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Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

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By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

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By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

Liz Mathis
By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.

Economists argue against deficit reduction

By Annie Lowrey | 09.16.10 | 12:30 pm

More than 300 economists and policy experts released a letter Thursday warning that “the still-fragile economic recovery will be undercut by austerity economics of the kind being pushed by conservative politicians and by the Deficit Commission.”

The group argues that President Barack Obama and Congress should press for legislation to create jobs, including infrastructure investment, state aid and public-service jobs programs — and should ignore calls for immediate cuts to reduce the deficit and start bringing down the national debt.

On a call with reporters, Robert Borosage, the head of the Institute for America’s Future and an author of the letter, argued that “to constrict spending will not only deepen the stagnation and spread the misery, it will ironically fail to reduce the deficit.” Unless the economy starts moving again towards full employment, any efforts at deficit-reduction will falter, he said.

He argued that austerity plans, such as Rep. Paul Ryan’s, R-Wis., Roadmap for America’s Future, assume a return to economic growth and a drop in the unemployment rate — changes that have not yet happened. Deficit reduction would hamper growth and worsen joblessness, as the government would essentially withdraw demand from the economy before regular consumers and businesses started providing it. Plans such as Ryan’s fail to “address the remaining gaps” and kick-start growth, Borosage said.

Dean Baker, an economist and the co-chair of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, agreed, noting that deficit hawks have pushed “a narrative through this downturn that is 180 degrees from reality.” The economy needs more demand and more jobs from somewhere, and absent demand from other sources, the government should give it. He and others argued for Congress to focus on things like infrastructure investment, rather than slashing the federal budget. “Anyone with a whit of business sense” would know now — given the low interest rates and a enormous pool of construction workers idled — is a good time to build.

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich also argued “the right way to approach and address long-term deficits” is growth. He noted that the country is “not just in danger of a double-dip recession, but we are not getting out of the doldrums at all.” Economists expect “rapid economic growth” after a deep recession. That growth has not happened.

The Obama administration has in recent week proposed a series of measures to gin up growth and jobs — including a new infrastructure package. And policymakers within the White House certainly would like to push for much bigger, more expensive bills. The problem is Congress — and specifically the Senate. No measure that cannot overcome a Republican filibuster by winning a Republican cross-over vote will pass. And Republicans thus far have proved intransigent on most spending measures, insisting on deficit-neutral bills and eschewing the idea of big spending programs.

That said, Republicans aren’t exactly focusing on deficit reduction either. This week, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the minority leader, proposed a $4 trillion tax cut, without naming where he would cut the budget to pay for the bill.

Comments

  • CFHawkfan

    And where does the government get the money is uses to pay for its projects? From the people who produce goods and services making their purchasing power even less. Until the consumer gets back into the game, the economy will continue to stagnate. Big business is flush with $1 trillion in cash yet we're still discussing letting the Bush tax cuts expire which will only further hamper a recovery. You cannot spend your way to prosperity. These are obviously Keynesian economists. Let's her from the other side!

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