The False Allure of Money Grabs

Did you know that Iowa was the first state to pass a cigarette tax? In 1921 the legislature approved a 2 cent per package tax on cigarettes. Iowa’s cigarette tax even came before the sales and income taxes.  Taxes on tobacco, alcohol, sugary foods and drinks, and other similar products, are sometimes referred to as sin taxes. They could just […]

Taxing Times in Washington: What Every State Legislator Needs to Know

By Jonathan Williams and Lee Schalk | ALEC In our Nation’s Capital, there are unprecedented attempts are underway to remake America, with countless dangerous policy ideas being discussed. Unfortunately, many have not learned from the mistakes of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), where infamously, Speaker Nancy Pelosi told members of Congress they have to pass the bill to know what’s […]

Iowa Needs School Choice

Mask mandates are the latest controversy in a series of events that has parents up in arms over what is best for their children. Recently, TEF Iowa Deputy Director Walt Rogers spoke with Jeff Angelo on what is going on in our public schools and how school choice is the solution for families to choose the education and environment best […]

Iowa Supports the Governor and Conservative Policies

The Des Moines Register released a new poll that shows a 53 percent job approval rating for Governor Kim Reynolds. This is up from 51 percent from the last poll. Governor Reynolds approval rating is even higher, 57 percent, when asked how she has handled Iowa’s economy. The poll affirms that Iowa supports the conservative pro-growth policy agenda that Governor […]

Time to End the Tug-of-War in Education

This past Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Pratt issued a temporary restraining order stopping the enforcement of the mask mandate ban that the Iowa Legislature passed, and Governor Kim Reynolds signed into law.  This ruling sent Iowa parents into a quandary, wondering what to do next, finding their children are again being used in a cruel game of tug of […]

What’s Next for Tax Reform in Iowa

“Today’s legislation ushers in a new era of growth and opportunity in Iowa,” said Governor Kim Reynolds when signing the 2021 tax reform bill passed by the legislature. “But we are not done yet. Next year, I’ll be proposing additional income tax cuts as we continue to make Iowa the most attractive place in America to open a business, raise […]

Reducing Spending Without Sacrificing Services

In many communities across Iowa, local governments continue to ask for more property tax dollars, claiming that critical infrastructure and services will deteriorate without an increase. So, is it possible to reduce spending without sacrificing services? To help answer that question, we sat down with Dave Trabert, CEO of the Kansas Policy Institute. Dave explains how local governments can spend […]

Making Better Use of Your Taxes

Are you frustrated with high property taxes? Too often Iowans are told by local government officials that nothing can be done to lower property taxes. Governments, at all levels, often forget that the money they spend is generated from your tax dollars. It is not the governments money, yet policymakers have no shortage of reasons why they need to spend […]

Remembering the “Full-Dinner Pail” on Labor Day

“The Full-Dinner Pail” was a campaign slogan utilized by President William McKinley and other Republicans to symbolize support for working Americans. It is often assumed that Republicans are opposed to labor, but this notion is false. President Donald J. Trump’s America First policies were pro-labor. Whether unshackling businesses from excessive regulations, cutting tax rates, and pursuing trade agreements that place […]

The Wisdom of Alexander Hamilton

“It is good to meet and drink at the fountains of wisdom inherited from the Founding Fathers of the republic,” noted President Warren G. Harding. Perhaps now more than ever the nation needs to follow Harding’s advice. Instead of tearing down statues of the Founding Fathers we should be learning from their wisdom. Alexander Hamilton is one of the Founders […]

Legal Victories

By Alan Ostergren   Freedom movement scores important legal victories Labels are useful for describing a person’s political views, but only to a point. People who define themselves, for instance, as Conservatives, Republicans, or even Patriots, do not agree on every issue. But one issue unites political observers of all stripes: the importance of the courts. In the last few […]

A Solution to Iowa’s Property Tax Problem

Iowans deserve protection from runaway property taxes. As we look for a solution in Iowa, we recently sat down with the Utah Taxpayers Association to learn how Utah’s Truth-in-Taxation law has provided relief to its citizens. Utah’s Truth-in-Taxation law is considered the most taxpayer-friendly law in the nation and it is the gold standard policy for property tax reform.

