My coffee with Brad Zaun Reply


By Tom Quiner

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Brad Zaun at my neighborhood coffee shop earlier this year. We discussed, what else, politics. (For out-of-state readers, Mr. Zaun is running for Congress here in Iowa against incumbent, Leonard Boswell, Democrat.)

A few things struck me immediately. Brad is a regular guy. He’s an easy guy to talk to. Let me tell you something else, he is passionate. He looks at government from the perspective of the little guy and the small business owner. He should know, because he used to own a hardware store.

He goes crazy over excessive government spending. And he has seen a ton of it at the state and federal level.

As a state legislator, he has been a thorn in the side of Democrats who have increased Iowa’s spending to record levels.

Brad characterizes himself as a blue collar Republican who believes in right-to-work laws. He talked about how the proliferation of government regulations strangles business and deters job creation. The Iowa code has grown by three inches since Governor Culver came in.

Brad Zaun struck me as a straight shooter, a good conservative who will do what he says he’s going to do.

As a side note, I’ve always thought of Leonard Boswell as a good guy, misguided in his liberal politics, but a good guy. I’ve been disappointed with Congressman Boswell’s personal attacks on Mr. Zaun. I’d prefer he’d be a straight-up sort of guy and try to defend his liberal voting record. He has been one of Nancy Pelosi’s staunches allies, voting yes on 14 pieces of liberal legislation promoted by the Speaker, including:

1. Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

2. New jobs bill

3. Stimulus

4. SCHIP

5. Lilly Ledbetter

6. Omnibus appropriation

7. Cap & Trade

8. Stupak Amendment

9. Government run healthcare

10. Doctor fix/budget gimmick

11. Estate tax

12. Debt ceiling

13. Jobs bill

14. Senate healthcare bill

Mr. Boswell lost his way this last session, veering so far to the left that he is totally out of sync with the way most of Iowa thinks.

Brad Zaun has not been tainted by the beltway. He is an energetic legislator who will help to stanch the fiscal bleeding caused by Mr. Boswell, Ms. Pelosi, and the rest of their party. We need a transfusion of new, sensible thinking to get America back on track.

Congressman Boswell can’t run on his record, because too many Iowan’s are just plain scared at the damage being done to our county by the big spenders in Congress.

To put things in perspective, in 1980 the Federal government spent an average of $2498 per citizen.

This year, the estimated numbers are $11,640 per citizen (or $4470 in 1980 inflation-adjusted numbers).

My liberal friends contend that the root cause of the deficits are “Bush’s tax cuts for the rich.”  But that doesn’t square with my analysis of the data.  For the decade of the 80’s, the government collected an average of $22,688 in taxes per citizen.  In the 2000’s, they collected an average of $29,427 per citizen.  (2009 receipts are estimated.  Numbers are inflation-adjusted in 1980 dollars.)

In other words, receipts have skyrocketed.  They are not the root cause of our deficit hemorrhaging.

Spending is the problem. And spending has exploded since 2006, the year Democrats retook Congress.

We need a whole bunch of Brad Zauns to help right the course.

More fallout from Obamacare 3


By Tom Quiner

“When people better understand the Affordable Care Act, they’ll understand, I think, that this isn’t something being done to them but is something that’s really going to be valuable to them.’’

This was the President’s recent defense of the Affordable Care Act, also know as ObamaCare.

The law mandates elimination of lifetime coverage limits.  Sounds good, right?

The law mandates “free” immunization for children. Sounds good, right?

The law eliminates co-pays for mammograms and some preventative care. Sounds good, right?

The law bars insurers from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. It all sounds wonderful, right?

What the law does is increase the price of health insurance. Does it still sound so good? Aetna and Regency Blue Cross Blue Shield are jacking up rates due to increased costs. Here in Des Moines, Principal is getting out of the entire health insurance business because, according to the New York Times:

“The company’s decision reflected its assessment of its ability to compete in the environment created by the new law. More insurers are likely to follow Principal’s lead.’’

Over six-hundred more jobs will be lost in a city already stung by layoffs.

Speaker Pelosi infamously stated that “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.’’

As we find out what’s in it, we’re increasingly stung by how bad it is.

Please remember, this was a totally partisan bill. Not a single Republican voted for it.

Please remember, Democrats celebrated when they passed Obamacare.

Please remember, that Iowa’s own Leonard Boswell voted for the bill.

Now Congressman Boswell makes unsavory personal attacks on his rival, Brad Zaun, who would have voted against the bill.

Now the only Democrats who mention the bill in their campaign ads are those who voted against it. South Dakota Congressional candidate, Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, sounds more like a Republican than a Democrat in her ad above. Look hard for her party affiliation. You won’t find it.

President Obama and his party have inflicted a grave wound on this country’s health care system. It all sounded so good at the time.

Sebelius vs. Gingrich 1


By Tom Quiner

Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sibelius, has issued two major threats to the healthcare industry.

Threat #1: “There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov.”

Taking a cue from the Communist Party, Ms. Sibelius asked Americans to turn in their neighbor if they said something “fishy”  about the radical legislation her party was promoting.  She made this statement last August (’09) as Democrats were getting hammered in townhall meetings by constituents who had turned against the Democrats’ vision of socialized medicine.

Imagine if former President Bush had tried such a stunt.  The media would have crucified him.

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that health insurance companies are being forced to raise premiums because of looming higher costs wrought by ObamaCare.  This led to her next threat.

Threat #2: Calling the increases unjustified, the HHS Secretary said, “There will be zero tolerance for this type of misinformation and unjustified rate increases. We will not stand idly by as insurers blame their premium hikes and increased profits on the requirement that they provide consumers with basic protections.”

Ms. Sibelius’ holds a serious club over these private businesses.  She can run them out of business by barring them from the coming new state-run insurance exchanges. Obamacare will determine what is fair, not the CFOs of the companies.  Many Americans are okay with that until they lose their existing coverage.  Health insurance companies may be run out of business if they can’t increase rates to keep ahead of the higher costs imposed by Obamacare.

Former Speaker, Newt Gingrich commented a few weeks ago that “The new healthcare law is one of the largest pieces of legislation ever passed by Congress. It is now apparent that despite good intentions, this law will increase healthcare costs, cut Medicare for seniors and result in many people losing coverage under their current insurance plan.”

Mr. Gingrich points out three specific consequences of Obamacare:

1. It will create a new tax on prescription drugs.

2. It will create new taxes on specialty wheelchairs, pacemakers, and other medical devices.

3. It will cut Medicare benefits for seniors.

This just scratches the surface of the concerns Americans have about this overreach by the Federal Government.

Obamacare is not going to be repealed.  It us unrealistic to think that even if Republicans regain both houses of Congress that they can muster the votes to override the certain Obama veto.

Obamacare, with the support of Iowa’s own, Congressman Leonard Boswell, is an albatross we’re most likely stuck with the rest of our lives.  For this reason alone, Mr. Boswell deserves to be replaced by Brad Zaun, Republican, who is running for his seat.