We Must Oppose the Healthcare Bill Compromise

(Here's hoping that House Progressives vote down this sham. - promoted by desmoinesdem)

Crossposted from Hillbilly Report.

The compromise in the House is not real Healthcare reform. Although our country desperately needs Healthcare reform just supporting any bill offered is not progress. After Corporate Democrats and Republicans have gotten a hold of the bills in the House and Senate they are so watered down that they will not be anything that will do much good.

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Iowa Republicans still wrong on the economy and I-JOBS

The business network CNBC threw a wrench in the Republican sound bite machine yesterday by ranking Iowa the fourth best state in the country for doing business. Click the link to read Iowa’s scores for 2008 and 2009 in the ten different categories CNBC considered in compiling these rankings. (Iowa ranked ninth overall in 2008.) You can also watch the CNBC segment here.

Iowa improved in almost all of CNBC’s categories from 2008 to 2009. The biggest improvement was in the “economy” category, where Iowa went from 29th in 2008 to 4th in 2009, even as the national recession deepened. While the recession is hurting Iowa along with every other state, we are doing reasonably well under the circumstances. CNBC also moved Iowa up quite a few notches under “technology and innovation” and “transportation and infrastructure.” We have a ways to go to reach the top-ranked states in those areas, which is why the Culver administration is smart to be investing heavily in our infrastructure with the I-JOBS bonding program.

Speaking of I-JOBS, now that most of the bonds have been sold, money is starting to be awarded:

Every city and county in Iowa will receive a portion of $45 million in additional funding under I-JOBS for local street and road projects. These funds will begin being distributed to cities and counties starting next Tuesday.

In addition, $50 million in I-JOBS funds will improve 55 state highway system bridges in 29 counties across the state. Projects in the metro Des Moines area include two I-35 bridges over the Iowa Interstate Railroad, the Iowa 17 bridge over the Des Moines River, and U.S. 69 bridge over Scott Avenue.

Scroll to the bottom of this page to find links to pdf files containing a “list of I-JOBS road funding amounts for all Iowa cities and counties, as well as bridge projects.”

Meanwhile, Iowa Republicans continue to proudly oppose the I-JOBS program. Today Senate minority leader Paul McKinley and others are triumphantly Twittering about an article in the Des Moines Register: Economists question impact of I-JOBS plan. My response is after the jump.

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Big Oil, Corporate Welfare, and Royalty Reform

Crossposted from Hillbilly Report.

The Oil and Gas Companies definately get the best of both worlds, unlike the American taxpayer. While extracting natural resources from public lands that are owned by all of us, they also get to take us for a ride in more ways than just gouging prices. An ideas piece by Nick Rahall, the Chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources has spelled out some of this welfare given to Corporations that posted record profits on the backs of the American consumer in the last several years.

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Googling for Dollars

“A bill working its way through the Iowa Legislature would provide tax incentives for a “Web search portal business” if that business invests at least $200 million in the state… In Council Bluffs, the Council Bluffs Industrial Foundation is assembling 180 acres of land north of Lake Manawa. The foundation, which is affiliated with the Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce, will not say whether the land is for a Google project.

“No estimates were available for the amount of money that the company could receive from the incentives in the bill. The incentives involve sales, use and property tax exemptions for certain kinds of equipment and electricity.

“The City of Council Bluffs is considering offering up to $48 million in local property tax rebates over 20 years for whatever company builds on the land being assembled north of Lake Manawa. Those incentives would be in addition to the state incentives.

“Google announced earlier this year that it was building a $600 million data center in Lenoir, N.C., that would employ 210 people. State and local incentives for that project could be worth more than $260 million. The incentives include sales tax exemptions on electricity over 30 years.”
  Omaha World Herald, April 19, 2007

for the rest of the story, keep reading . .

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