We Need Calvin Coolidge’s Fiscal Conservatism

The national debt is rapidly nearing $29 trillion, which is 25% more than our entire economy, and is orders of magnitude higher if you consider unfunded liabilities of Social Security and Medicare. This threatens life as we know it and must be addressed now. Since the start of 2020, the debt has increased by $5.2 trillion. And President Joe Biden […]

Providing Property Tax Protection

Iowans are growing more frustrated with high property taxes and a solution is needed. Since 2000 Iowa property taxes have increased 122 percent more in comparison to population, inflation, and the cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security. The Tax Foundation ranked Iowa with the 10th highest property tax burden in the nation. As a property taxpayer would you consider voicing your […]

Remembering the Legacy of President Herbert Hoover: Great Humanitarian and Conservative Statesman

Recently, C-SPAN released its 2021 Presidential Rankings Survey and President Herbert Hoover was ranked near the bottom. Hoover’s poor ranking is no surprise as he is often viewed as a failure or below average. However, Hoover deserves better. August 10th will mark Herbert Hoover’s 147th birthday. Hoover was born in 1874 in the small quiet village of West Branch, Iowa. […]

Time to Solve Iowa’s Property Tax Problem

Property taxpayers in Iowa keep growing frustrated and they are tired of the blame game that is played by local governments to avoid answering why tax relief is next to impossible. Property taxes fund local governments and often blame is shifted from one tax authority to another to justify why tax bills are high. In addition, local governments also respond […]

America’s Forgotten Economist

It is often forgotten, but America’s conservative tradition was not based on free trade, but rather economic nationalism. The American System became the basis of conservative economic policy. This economic philosophy was developed by Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton and the Federalists, continued by the Whigs under the leadership of Henry Clay, and was eventually adopted by the Republican […]

A Solution for More Access to Health Care

Increasing access to quality health care in Iowa is a priority. Sadly, rural hospitals suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic as many could not offer out-patient procedures, which resulted in a major financial loss and forced some patients to go without care. Many rural hospitals also closed maternity wards and more mental health care providers are needed. To increase access to […]

Time’s Up for Iowa’s Terrible Tax Credits

Time has passed Iowa’s tax credit system by, and the time has come for a change. Over the course of decades, a succession of governors and legislatures have built a giant structure of special tax credits, abatements and other forms of targeted tax breaks that turn a system intended to raise revenue to fund public services into a mechanism for […]

Governor Kim Reynolds is a Conservative Leader

Image: Official White House Photos by Shealah Craighead and D. Myles Culle Iowa is a beacon of liberty against an onslaught of poor federal policies. President Biden has already proposed $6 trillion in new spending during his first 100 days in office. Iowa is awash with federal stimulus dollars. Iowa is frequently overlooked, but Governor Kim Reynolds is an example […]

Rediscovering the Republican Party’s America First Trade Policy

“From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first. America first. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families.” President Donald J. Trump, Inaugural Address, January 20, 2017   “Are the Republicans Switching Places […]

Tax Reform Far from Complete in Iowa

This year Iowa’s top corporate tax rate decreased from 12 percent, the highest in the nation, to 9.8 percent. Even at 9.8 percent, Iowa’s corporate tax rate is high. Many states have or are in the process of gradually lowering their corporate income tax rates. Nebraska recently passed legislation to reduce their corporate tax from 7.81 percent to 6.84 percent. […]

Following the Principles of Andrew Mellon can Help Restore Economic Sanity

Photo by Keystone/Getty Images   Andrew Mellon, who was considered the best Secretary of the Treasury since Alexander Hamilton, served in the presidential administrations of Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover. Prior to his service as Secretary of the Treasury, Mellon was a successful financier and businessman. Mellon understood sound fiscal policy and he helped to advance policies […]

Governor Reynolds’ Vision for Education: Placing Students and Families First

Photo: @IAGovernor In a recent editorial The Des Moines Register criticized Governor Kim Reynolds’ vision for education in Iowa. During the legislative session, Governor Reynolds made students a priority and she led the nation in requiring Iowa schools to offer the option of 100 percent in-person learning. By advancing more parental choice in education, Governor Reynolds is placing families first. […]