The Republican lead House continues to put politics over problem solving by breaking their campaign promises and doing nothing to create jobs and help middle class families. Below is the Des Moines Register’s editorial from Saturday, March 19.
Politics over problem-solving
The Register’s editorial
Every Legislature tends to have a silly season in the early weeks of a session during which the body looks foolish and/or malevolent. That’s because the important work is being done out of the spotlight, behind the scenes in committee, and won’t come to fruition until the final days.
Meanwhile, self-promoters and cliques within the body hold everyone’s attention with proposals that have little chance of becoming law but are always good for a headline or for sucking up to groups that supply campaign cash.
Thus it is with the 2011 session, only more so. It’s hard to recall a session that wasted more time on more divisive proposals, while not even coming close to addressing Iowa’s real problems.
The House of Representatives is particularly pathetic. Its new Republican majority has been obsessed with measure after measure that its members know full well will never even be considered in the Democratic-controlled Senate, but they press ahead anyway, not to make good law but to amass campaign fodder for 2012. It’s all about politics, not problem-solving.
Two House-passed measures are especially revealing – to require voters to show photo IDs and to limit collective bargaining by public employees. Both are solutions in search of problems. One would have the effect of suppressing Democratic voter turnout; the other would undermine Democratic-leaning public-employee unions.
Upon gaining a majority in the House, the Republicans showed their first priority, before doing any of the people’s business, is to maintain themselves in office.
Then there was the 20 percent cut in income tax approved by the House. A cut of that magnitude is insane at a time the state is starving its schools and universities, but a “yes” vote was a cheap way to keep the campaign cash flowing from the anti-tax groups and big-bucks donors who reap the lion’s share of income-tax cuts.
Similarly, constant agitation over banning gay marriage, restricting abortion and freeing gun owners from liability if they shoot someone keeps the base fired up without doing anything to rebuild the economy.
This Legislature campaigned and was elected on promises to deal with fiscal problems and build a better future. The public had every right to expect a single-minded, nonpartisan focus on that. Instead, the Legislature, so far, has provided only politics as usual.