In case you weren’t completely convinced that Branstad is a heartless assPosted: June 19, 2012
Recently Governor Branstad used the line-item veto to cut out $500,000 dollars that had been allocated for the Food Bank of Iowa by the state legislature. You can read the text of the item veto here–note that the Governor’s office can’t even be bothered to scan documents straight. Branstad argues that private funds should be used to fund the food bank. While I agree that private people and business should make sure to support charities, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the State of Iowa supporting the good works of non-profits such as the Food Bank of Iowa.
Dean Lerner, the former Director of the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals had a great op-ed about this issue recently in the Gazette:
Food Bank veto says a lot about Branstad by Dean Lerner in the Cedar Rapids Gazette Jun. 8, 2012
Branstad’s recent veto speaks legions about him, and us. The money will now revert to the state’s general fund, adding to nearly a billion-dollar surplus. In his veto message, the governor stated that he “strongly support[s] the Food Bank of Iowa and their important work to help needy Iowans.” However, he “believe[s] that private donations are the best way to support the Food Bank.” The Des Moines Register Editorial Board agreed, adding that there are already federal programs to feed the hungry, and that state assistance might discourage charitable donations. Really?
Maybe the editorial board missed reading the June 1 front page of the Register’s Business section: “Study: Income doesn’t cover needs for 1 in 4 working families in Iowa.” And contrast the governor’s “strong support” for the Food Bank to never-ending headlines such as the Register stories “Most [Iowa] tax incentives awarded to wealthy companies” (Jan. 15), “1st-quarter profits up 34 percent for Iowa Banks” (May 25), and “CEOs hauled in record pay during 2011, study finds” (May 27). Please don’t tell us that tax dollars haven’t been used, directly, or indirectly, to make this all possible!
Perhaps the governor’s plan is that the tremendous swell of riches to already wealthy companies, banks and CEOs — aided and abetted by his and the Republican colleagues’ policies — will help stimulate the private donations the Food Bank should, instead, rely upon. Of course, let’s not forget that their “generous” donations are accompanied by charitable tax deductions, and plenty of public praise for corporate citizenship. Some might view this as another version of “trickle down” economics.
I made a donation to the Food Bank of Iowa today and encourage you to do the same. You can do so at this link. I recommend filling in the bottom portion of the page as I did as shown below: