Guest Opinions
August 11, 2014
fisher Fisher: Getting to the truth of Iowa tax facts
By Peter Fisher in The Gazette, Cedar Rapids
Iowans are taxed more lightly than the national average, and at a lower rate than most surrounding states. The corporate income tax collected by the state is much below the national average. Business groups aren't telling you that.
Guest opinion. Or PDF.
August 8, 2014
gibney Gibney: Iowa is spinning its wheels on the minimum wage
By Heather Gibney in the Press-Citizen, Iowa City
On Iowa’s low road, low-wage workers will never get ahead. They keep spinning their wheels at a $7.25 minimum wage, digging deeper into the mud.
Guest Opinion. Or PDF.
July 23, 2014
osterberg Osterberg: Voluntary measures aren’t enough
By David Osterberg in The Gazette, Cedar Rapids
The new Nutrient Reduction Strategy must demand more than just happy talk and examples of some really good farmers taking action.
Guest Opinion. Or PDF.
May 8, 2014
owen Owen: Looks like we’ll have to wait for bigger steps
By Mike Owen in the Press-Citizen, Iowa City
Iowa families took a couple of important steps forward during the just-completed legislative session. We'll have to wait until a future session for more — and more significant — advancements.
Guest Opinion. Or PDF.
April 22, 2014
osterberg Osterberg: Go green on local level: Help monarchs
By David Osterberg in The Gazette, Cedar Rapids
When we consider Earth Day, some folks think of polar bears, even though they might have seen one only in a zoo or a Coke commercial. You’re in Iowa. Think of monarch butterflies.
Guest Opinion. Or PDF.
April 19, 2014
owen Owen: Want a better budget? Make different choices
By Mike Owen in the Press-Citizen, Iowa City
With budget cuts we often hear of “difficult funding decisions.” But these difficulties are mostly self-inflicted because we accept that the state’s budget pie is fixed. We cannot cut our way to prosperity.
Guest Opinion. Or PDF.
April 11, 2014
fisher Fisher: What raising the minimum wage would do for workers
By Peter Fisher in The Des Moines Register
Working full time is no guarantee that your family will be able to get by.
Guest opinion. Or PDF.
March 26, 2014
gibney Gibney: ‘Opportunity wage’ is a misleading term
By Heather Gibney in The Des Moines Register
So, the restaurant industry doesn’t want to see an increase in the minimum wage. Now there's a surprise.
Guest opinion. Or PDF.
March 26, 2014
owen Owen: Auto-pilot tax credits add millions to Iowa firms
By Mike Owen in the Quad-City Times, Davenport
Iowa seems to have tired of worrying about this multi-million-dollar giveaway, but it’s not like we have anything else to spend the money on. Or is there?
Guest Opinion. Or PDF.
March 19, 2014
fisher Fisher: Strengthen, don't break, Iowa's public pension plans
By Peter Fisher in The Press-Citizen, Iowa City
In Iowa and most states, public-sector pension systems remain strong and healthy.
Guest opinion. Or PDF.
January 25, 2014
owen Owen: Raise the minimum wage and index it to inflation
By Mike Owen in the Press-Citizen, Iowa City
Scrape aside the politics, untwist the numbers and pay attention to the real economics, and it’s not hard to see why it makes sense for Congress or the Iowa Legislature to raise the minimum wage.
Guest Opinion. Or PDF.
January 11, 2014
heathergibney Gibney: Wage fears not aligned with reality
By Heather Gibney in The Gazette, Cedar Rapids
Raising the minimum wage would deliver its benefits into the pockets of Iowa’s working poor, who need it most. And indexing the minimum wage to inflation would be an effective way to take political whims from the matter of pay for the working poor.
Guest Opinion. Or PDF.
December 28, 2013
osterberg Osterberg: Stop the spin — climate change is for real
By David Osterberg in The Gazette, Cedar Rapids
Get this straight, everyone: Climate change is real. And no amount of spin will change that.
Guest Opinion. Or PDF.
