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January 2010

December 2009

Tax and Spending Reform as a Moral Issue

By John Hendrickson

“Where is the politician who has not promised his constituents a fight to the death for lower taxes — and who has not proceeded to vote for the very spending projects  that make tax cuts impossible,” asked Senator Barry Goldwater in his landmark book The Conscience of a Conservative? Goldwater, a Republican Senator from Arizona and unashamed leader with conservative principles, was a true advocate for constitutional government. In fact Goldwater believed that his responsibility was not only to uphold the Constitution, but as he told his constituents, his job was to repeal laws and not make them.

He understood that high levels of taxation and spending would lead directly to detrimental economic policies. Goldwater argued that “tax reduction has thus come to have a hollow ring,” and taxation was not just a question of economic and fiscal policy, but a question of morality. “The Conservative believes that man is, in part, an economic, an animal creature; but that he is also a spiritual creature with spiritual needs and spiritual desires,” stated Goldwater. One of the main liberties that was important not only to American colonists, but also to the Founding Fathers was the principle of economic liberty, including property rights.

The wages that a worker or business owner earns are “his property as much as his land and the house in which he lives,” argued Goldwater. Goldwater argued that “government does not have an unlimited claim on the earnings of individuals.” High rates of taxation are not only a moral issue, but are not sound policy. Higher rates of taxation not only curb an individual’s incentive to work, but they also cripple business confidence and entrepreneurial activity.

In addition, high tax rates do not mean more revenue to the government. “It seems difficult for some to understand that high rates of taxation do not necessarily mean large revenue for the government, and that more revenue may often be obtained by lower rates,” argued Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon in his book Taxation: The People’s Business.

This principle has been proven in the Presidential administrations of Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan. Significant tax reform would not only be moral, by allowing people to keep more of their earned property, but allow businesses to expand and encourage entrepreneurial activity which is desperately needed to reverse the climbing 10.2 percent unemployment rate.

Although a sound tax policy is both a moral and economic necessity — the issue of government spending must not be ignored. In order for a tax policy to be successful, rates must be kept low, but government spending must be reduced, that is, without government spending reductions tax cuts will not be as effective. Goldwater argued that “as a practical matter spending cuts must come before tax cuts.” As he argued: “if we reduce taxes before firm, principled decisions are made about expenditures, we will court deficit spending and the inflationary effects that invariably follow.”

Both political parties have failed to restrain government spending and at the heart of this problem is disregard for constitutional limited government. “The root evil is that government is engaged in activities in which it has no legitimate business,” argued Goldwater. The nation is at a dangerous crossroads with an out of control federal budget, national debt of $12 trillion, a rising deficit at $1.4 trillion, and rising unemployment. The entitlement programs of Medicare and Social Security are in danger of bankruptcy and Washington continues to spend and push for new entitlements.

Goldwater offered a solution that would focus on both spending and tax reductions. He called “for a 10 percent spending reduction each year in all of the fields in which federal participation is undesirable.” The basis of any free society is economic liberty and the solution for economic recovery is returning back to constitutional limited government based on reducing taxes and spending, which in the end will unleash the entrepreneurial spirit that has built our great nation.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Public Interest Institute.  They are brought to you in the interest of a better informed citizenry.

John Hendrickson is a Research Analyst with the Public Interest Institute in Mount Pleasant, IA.  

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Johnson County Board of Supervisors Candidate's Forum

The Heritage Agency Johnson County Task Force on Aging will host a Johnson County Board of Supervisors Candidate's Forum on January 11, 2010 at 2 PM in the Assembly Room of the Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center, (28 South Linn Street, Iowa City).

Bob Welsh will moderate the one hour forum with Johnson County Board of Supervisor candidates Lori Cordella, Janelle Rettig and Jim Knapp.

There are many county issues that directly and indirectly impact the lives of seniors. It is important that the public know the issues and meet the candidates in order to be in a position to vote on January 19th. The forum is open to everyone and will be filmed for rebroadcast by the City of Iowa City Cable Television Channel 4 and online at

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please call 319-356-5220 48 hours in advance.

