As the Pandemic Ends, Federal Strings Tangle Medicaid in Iowa

Given the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) recent easing of its COVID-19 guidelines, the national public health emergency appears near its end. The technical end of this emergency declaration will signify that the pandemic is officially over. And while that development will be cause for celebration, it will also trigger a major event for state governments and citizens enrolled in Medicaid.

The Use of ARPA funds in Des Moines and Polk County

By Sarah Curry, DBA The COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, yet the federal government took over a year to direct financial relief to local municipalities across the country through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The pandemic hit local communities across Iowa hard, but through hard work and fortitude, governments survived the pandemic with little lasting fiscal damage. Now […]

The Use of ARPA funds in Muscatine and Muscatine County

By Sarah Curry, DBA The COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, yet the federal government took over a year to direct financial relief to municipalities across the country through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The pandemic hit local communities across Iowa hard, but our governments survived the pandemic with little lasting fiscal damage. Now Iowa’s cities and counties face […]

The Use of ARPA Funds in Sioux City and Woodbury County

By Sarah Curry, DBA The COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, yet the federal government took over a year to direct financial relief to municipalities across the country through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The pandemic hit local communities across Iowa hard, but our governments survived the pandemic with little lasting fiscal damage. Now Iowa’s cities and counties face […]

The Use of ARPA funds in Waterloo, Cedar Falls, and Black Hawk County

By Sarah Curry, DBA The COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, yet the federal government took over a year to direct financial relief to local municipalities across the country through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The pandemic hit local communities across Iowa hard, but through hard work and fortitude, governments survived the pandemic with little lasting fiscal damage. Now […]

The Use of ARPA funds in Mason City and Cerro Gordo County

By Sarah Curry, DBA The COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, yet the federal government took over a year to direct financial relief to local municipalities across the country through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The pandemic hit local communities across Iowa hard, but through hard work and fortitude, governments survived the pandemic with little lasting fiscal damage. Now […]

The Use of ARPA Funds in Davenport, Bettendorf, and Scott County

By Sarah Curry, DBA The COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, yet the federal government took over a year to direct financial relief to municipalities across the country through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The pandemic hit local communities across Iowa hard, but our governments survived the pandemic with little lasting fiscal damage. Now Iowa’s cities and counties face […]

The Use of ARPA Funds in Council Bluffs and Pottawattamie County

By Sarah Curry, DBA The COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, yet the federal government took over a year to direct financial relief to municipalities through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The pandemic hit local communities across Iowa hard, but our governments survived the pandemic with little lasting fiscal damage. Now Iowa’s cities and counties face the task of […]

The Use of ARPA Funds in Cedar Rapids, Marion, and Linn County

The COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, yet the federal government took over a year to direct financial relief to municipalities through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The pandemic hit local communities across Iowa hard, but our governments survived the pandemic with little lasting fiscal damage. Now cities and counties face the task of spending ARPA funds while complying […]

Did Your County Pass on Mental Health Savings?

Local governments in Iowa started a new fiscal year on July 1.  Those new fiscal years bring new budgets, and many times, new tax rates.  What’s unique about this fiscal year (2023), however, is that Iowa counties are no longer tasked with paying the bill for mental health services.  One key feature of 2021’s tax relief package was the phase out of the mental health levy from county property taxes, as the responsibility of mental health was shifted from counties to the state.

It Was Right to Oppose NATO Expansion

By John Hendrickson In a vote of 95-1, the United States Senate approved the expansion of NATO (North American Treaty Organization) by allowing membership to two new nations Sweden and Finland. The only Senator to vote “no” was Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO). Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) voted “present.” In his floor speech before the vote Sen. Hawley made a powerful […]

Chinese Investment in American Agriculture

By John Hendrickson The growing influence and power of China should be a concern for all policymakers. China is growing more aggressive militarily and they are attempting to control resources across the globe, including the United States. China is also taking advantage of the United States in terms of trade. The United States is running over $350 billion trade deficit […]

Trump Raid: Impartial Law or Political Manipulation?

In unprecedented fashion, the FBI raided former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, on behalf of the National Archives. Immediately, social media exploded with people taking a stand on both sides of the issue.  On this week’s ITR Live podcast, ITR President Chris Hagenow and ITR Foundation Policy Director John Hendrickson discuss why this is such a startling development. The law should be […]

Inflation Reduction Act? Not Likely

After multiple rounds of negotiations, the United States Senate recently passed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) by a strictly partisan margin of 51-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the deciding vote in favor of the bill.  As the name implies, the purported aim of this effort, which the House of Representatives will soon consider, is to slow down the historic levels of inflation America is experiencing.  Only in Washington, D.C. could someone refer to a $750 billion bill as “anti-inflationary” with a straight face.

Talkin’ ARPA

Washington D.C. gave local governments across the country trillions of dollars through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).  To understand how that money was spent, ITR Foundation focused on a selection of cities and counties across Iowa, asking each: How much money did you get? How much have you already spent? How much is left? What did you spend ARPA […]

A History Lesson for President Joe Biden

A nation emerging from a significant pandemic and an economic downturn awaited President Joe Biden in early 2021. President Warren G. Harding inherited a similar situation after winning the 1920 election in a landslide. But Harding overcame it by getting government out of the way. The economy recovered quickly—whereas Biden enacted bad progressive policies that have resulted in a double-dip recession with 40-year high inflation.

July Revenue Figures Show Strength In Times of Uncertainty

The first month of Iowa’s new fiscal year is now behind us. While looking at a single month is just one small slice of the pie, it might be hinting at some economic trends we are seeing nationwide.  Record low unemployment could be resulting in higher than expected income tax payments, while fast growing inflation and a looming recession might be causing people to spend less of their money.

Make the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Permanent

No one knows the future direction of the American economy, but several danger signs are ahead. One is continued inflation at 40-year highs or worse — a cruel hidden tax that eats away wages and savings, with more suffering for families struggling to afford groceries and gasoline. Another is a recession triggered by high interest rates designed to fight inflation. This means job losses, lower incomes, smaller nest eggs as stock markets contract, and even tougher times for businesses reeling from supply-chain shortages.

Herbert Hoover, America’s forgotten conservative

President Herbert Hoover led a remarkable life that was based upon public service, humanitarianism, and a belief that America is an exceptional nation. Nevertheless, many conservatives today are often critical of Hoover. Some have even described President Joe Biden as the next “Herbert Hoover” because of the current state of the economy. President Hoover’s policies during the Great Depression can be debated, and they deserve more consideration, more than just the standard knee-jerk reaction often provided by many conservative and libertarian commentators. Nevertheless, Hoover deserves better from conservatives. Herbert Hoover is a forgotten conservative statesman, whose philosophy and ideas can still serve as a guide for conservatives. In reflecting on Hoover’s conservatism, Richard Norton Smith, a Hoover biographer and presidential historian, wrote that “none has more relevance to our own time than Hoover’s role as a philosopher of modern conservative thought.”

Reviving Civic Education in Iowa

If anything good has come out of the COVID-19 pandemic it is the growing awareness by parents across the nation about what is being taught in schools. This is especially true concerning civic education. For decades a crisis has existed over the decline of civic education. Numerous surveys and studies have shown that at all grade levels, including higher education, students do not have an adequate understanding of American history, American government, or Western civilization. Reform is needed to strengthen civic education in Iowa schools and the National Association of Scholars has issued social studies standards—a guide for curriculum in each classroom—that will help improve civic education in Iowa. American Birthright: The Civic Alliances Model K-12 Social Studies Standards is guide to help improve standards in civic education.