December 15, 2013
osterberg Osterberg: Alarmist rhetoric sells Iowa pension plan short
By David Osterberg in The Gazette, Cedar Rapids
Iowa's state pension systems for state and local public employees are something to celebrate. It's the story you're not hearing enough.
Guest Opinion. Or PDF.
June 17, 2013
fisher Fisher: All hail the CEO, the wonderful job creator
By Peter Fisher in The Des Moines Register
In the beginning, there was a CEO. And he said, “Let there be jobs.”
“Iowa View” guest opinion. Or PDF.
Also on our Iowa Policy Points blog, “Job Creationism.”
May 25, 2013
fisher Fisher: Last-minute tax deal could put state services at risk
By Peter Fisher in the Press-Citizen, Iowa City
In the beginning, there was a CEO. And he said, “Let there be jobs.”
Guest Opinion. Or PDF.
Also as statement for the Iowa Fiscal Partnership.
April 20, 2013
fisher Fisher: Taxing the rich puts cost where it belongs
By Peter Fisher in The Des Moines Register
There was a time from the end of World War II to about 1970 when economic growth was fueled by middle class prosperity. If we are to find a path back to shared prosperity, a good place to start is by taxing some of the income gains that have been captured overwhelmingly by the richest among us and using those funds to invest in our workforce and our economy in a way that benefits all of us.
“Iowa View” guest opinion.
Also published April 24 in The Gazette, Cedar Rapids.
April 3, 2013
fisher Owen: State approaches incentives in upside-down fashion
By Mike Owen in the Sioux City Journal
The world is upside down when state subsidies of business are presumed to be essential, and when a leading newspaper criticizes those who dare to question it.
Guest Opinion. Or PDF.
March 30, 2013
fisher Owen: No proof state benefits from business giveaway
By Mike Owen in The Des Moines Register
It's time for a little accountability. Far from the positive example of economic development as the business lobby claims, the research activities credit is a poster child for reform. Guest Opinion. Or PDF.
March 1, 2013
fisher Fisher: Commercial property taxes: reform first
By Peter Fisher in the Press-Citizen, Iowa City
If Iowa is to make changes in its property tax treatment of commercial and industrial property, the first thing it should do is look to finance the cost of these changes through closing existing tax loopholes and subsidies. Guest Opinion. Or PDF.
February 24, 2013
fisher Fisher: Heightened concern about business tax incentives
By Peter Fisher in The Gazette, Cedar Rapids
Rather than finding more ways to give money away, the first order of business in the General Assembly should be to ensure that existing tax credits achieve the public goals for which they are intended. Guest Opinion. Or PDF.
January 15, 2013
fisher Iowa View: Counting job gains while excluding losses is wrong
By Colin Gordon in The Des Moines Register
Gov. Terry Branstad’s claim that Iowa has added 100,000 jobs since January 2011 is nonsense. ... Iowa’s leaders can move these discussions forward constructively, but that starts with ending the politicization of basic economic data, as the governor’s staff has done with numbers on job growth. Guest Opinion. Or PDF.
December 9, 2012
fisher Fisher: Beware Snake-Oil Remedies for Iowa's Economy
By Peter Fisher in The Gazette, Cedar Rapids
It might come as a surprise to find that a report with the ostensible goal of advising states on how best to achieve growth and prosperity argues that the public sector has little constructive role to play. Such is the case with “Rich States, Poor States,” an annual publication of the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC. Guest Opinion. Or PDF.
September 28, 2012
fisher Why does Iowa ignore its own pro-business tax climate?
By Peter Fisher in the Iowa City Press-Citizen
Every year thousands of new jobs are created in Iowa businesses that expand or build new plants, most without state incentives. This point is frequently missed in commentary from Gov. Terry Branstad’s office, as we saw in the wake of the Orascom deal. Guest Opinion. Or PDF.
September 26, 2012
fisher Iowa View: Why is Iowa's pro-business tax climate ignored?
By Peter Fisher in The Des Moines Register
Every year thousands of new jobs are created in Iowa businesses that expand or build new plants, most without state incentives. Complaints about Iowa’s business tax system are puzzling, because businesses get a really good deal here. Guest Opinion. Or PDF.
