Mitch Henry: The first step toward getting the state and the nation back on track is electing leaders with the vision and experience to deal with the challenges we face. -promoted by Laura Belin
Iowa faces many challenges in the months and years ahead.
On the economic front, our unemployment rate is 6 percent, nearly twice what it was before the COVID-19 pandemic began. The Iowa Leading Indicators Index, a mix of economic metrics showing where our economy is headed, “strongly suggests” that the state economy will weaken through 2021.
In health care, we are moving in the wrong direction both short-term and long-term. In the short-term, our state has been unable to get a handle on the COVID crisis. Eight months into the pandemic, we continue to set records for hospitalizations and cases. Long-term, we are going to have to help the 24,000 Iowans who have lost insurance since 2016.
Then there is the climate crisis. Whether or not you believe this summer’s derecho was a direct result of climate change, all of us can agree that warming temperatures and more severe weather will have a negative impact on our state.
Dealing with challenges in the economy, health care, and climate will not be easy, but none of us should give up hope. Iowa has had its back against the wall before and come back better than ever.
For me, the first step toward getting the state and the nation back on track is electing leaders with the vision and experience to deal with the challenges we face. That is why I am supporting Joe Biden for president and Theresa Greenfield for Senate.
On the economy, Biden and Greenfield have a plan to create jobs and make the economy work as well for Main Street as it does Wall Street. On health care, the two will provide the national leadership it takes to defeat COVID-19 and fight to make insurance more accessible and affordable. To combat climate change, they will embrace science and push solutions that result in new jobs and a more secure energy infrastructure.
It will take a bold vision to solve the complex problems we face, but when it comes to figuring out how to pay for this vision, the answer is far more simple. It is time for billionaires, millionaires and the very rich to pay for their fair share. Those who make more than $400,000 a year can afford to pay more in income taxes.
Given the state of the economy, it will be important to make sure any other tax increases do not impact jobs. Some tax proposals, like an increase in the dividend tax, sound better in theory than they work in practice. Many dividend paying utilities and companies like AT&T and Ford employ union workers. It would be wrong to implement a tax policy that tips the scales against their jobs.
It’s hard to believe, but the 2020 campaign is about to end. Once the voting stops, it will be time to deal with the many challenges facing our state. I know Joe Biden and Teresa Greenfield will be ready on day one.
Mitch Henry is a veteran of more than 30 local and statewide political campaigns since 1988. He co-founded the Asian & Latino Coalition PAC and served as an Asian & Latino Coalition Board Member and Communications Director from 2015 to 2019. The Des Moines Register named him one of Iowa’s 50 Most Wanted Democrats in 2019. He previously served as League of United Latin American Citizens Council 307 Political Director and Polk County Director for LULAC’s Latino Iowa Caucus in 2015 and 2016.
Top photos: Joe Biden at the 2019 Iowa Democratic Wing Ding on the left, Theresa Greenfield at the 2019 Iowa State Fair on the right. Photo of Mitch Henry provided by the author and published with permission.