Kim Reynolds should have made one clean break from Terry Branstad

Governor Kim Reynolds made a strategic error by not distinguishing herself from her predecessor in any meaningful way, judging by the new Iowa poll by Selzer & Co for the Des Moines Register and Mediacom.

Changing course on even one high-profile policy could have demonstrated strong critical thinking and leadership skills. Instead, Reynolds is in effect running for a seventh Terry Branstad term. Unfortunately for her, Iowans are inclined to think it’s “time for someone new” in the governor’s office.

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Iowa Republicans found yet another way to hurt teachers this year

No matter how closely you were following the horror show that was the Iowa legislature’s 2017 session, chances are you didn’t notice every Republican favor to moneyed interests at the expense of working people, especially public sector employees.

So it was that I learned just this week about a new law that could cost some Iowa educators part of their retirement savings.

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Andy McGuire will protect all of us

Bleeding Heartland welcomes guest posts advocating for candidates in competitive Democratic primaries. Please read these guidelines before writing. -promoted by desmoinesdem

I am Lane Kunzie and a senior at Wayne Community Schools in Corydon. This is my first political blog post and the Democratic primary on June 5, 2018 will be the first election I can vote in. My first vote I am going to cast will be for Andy McGuire.

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Republicans going to conference on tax bill--without Chuck Grassley

Despite being the most senior member of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, Iowa’s Senator Chuck Grassley is not among the Congressional Republicans who will hash out a final tax bill. The Senate voted on December 6 to go to conference with House members, but Grassley revealed on Twitter this morning that he “was dropped” as a conferee.

Presumably GOP leaders want to distance themselves from Grassley’s recent comment that repealing the estate tax would reward “the people that are investing […] as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies.” Those remarks have received massive nationwide media coverage, mockery, and condemnation.

Some Republicans had hoped the House would quickly send the Senate’s tax bill to President Donald Trump. However, in their unprecedented haste to rewrite massive legislation after an unfavorable report from the Joint Committee on Taxation, key GOP senators introduced errors in the bill approved over the weekend.

Notably, revised language on the corporate alternative minimum tax would increase taxes on many companies, sending business interests into “revolt.” Lily Batchelder, a law professor and former chief tax counsel for the Senate Finance Committee explained that issue in a series of tweets I’ve posted after the jump, along with a chart highlighting the key differences between the tax bills House and Senate Republicans have already passed. Other sloppily-drafted provisions “could be easily gamed” or “could open broad avenues for tax avoidance,” according to tax experts quoted by Politico’s Brian Faler.

Both bills would provide generous tax breaks to wealthy individuals while raising taxes on tens of millions of lower and middle-income households.

House Republican leaders have signaled they will agree to repeal the individual mandate to purchase health insurance, which was part of the Senate bill. By 2025, that provision would reduce the number of people with health insurance coverage by an estimated 13 million nationwide and by 125,600 in Iowa.

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