July 31, 2012
osterberg Osterberg: Reduced funding impedes DNR's ability to do its job
By David Osterberg in The Des Moines Register
A federal EPA investigation clearly showed serious inadequacies in the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ efforts to watch over Iowa’s animal feeding operations. The DNR cannot do its job without adequate funding, and funding has been lacking. Guest Opinion. Or PDF.
July 2, 2012
Policy implications of the health-care ruling
By Andrew Cannon in the Iowa City Press-Citizen
While many are focusing on the political and judicial ramifications of the Supreme Court ruling affirming the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, it’s important to focus on how the law will affect health coverage. Guest Opinion. Or PDF.
June 14, 2012
Iowans shouldn't miss reality about lower public-sector pay
By Andrew Cannon in The Des Moines Register
It will not be surprising, in the post-Wisconsin-recall world, if policymakers feel emboldened to challenge public employee compensation. Sure enough, it already has surfaced in Iowa. Guest Opinion. Or PDF.
June 11, 2012
fisher How can Iowa afford not to update the state's work supports?
By Peter Fisher in the Iowa City Press-Citizen
Can we soon afford improvements in work supports? Of course we can.Guest Opinion.
May 19, 2012
fisher TIF bill not a 'good start' but a 'missed opportunity'
By Peter Fisher in the Iowa City Press-Citizen
Little or nothing happened to correct tax-increment financing abuses until this session, when the Legislature at least started to reform Iowa’s TIF law. What do the changes achieve, and where do they fall short? Guest Opinion.
March 18, 2012
osterberg Leaders: You prefer tax breaks to education spending
By David Osterberg in The Gazette, Cedar Rapids
The decisions to close Polk Elementary School in Cedar Rapids and the Price Lab School at the University of Northern Iowa have the same underlying cause: The Iowa Legislature is underfunding education. Guest Opinion.
February 24, 2012
Raising EITC would benefit working families
By Andrew Cannon in The Press-Citizen, Iowa City
If passed by the Iowa House and signed by the governor, a Senate-passed bill to raise the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit would provide a significant boost to thousands of working families. Guest Opinion. Or PDF.
February 5, 2012
fisher 5 ways to fix tax increment financing abuses
By Peter Fisher in The Des Moines Register
The case for reform of Iowa's most expensive economic development program — tax increment financing, or TIF — is compelling. Guest Opinion.
January 19, 2012
Case for reforming TIF too compelling to ignore
By Peter Fisher in The Des Moines Register
If efforts to reform tax-increment financing are going to be more than tinkering around the edges, some fundamental issues need to be more widely understood. Guest Opinion.
October 18 , 2011
Who are the real job creators?
By Peter Fisher in The Des Moines Register
State and local government is a large and important part of the state economy. And it is the only part that our legislators have real control over. Guest Opinion.
October 5 , 2011
Pirates are safe at Coralville's Iowa River Landing
By Peter Fisher in The Press-Citizen, Iowa City
If Coralville's plans to pirate Von Maur from Iowa City do not make abundantly clear the need to reform Iowa's TIF law, nothing will. Guest Opinion.
September 17, 2011
Deal with facts when talking of debt reduction
By Mike Owen in The Press-Citizen, Iowa City
To deal with the federal debt debate, one must avoid the distractions and forget about silver-bullet, easy-answer "solutions." Start with a firm foundation of facts, then move forward. What are the pertinent facts about national deficits and debt? Guest Opinion.
September 12, 2011
Wellmark's concerns are premature and misplaced
By Andrew Cannon in The Des Moines Register
In developing a health insurance exchange, the task for Iowa lawmakers is to craft a marketplace that attracts consumers and maintains a level playing field to benefit everyone — not just Wellmark. Guest Opinion.
August 20, 2011
Still waiting for comprehensive, principled tax approaches
By Andrew Cannon in the Sioux City Journal
Sound budgeting principles demand that tax credits are targeted and easy to police, benefit the broader community or economy, and have reasonably accurate cost estimates. The vetoed increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit would have met those standards. Guest Opinion.
