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Friday, Aug. 22, 2014

Shame on Supervisors and County Employees!

Monday, December 10, 2012

So, they came to a bargaining agreement -- big whoopee deal! They brag about not employing legal counsel, thereby contributing to the massive problem of unemployed lawyers. Perhaps they are unaware that nearly 15 percent of people who got law degrees from ABA accredited schools last year were still unemployed seven months later. All in jest, of course. Both sides should be congratulated.

All State and Federal budget negotiators would be wise to apply the reasonable and effective method used by the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors and county employee's groups in their just completed wage settlement process. As always*, one group started high, the other low, and they compromised.

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"How can I ever thank you?" gushed a woman to Clarence Darrow, after he had solved her legal troubles. "My dear woman," Darrow replied, "ever since the Phoenicians invented money there has been only one answer to that question."

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The US Bureau of Labor reports that in 2011 the annual mean wage of lawyers in non-metropolitan Northwest Iowa was $56,690, or $27.25 per hour. Also that the Executive branch of the Federal government employs 34,460 lawyers who make an average of $129,430 per year. Armed with these facts you -- are no better off than you were before.

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You have heard, maybe even started, rumblings about farm land property taxes being too low, considering the very high price of land these days.

A columnist friend, Gene Lucht, writing in Iowa Farmer Today, once wrote "Explaining how Iowa's farmland property taxes work is a bit like explaining how quantum physics works -- most of us can't do it." I agree!

Farmland is taxed on the basis of productivity rather than market value. Given the recent increases in corn and soybean prices, taxes will likely increase, although Iowa's law with a 4 per cent 'rollback' cap will limit the increase -- on residential property, too. That formula has been in place since 1979.

Those limits have proved invaluable, given the roller coaster ride of farmland prices the last four decades.

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Maybe we should jump, not fall, over that "fiscal cliff." Some alcoholics have to hit rock bottom before they can crawl out of the bottle, and our Federal Government is an alcoholic whose "bottle problem" is spending far more than it takes in.

Any compromise is likely to just 'kick the can down the road' and the intake/outgo problem would continue. Lets "Git er done!" Jump the cliff! The consequences will be grave but so is continuing down the SociBama road.

Someone will blink; likely the Repubs will cave in. Popular opinion has swung toward Obama's plea to have the rich pay their "fair share," and at 56%, the president's popularity is now the highest it has been since early in his presidency. Statesmanship should overrule popularity in this case, though.

Fair share? Go figure. The 1 percent will end up paying more but that is just more SociBama re-distribution of wealth. Kiplinger says that the top one percent of taxpayers already pay 37 percent of our total revenues and the bottom 50 percent pay just 2.25 percent. More, and more, the workers are contributing more and more to non-workers.

If major changes are not made at the federal level that discrepancy will continue to increase. We aren't doing any favors for those who can work, but aren't. It is the old give a fish or teach to fish story. Yes, there must be jobs. Many of those are provided by the top 1 percent.

One change proposed by Obama simply must not happen. He wants Congress to cede authority over the debt ceiling to him! This is an amateurish 'throw-away,' that he knows will not happen.

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Last week a Rasmussen Reports survey found that 62 percent of likely voters oppose Obama's plan to increase federal spending to help stimulate the economy. Only 19 percent favor his latest stimulus proposal.

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(* - Well, not always. Former Governor Chet Culver did not negotiate and simply accepted [with your dollars] the Unions first demand!)

Have you heard? According to WHO-TV, Culver is considering running for governor again. Bring it on!

What are your views? I'd like to hear from you.

Don Paulin, 2carpenterdon@gmail.com, 7557 30th Av, Norwalk, IA 50211 - 515-201-7236

By Don Paulin
Been There, Done That