I know...late! Yesterday (Saturday) was a campaign and family day and because I had the Business News Hour - Week in Review to produce for airing today on News/Talk 1540 KXEL at 1PM. I'm way behind. But, then again, you already know what I'm going to share with you...right? Grab a seat and some Sunday Morning Coffee:
On the Chopping Block
Well now...as you know the GOP has long looked at Social Security and Medicare as places where they can slash the budget and claw back some income that was given away by the 2017 Tax and Jobs Act. You know the little "deal" that gave corporations in the United States a windfall of $150 billion that, mostly, went to stock buy-backs that enriched CEO's and major shareholders. That "deal" has helped balloon the deficit to over $1 trillion and the Republicans are starting to feel the bite. After all it was that group that crowed at every budget from the Obama Administration that it was "adding to the deficit".
Now, to be clear Social Security and Medicare are NOT entitlements. You and I have been paying into these systems for decades. But, true to form this is what the president said:
"At some point they will be. We have tremendous growth. We’re going to have tremendous growth. This next year I — it’ll be toward the end of the year. The growth is going to be incredible. And at the right time, we will take a look at that. You know, that’s actually the easiest of all things, if you look, cause it’s such a — “
The president then wandered off into a string of false claims about the economy repeating things like... “We’ve never had growth like this.” Even though economic growth during Mr. Trump’s term is nowhere near a record pace. (Photo: LA Times)
It's been quite a week and coming up even more fun as the U.S. Senate continues the trial of the president. Last week the House Managers gave compelling reasons for the Senate to bring in more information and witnesses. Given the fact that over 60% of Americans feel the same way it should have mattered. However the GOP Senate is moving in lock-step with Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in ignoring the evidence and playing with fidget spinners. Weary... (Photo: National Post)
Meanwhile the crew defending the president continues to say, "Nothing wrong. He didn't do what he did. Never mind. Move along there is nothing to see here." And the official network of the president is only too happy to continue that defense. And about 45% of you agree. Yikes!
Last week at the World Economic Forum in Davos there was a report out about the best place in which to live if you really want to experience the "American Dream". Turns out the study says you need to move to...Canada. The World Economic Form’s index of global social mobility finds that people born with less wealth have a better chance of home ownership, quality education and a better life than their parents if they are born in Canada rather than the United States. See what you learn here?
Economics & The Des Moines Metro
Which brings me to this and it's on a much more local scale. I just finished reading the "2020 Economic Outlook" published by the Business Record a publication that highlights business in the metro of Des Moines, Iowa and guess what...everything is just fine. The economy is booming and people are happy and we are on a growth curve that will continue to have a positive impact on the entire state.
Business leaders from across the Metro chimed in with much the same message: "Oh sure other places are having a tough time and we could use some more workers and, well, there is no need to worry...we've got this handled."
Some of those quoted used the ink to highlight their own business and how, if you use their services, they can create magic and you too will join the ranks of the winners.
I did read it...twice.
Look, I get it. It is the "job" of the Business Record to boost business and it is the job of those who were quoted to boost the line that everything is just fine and could not be better. I get it.
However if that is the case why are over 90% of the kids in school on free and reduced meals? How come thousands of folks are working two and three jobs and are paying over 50% of their income on housing and transportation? Why is it that thousands of working families must resort to child care that is not certified safe and leads to tragic circumstances? Why is it that rural health care delivery in Iowa continues to degrade? And, why is it, that if business is so great, why would the governor of this state float a sales tax increase which will have a negative impact on working families rather than actually collect the taxes that so many businesses are...avoiding?
Today the DMR endorsed Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) for president. You could see that coming from a mile away. Senator Warren has a massive set of plans to tackle just about every ill that currently faces America. She is smart, energetic and would be a fantastic candidate for the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Totally understand.
Meanwhile she and Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-South Bend, IN) are "surging" in New Hampshire. Which is interesting because on some major policies they differ greatly.
Where will voters land? The Iowa Caucuses will be held on February 3rd and we are all expecting a massive turnout. So large it is starting to scare some folks and perhaps keep them from attending. I will tell you that the Iowa Democratic Party and your local county have been working on this for months and months. Will Iowa nominate the eventual winner of the nomination? Odds are, we will not. However it's been a great ride for those of us who follow and engage in the political system.
One more thing: Back in 2012 the Des Moines Register endorsed Mitt Romney now Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT). Never did understand that but it was a powerful endorsement.
Should she be the nominee or, frankly, anyone currently running, I'll work there.
It's been quite the week. Just getting back from a four day business trip that required 17 hour days...yikes...and then back in the saddle here. Meanwhile, our Big Oscar has been having some leg issues. So bad that I've been sleeping on the couch in the same room as he because he's so used to sleeping in our bedroom. Not complaining. Tomorrow it's back to the vet. Fingers crossed.
Friday night I joined my fellow Democrat Lila Starr from Clive at the Iowa Wild Hockey Game. We were there to help staff a booth on behalf of the Polk County Democrats our job was to talk up the Iowa Caucuses, voting and more. It was a good evening but, must confess we had...one interaction. One. It would seem that voting and hockey just didn't match up that night. But, it was great to spend the evening with Lila and hear about the efforts going on in Clive with the Clive Democrats. YAY!
It could be due to the fact that folks are overwhelmed with "Stuff to Do" or it could be a precursor that consumer discretionary spending is getting a second look...by you the consumer. This weekend I attended two free public events. One was the Annual Bicycle Trade Show held at the Iowa Events Center and the other was the Annual I'll Make Me a World in Iowa an event highlighting opportunity and progress among the African American Community.
Both events were down in the number of people displaying and the attendees. On the bicycle side of things it could be that the rift between RAGBRAI and the new Iowa Ride has had an impact. Both groups were in attendance but I can't help but think this, along with the economy, had an impact.
One of the highlights of the event was the unveiling of the Karras/Kaul bronze statues that will grace a new monument in the Des Moines Water Works Park. John Karras and Donald Kaul (both reporters for the Des Moines Register) are credited for starting the annual Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) years ago. It was special to have John there to do the reveal. Along side of Carl Voss who, along with others helped make this possible. Carl now is a newly elected Des Moines City Councilman. Later in the day the RAGBRAI route was announced. It starts in La Mars (think ice creme) and takes a northern route ending in Clinton. If you want to see the route here is that link. That would be Jovie between the two bronzes.
Meanwhile, going on at the same time, the I'll Make Me a World in Iowa (IMMAWIIA) a festival that celebrates the history, culture and food of the African American Community through art, education and performance was another stop. It's a major event, not just for Black folks but for everybody, that...once again...did not have the number of vendors as in past years. However I did get to connect, again with some of my great friends, learn about the African American Museum in Cedar Rapids, hang out with Dr. Eddie Moore Jr. (if you are EVER where he is speaking go!) and see an amazing display that focuses on the voting rights of African Americans in the United States. It's a struggle and continues to be decades after the Voting Rights Act which has now been diluted by the U.S. Supreme Court.
And now...it is Sunday Afternoon! Whew!
Thanks for reading and a reminder....if you would please donate to my campaign for the Iowa State Senate we, along with others, can make a difference for working families from across this great state. You know me as a long-time progressive voice who will work on behalf of working families not only in the DSM Metro but across the state. We've got to do this my friends...the future depends on it. However, I can not do it alone...need your help.
Have a fantastic Sunday!