Michelle Buhman
Chair, Community Relations Committee
The Heritage Agency Johnson County Task Force on Aging

If Health Care Reform Passes, 52% Fear They Could Be Forced to Change Insurance

As 2009 comes to an end, a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 52% of those with insurance fear that passage of the plan now working its way through Congress could force them to change coverage. That figure includes 28% who say it's Very Likely they would be forced to change coverage and 24% who say it's Somewhat Likely.

City New Year's Schedule

Coralville new year Offices will be open regular business hours unless otherwise noted below.

Coralville City Hall and Coralville Police Department
Dec. 31..........Closed at noon
Jan. 1............Closed

Coralville Recreation Center
Dec. 31..........7:00 am - 5:00 pm
Jan. 1
Jan. 2............8:30 am - 9:00 pm

Coralville Recreation Center Indoor Pool
Dec. 31..........Opens at 11:00 am for lap swim
Jan. 1............Closed
Jan. 2............Opens at 8:30 am for lap swim
See the indoor pool schedule for specific lap and open swim times.

Coralville Public Library
Dec. 31.........10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Jan. 1

Coralville Transit
Dec. 31..........Regular schedule ending at 10:00 pm
Jan. 1
............No service

Coralville Water, Wastewater, Solid Waste, Parks, and Streets Departments
Jan. 1............Closed

Garbage & Recycling Pickups
Jan. 1............Will be picked up on Jan. 4
All other routes remain the same.

Proposed FY 2011 Budget: Review Begins January 12

Coralville CORALVILLE, IA. -- The proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2011 will be presented to the City Council at a work session at 4:30 pm on January 12. Department heads will summarize their department budgets and answer questions. The City Council will continue to discuss the proposed budget at a work sessions in January and February.

The meeting is open to the public. For additional budget information, please contact Terry Kaeding, Finance Officer, at 248-1700 or

Holiday Tree Pickup

CORALVILLE, IA. -- The Solid Waste Department will collect holiday trees and wreaths throughout the month of January. Trees must be set out on the curb and be free of decorations, wires, bags, stands, or any other material. Trees will be shredded for mulch and used on City trails. For more information, contact the Solid Waste Department at 248-1740.

WinterFest 2010 is Coming!

CORALVILLE, IA. -- Experience the wonders of an Iowa winter at the third annual Coralville WinterFest on Sunday, January 31 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Enjoy a showcase of winter-time demonstrations, indoor and outdoor hands-on activities, entertainment, food, and frosty fun for all ages. The celebration will take place at various venues in the Iowa River Landing, just east of 1st Avenue at 9th Street, including the Johnson County Historical Society, Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, Antique Car Museum of Iowa, and KCJJ radio station. For more information call 351-5738 or visit

Death Investigation

IOWA CITY, IA. -- On December 30, 2009 at 9:33pm Iowa City Police responded to a report of a robbery on Aber Avenue. The address reported, 1227 Aber #5, was found to be an incorrect location. Officers were able to determine that the actual address was 1527 Aber Avenue. When officers entered the apartment they found the body of a 20 year old female. She has been identified as Kylie Perkins of 1527 Aber Avenue #11, Iowa City. At this time, the death is being treated as suspicious. Special Agents from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation are assisting with the investigation. An autopsy is being preformed this morning, December 31, 2009. Anyone with information is requested to call the Iowa City Police Department at 356-5276.

"As with any criminal case, a charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty."

Iowa City Area CrimeStoppers is offering a reward of up to $1000 for information leading to the arrest of this suspect. Anyone with information about this crime is urged to contact CrimeStoppers at 358-TIPS (8477). All calls are held in st

BREAKING NEWS: Sinclair and Mediacom agree to eight-day extension

The Gazette is reporting that Sinclair Broadcast Group and Mediacom have agreed to an eight-day extension of their retransmission agreement that expires tonight at midnight.

This means cable subscribers in the area will be able to enjoy the Orange Bowl and the Hawkeyes in the comfort of their home and free of rabit ears if they so choose.....