This weekend, the Des Moines Register reported on the Koch brothers’ Americans For Prosperity ramping up its operations in Iowa. Or as Joni Ernst would put it, YAY!!
Joni Ernst has already expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to attend a Koch seminar as well as to Americans for Prosperity for running attack ads against Bruce Braley. So how ever will she thank the Koch brothers for deploying their troops on the ground across the Hawkeye State? Well, she is starting by fighting for the same anti-middle class agenda.
Ernst and AFP have both supported cutting taxes for the wealthy and for corporations, shifting more of the tax burden to working families. They’ve both supported privatizing social security and slashing Medicare. Ernst has even come out against the existence of the federal minimum wage, putting her in lock-step with the Koch plan to eliminate it.
For Koch-Crony Joni and AFP, it’s ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.’ And if they win, nobody has the backs of working families in Iowa.
ERNST TIES TO KOCH BROTHERS
Received Koch Donations
Ernst Was The Only Candidate Who Received Donations From The Koch Brothers’ Network.According to the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, “While Ernst is the only candidate attracting donors affiliated with the Koch brothers, she is not alone in getting large donations from out-of-state donors.” [Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, 2/23/14]
- Ernst Received More Than $20,000 From Koch Brothers’ Network Of Donors. According to the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, “But within the out-of-state donors, Ernst has attracted attention from some high-profile activists. Following Ernst’s attendance at a seminar put on by Charles and David Koch last year, she has attracted donors affiliated with the Koch brothers’ network of political connections. Ernst received a scant $4,500 — out of $202,744 raised — from donors with affiliations with the right-leaning libertarian Koch brothers during the most recent filing. But she has previously gotten more than $20,000 from influential figures with ties to a meeting put on by the brothers.” [Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, 2/23/14]
Thanked Koch-Backed Americans For Prosperity
Ernst Thanked Americans For Prosperity For Running Anti-Braley Ads. According to a Facebook post by state Sen. Joni Ernst, Ernst said, “Thankful AFP – Iowa is highlighting Bruce #BraleysObamacare with a new television ad! Time for Braley to own up to the broken promises he made to Iowans. #IASEN” [Joni Ernst – Facebook, 1/15/14]
August 2013: Ernst Attended A Koch Seminar. “The 2014 potential of AfP, Freedom Partners and the other groups in the network depends in large part on the reception they get at this weekend’s gathering – the annual winter installment in the Kochs’ long-running series of twice-a-year meetings. […] The last seminar, held in August outside Albuquerque, N.M., drew Rep. Paul Ryan, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and Iowa state legislator Joni Ernst, who is running in a crowded GOP Senate primary.” [Politico, 1/24/14]
SUPPORTED TAX BREAKS FOR THE RICH
Ernst Was More Supportive Of The Fair Tax Than The Flat Tax, Said Flat Tax “Doesn’t Go Quite As Far As The Fair Tax As Far As Shutting Down the IRS.” According to an interview of state Sen. Joni Ernst with Caffeinated Thoughts, a conservative blog, “14. What about the IRS? Ernst: ‘I think the IRS is an agency that should be shut down. We could do that through tax reform. I do support tax reform and we’ve talked about many different forms of tax reform. I am intrigued by the Fair Tax and with the Fair Tax that could eliminate the IRS. The Flat Tax also is an interesting tax reform option, but it doesn’t go quite as far as the Fair Tax as far as shutting down the IRS. Overall tax reform has to be fairer, flatter and simpler and more certain for families and businesses.’” [Caffeinated Thoughts, 5/16/14]
Supported FairTax, Which Would Primarily Benefit The Rich
Ernst Said She Was “Very Intrigued” By The Fair Tax. According to the Iowa Republican, a conservative blog, “I found it interesting that Joni Ernst stated she was ‘very intrigued’ by the Fair Tax. All of the candidates favor a simple tax code, but no one candidate in Iowa has really taken up the mantle of the Fair Tax during a campaign since Mike Huckabee in the 2008 Iowa Caucus. Congressman Steve King is a big proponent of the idea, but he has not made it a centerpiece of his most recent campaigns.” [Iowa Republican, 9/6/13]<
Ernst Said The Fair Tax Was “A Great Way To Go.” Ernst: “We need reform all the way around. And to do that, you would have to institute a fair tax. So I would say I’m intrigued by the fair tax. I think it’s a great way to go. […] A flat tax is also a great idea and something we need to think about.” [Crawford County GOP Forum, 9/5/13]
- FairTax Would Be A Single-Rate, Federal Retail Sales Tax Set At 23 Percent. According to FairTax.org, “The FairTax is a single-rate, federal retail sales tax collected only once, at the final point of purchase of new goods and services for personal consumption. Used items are not taxed. Business-to-business purchases for the production of goods and services are not taxed. A rebate makes the effective rate progressive. […] Because the 23-percent FairTax rate of $0.23 on every dollar spent is not imposed on necessities, an individual spending $30,000 pays an effective tax rate of only 15.5 percent, not 23 percent. […] The proper tax rate has been carefully worked out; 23 percent does the job of: (1) raising the same amount of federal funds as are raised by the current system, (2) paying the universal rebate, and (3) paying the collection fees to retailers and state governments.” [FairTax, Accessed 9/13/13]
- FairTax Would Replace Federal Income Taxes. According to FairTax.org, “The FairTax is replacement, not reform. It replaces federal income taxes including personal, estate, gift, capital gains, alternative minimum, Social Security, Medicare, self-employment, and corporate taxes.” [FairTax, Accessed 9/13/13]
- Tax Professionals Regarded The Fair Tax As Impractical And Regressive. According to the Los Angeles Times, “The sales tax proposal has been around for years but languished on the fringes of practical politics and policy. Tax professionals generally regard the idea as impractical, regressive and even ‘crackpot,’ as one critic puts it.” [Los Angeles Times, 12/24/07]
- The 2005 Presidential Advisory Panel On Federal Tax Reform Rejected The Fair Tax Because It Could Cost $600 Billion A Year. According to the Los Angeles Times, “The 2005 Presidential Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform soundly rejected the idea. […] Critics argue that this aspect of the plan would create an unwieldy new government program akin to welfare. A report by the president’s tax-reform panel said such a program could cost $600 billion a year — ‘which would make it America’s largest entitlement program,’ the report said.” [Los Angeles Times, 12/24/07]
- Critics Said Fair Tax Would Primarily Benefit The Rich. According to the Los Angeles Times, “Even with the subsidies to poor families, critics argue, the tax would primarily benefit the rich because they save the largest share of their income.” [Los Angeles Times, 12/24/07]
- Independent Analysts Said The Tax Would Have To Be Far Higher Than 23 Percent To Maintain The Government At 2007 Levels. According to the Los Angeles Times, “Independent analyses have concluded that the tax would have to be far higher than 23% to maintain the government at current levels — especially if Congress did not eliminate popular tax breaks, such as the mortgage-interest deduction. William G. Gale, a tax expert at the centrist Brookings Institution think tank, estimates that the levy could run as high as 50% — a tax so steep that it would be an invitation to mass tax evasion. ‘It’s a crackpot plan,’ said Bruce Bartlett, a conservative economist and former Treasury Department official who is a leading critic of the sales tax. ‘Anyone who supports it should not be taken seriously.’” [Los Angeles Times, 12/24/07]