# Taxes



Tax Day 2022: The rich get richer while everyday Iowans struggle

Sue Dinsdale is the director of Iowa Citizen Action Network and leads the Health Care For America NOW campaign in Iowa.

Rising inflation and the escalating cost of everything from gas to houses made Tax Day 2022 more memorable for some Americans than in past years. Rising economic anxiety is bound to collide with middle class tax bills as families worry about the future and make plans to tighten their belts over the short-term. 

But the nation’s 700 billionaires face no such worries. Unlike the rest of us who struggled through the pandemic and are now trying to catch up in its aftermath, billionaires actually increased their wealth substantially during the last two years.

Yet, thanks to our skewed tax code, they won’t have to pay more in taxes like the rest of us do. 

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Unrig our economy, Representative Hinson

Matt Sinovic of Progress Iowa and Sue Dinsdale of the Iowa Citizen Action Network co-authored this commentary.

When the middle class does well, we all do well. When hard-working people can earn more money, everyone benefits.

But for years the wealthy and corporations have been getting richer while working people get the short end of the stick. American families are struggling under the weight of rising costs and middle class wages that just aren’t keeping pace. 

This hasn’t happened by accident. Corporations and the extremely wealthy have rigged the economy in their favor. With their allies in Congress, like U.S. Representative Ashley Hinson, they’ve written a tax code that leaves massive corporations paying less than the average, hard-working American. 

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Build back something

Charles Bruner: Taxes, inflation, and essential services … there’s an obvious solution for Democrats.

President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress have done much to support essential workers and provide economic help to working and retired Americans during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Several of those actions were designed to become permanent: improvements to the child tax credit, investments in child care, and expansion of home and community based services and the direct care workforce.

Established in the American Rescue Plan Act through a process known as reconciliation (which requires only a simple majority vote and therefore could be enacted without Republican support), these policies have proved both popular and effective.

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Iowa's flat tax may mean fewer public services

Randy Richardson: Everyone likes paying lower taxes until they realize they may not receive the same benefits from the government.

Americans hate taxes. Other countries have taxes, including some with much higher tax rates, but for some reason their citizens don’t have the same objections as their American counterparts.

There are a variety of reasons for this, but one of the most common is that many Americans are simply unaware of what government does for them. A 2008 Cornell Survey Research Institute poll showed that 57 percent of respondents said they had never participated in a government social program. However, 94 percent of these same respondents reported being the beneficiary of at least one federal government program, with the average participant benefiting from four of them.

Which brings me to the recently enacted flat income tax bill in Iowa.

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GOP lawmakers lack respect for Iowans

Jodie Butler: Iowa GOP lawmakers are listening to no one but their own caucus members and the Republican base, ignoring concerns expressed by many constituents.

I have never been so offended as I have been this year by comments and actions from Iowa Republicans. I was Governor Terry Branstad’s education policy advisor for nearly five years in the 1990s, and I have never seen such cruel partisanship in my entire life. 

During the last decade of GOP rule, programs have been slashed, lawsuits have increased, voting has been restricted, the percentage of the state budget for education decreased, women and LGBTQ people denigrated, educators demoralized, and self-centered egregious politics funded by outsiders.

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Corporate Kim Reynolds ignores working families' needs

Matt Sinovic is the executive director of Progress Iowa, a research, communications, and issue advocacy organization with a network of more than 75,000 across the state and country.

Iowans work hard to take care of our families. We want leaders who will do what’s right so that we can do our best. But for the past decade, the needs of working families have been ignored by Corporate Kim Reynolds.

Fewer Iowans are working today than when Corporate Kim Reynolds took office. There aren’t enough workers to keep schools, hospitals, and small businesses open. But the governor continues to double down on the policies that created her workforce crisis. The ones that give the wealthy and big businesses tax breaks, while taking money away from our public schools, public safety, and health care services.

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