Sunday, April 22, 2007

News and Thoughts from Jackson County

Our Soup and Sandwich Supper Friday night was a great success. We had a great audience of people from Jackson County and neighboring counties alike. The crowd got a chance to listen to Leon Mosley, Steve Rathje and Jim Gilmore, who all gave good speeches. I want to thank all of those who spoke as well as those who attended. I also want to give special thanks to Greg Grant for agreeing to be the auctioneer for our bake sale, and to Ken Marburger for taking on the huge task of food planning and preparation. I also want to thank those who helped with the food preparation and decorating, you know who you are!

Earlier in the day, Mitt Romney also visited a crowd at Flapjack's in Maquoketa. Unfortunately, I myself was unable to attend. After talking to several people, we concluded that this was likely the first time we have ever had two Republican Presidential Candidates in Jackson County on the same day. This is an exciting time for us in Jackson County, and we hope to have many more appearances by Presidential candidates in our county in the upcoming months.

The Iowa Senate this week passed Senate Bill 596 (also called the “iTunes Tax”) that will impose the 5 percent state sales tax on all downloaded songs, videos, ringtones and audio books. The bill was passed on a party line vote, with Democrats in favor and Republicans against. I am sure a lot of people in the general public at first glance will look at this legislation and say, “5 cents per song? Big deal!”. Well, it is. Five cents per song is not a huge amount of money, and that is exactly the mindset that the Democrats in our State Senate want you to have. This legislation remind me of the plot of the movie Superman III. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the movie, the character played by Richard Pryor creates a computer program that takes the fractions of a cent left over from bank transactions and deposits those fractions of a cent into a dummy account. Over time, the account would grow quite large because of the large number of transactions processed. The logic is that by siphoning off such small amounts of money in each transaction, it will go unnoticed. Sound familiar?

The fiscal legislation pushed by Iowa Democrats in the House and Senate this year shows what their mindset truly is. They know that pushing for huge tax increases would result in a backlash. Instead, they have set their sights smaller, as in smaller amounts. People take notice when they are asked to cough over hundreds or thousands of dollars in one lump sum. However, most don't think twice about ponying up a few extra cents for everyday purchases, such as music downloads or a pack of cigarettes. Instead of asking for huge amounts of money up front, they plan to nickel and dime us to death.

-Adam Reuter