Includes recent updates


The lawsuit Republicans
can't afford to win

You may have heard about the Minnesotan who, when asked why he repeatedly banged his head against the wall, said “It felt so good when I stopped.”

Something similar is happening behind the scenes at the statehouse as Senate Republicans try to fix a problem of their own making.

That’s why the Senate is about to discuss a delay of last year’s widely and wildly promoted tax cut package. The Senate majority has changed their minds this year--sort of --on an income tax cut that would eventually cost the state of Iowa $310 million a year. 

Rather than dig the state budget hole deeper, Republicans want to make the tax cut next year’s problem. Let it ride until after November 2004 election.

You haven't heard much about this income tax cut because Governor Vilsack vetoed it. It is so unbalanced that 60 cents of every tax cut dollar would go to the wealthiest 20 percent of Iowa’s individuals. The 20 percent at the bottom would get about a penny. 

Republicans filed a lawsuit to overturn Governor Vilsack’s veto. That's the lawsuit they can't afford to win.

If they win the lawsuit, Iowa will immediately need a special session to obey Iowa's balanced budget law. The Legislative majority will then impose drastic cuts to our local schools, higher property tax increases, college tuition increases, and a decline in health care for our most vulnerable citizens. Either than or they’ll have to raise taxes again.

It appears Republican leaders have finally concluded that this sort of special session just before the November election could be a "bad thing" (please excuse the technical term).

Senate Democrats are glad Republicans are starting to think about the implications of the legislation they passed last year. Better late than never. 

Rather than pass this hot potato onto the next General Assembly, we have a better suggestion: Drop the lawsuit and get the focus back on what Iowans value most: good schools, accessible health care, a growing economy and lower property taxes.

Proposed Iowa Tax Cuts Geared to Wealthiest, a study by the Iowa Policy Project

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