August 16, 2011
osterberg Congress needs a Herbert Hoover reminder
By David Osterberg in The Des Moines Register
Lessons for today's policy makers from the experience of Iowa's native-born President. Guest Opinion.
August 12, 2011
fisher What's needed in a holistic take on tax policy
By Peter Fisher in The Gazette, Cedar Rapids
The "comprehensive and holistic" approach the Governor wants for taxes invited his signing of an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit, not a veto. Guest Opinion.
August 10, 2011
Governor's veto misses mark
By Lily French in The Press-Citizen, Iowa City
Are we willing to adopt public policy that helps low- and moderate-income working families and the Iowa economy? Guest Opinion.
June 23, 2011
In Iowa, it’s really the budget rhetoric that’s out of control
By David Osterberg in The Gazette, Cedar Rapids
We can fund quality K-12 and higher education, clean air and water and safe streets. Guest Opinion.
May 22, 2011
Get 'whole story' on Research Activities tax credits
By Mike Owen in The Gazette, Cedar Rapids
Fundamental questions about unaccountable tax credits need answers before officials presume to tell us we don’t have enough money to fund education, law enforcement or environmental quality. Guest Opinion.
May 21, 2011
Connecting the dots on access to health care
By Andrew Cannon in The Des Moines Register
At a time when the number of uninsured tops 50 million, some lawmakers are suggesting policies that would only inflate that number and accelerate economic insecurity. Guest Opinion.
May 12, 2011
Truth in labeling on property-tax bill
By Peter Fisher in The Press-Citizen, Iowa City
If truth in advertising were required of legislation, the property tax bill that just passed the Iowa House would have to be labeled “Homeowners: Pay More for Less.” Guest Opinion.
April 17, 2011
Sales-tax TIFs — a bad gimmick
By Peter Fisher in The Gazette, Cedar Rapids
Iowa should not open the door for any more sales-tax TIFs. Guest Opinion.
April 16, 2011
Tax Day: Our shared commitment
By Andrew Cannon in The Press-Citizen, Iowa City
So much of the rhetoric that surrounds tax day and taxes in general is inflamed by emotion, devoid of fact and not driven by a public spirit. Guest Opinion.
March 13, 2011
Depreciation deduction digs a bigger hole
By Peter Fisher in The Gazette, Cedar Rapids
The recession clearly put a hole in state revenues. But the Iowa Legislature is ignoring the adage: If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. Guest Opinion.
March 7, 2011
Guest column: Stop insanity of tax cuts and giveaways
By David Osterberg in The Des Moines Register
Once again, lawmakers are proposing big special breaks for business but fundamentally misrepresent who will benefit. It's the big and the wealthy, at the expense of everyone else. Guest Opinion.
January 16, 2011
Health care reform helping small businesses
By Andrew Cannon in The Gazette, Cedar Rapids
Health care reform is working. Though the bulk of the 2010 Affordable Care Act’s provisions won’t go into effect for another three years, the provisions that have are making a difference. Guest Opinion.
December 28, 2010
Don't be fooled into weakening Social Security
By Peter Fisher in The Des Moines Register
The only threat to Social Security benefits for the present young generation is from those who want to cut their benefits. Guest Opinion.
October 22, 2010
'Iowa Cannot Afford Smaller State Government'
Andrew Cannon in the Des Moines Register

Our health, businesses and children's economic future cannot sustain a further reduction in state services. We need a state government that is adequately funded to help us stay healthy, keep our economy growing, and secure economic opportunity for future generations. See the guest opinion, or download PDF.

August 29, 2010
'Either We Help Most Americans, or Make Grants to the Rich'
David Osterberg in the Iowa City Press-Citizen

Now is no time for new tax cuts for the wealthiest in America. Seven years of preferential treatment for that tiny sliver of society have given us the greatest deficits and debt we have ever seen. See the guest opinion.

August 3, 2010
Tax unearned, untaxed windfalls
By Mike Owen in the Globe Gazette, Mason City
Those who call for repeal of the estate tax want a special exemption for millions and even billions of dollars that in many cases have never been taxed. Guest Opinion.