You Should Run for Local Office

By Alan Ostergren You should consider running for local office. No, really, you should. Later this year Iowans will elect representatives to school boards and city offices (county offices are elected in even-numbered years). These elections are nonpartisan and take little organizational effort to mount a campaign. Most of these elections are very low turnout, meaning that a person who […]

A Republic, If You Can Keep It

The late intellectual historian Stephen J. Tonsor wrote that in America, “the Founding is determinative, and the Constitution stands at the very center of American political conservatism.” As Tonsor wrote: Central to conservative doctrine, and the translation of this doctrine into the politics of a particular time and place, is the fear of unchecked power and its centralization…It is for […]

Tough Budget Decisions Ahead

Iowa’s economy is reopening, but the economic impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus) is still uncertain. Iowa’s April unemployment rate was 10.2 percent because of business closures resulting from social distancing policies used to mitigate the virus. The economic impact of COVID-19 is still a fluid situation. One of the uncertainties is the impact of the virus on state and local revenues. […]

Uncle Sam to the Rescue?

David Kennedy, prominent historian and Stanford University professor, in an interview with Governing discussed the COVID-19 (coronavirus) emergency in relation to the Great Depression. In that interview he stated, “[President] Calvin Coolidge said that if the federal government went out of business, the average person wouldn’t notice for six months, except for the post office. Now, the federal government is twice the size of the states all put together.”     […]

Governor Reynolds: Protecting Iowans

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) national health emergency is requiring national sacrifice, the scale of which has not been seen in some time. Governors in each state are tasked with filling dual roles: providing up to date information to their citizens and coordinating resources and relief. Iowa’s Governor Kim Reynolds is demonstrating remarkable leadership in this crisis.   Even in times of […]

Dependent on China

“Why can’t the greatest economy in the history of the world produce swabs, face masks and ventilators in adequate supply?” asked Larry Summers, who served as Secretary of Treasury under President Bill Clinton. If COVID-19 (coronavirus) is not scary enough, Americans are learning that, as a nation, we have become dependent on foreign countries for essential medicines and medical supplies. […]

Iowa Needs a Medicaid Audit

Iowa needs to audit the Medicaid program to ensure that not only are the people who truly need the services are protected, but taxpayer dollars are not wasted.   Amity Shlaes, an economic historian and author of the just-released Great Society: A New History, argues correctly that the “lesson of the 1960s is that political compromises with progressives can be […]

TEF Iowa Hosts Midwest Policy Summit

Five state policy organizations recently met to discuss principles that create opportunity and promote liberty.   TEF Iowa recently hosted and sponsored the second meeting of the Midwest Policy Summit. Policy organizations from Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, and Nebraska met to discuss public policy issues confronting the Midwest. Some of the policy topics at the Midwest Policy Summit included:   […]

The Forgotten Word in Politics: Restraint

It has been almost 100 years since government has shown spending restraint. What can be done to slow down our $22,000,000,000,000 national debt?   The $22 trillion national debt symbolizes not only the broken budget process of today’s federal government, but decades of overspending by both Republicans and Democrats. MarketWatch recently reported how much the national debt has grown under […]

We’re in the Money!

A pander bear should be the official mascot of the Democratic presidential debates. Never have so many candidates proposed so much spending. They are clearly trying to bribe voters to support the one who offers the most “free” stuff.   In 1935, Ohio’s Robert A. Taft described President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal as “one of those fabulous creatures of […]

Economic Freedom is Vital

Iowa and all of the other states in our union are competing for economic growth. It is economic growth that creates jobs and opportunities and attracts new people to a state. And economic freedom-limited government, low tax rates, and low levels of regulation- is essential to fostering economic growth. So how does Iowa measure up in their pursuit of economic […]

Conservative Principles of Public Policy

The government, even with the best intentions, cannot solve every problem.   “What is conservatism? Is it not preference for the old and tried, over the new and untried?” stated Abraham Lincoln in defining conservatism. The conservative view of public policy has always been to examine issues and policies based on prudence and with respect for both the United States […]

Will Iowa Become a Pro-Growth State?

U.S. News & World Report recently ranked Iowa “best state in the nation when it comes to infrastructure, healthcare, opportunity, and education.” Although this ranking is something Iowa can be proud of it does not mean that improvements cannot be made, especially regarding our state’s high and complex tax code. Iowa has some of the highest individual and corporate income […]