers totally empty promises just to get elected.

Michael Richards, Cedar Rapids, Iowa    Email address removed

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Michael Richards is a life long innovator, entrepreneur and author. His most recent book is; SUSTAINABLE OPERATING SYSTEMS/The Post Petrol Paradigm (available on line at; www.amazon.com Mr. Richards has presented as an author, speaker and (more...)
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