Vander Plaats: Culver ‘Out of Touch With Iowans, Reality and Common Sense’ in Federal Deductibility Uproar

DES MOINES – Gov. Chet Culver’s statement that vocal opposition to Democratic plans to raise taxes on half of all Iowans is “over the top” is the trademark of a politician who is out of step with the needs and concerns of voters, Sioux City Republican Bob Vander Plaats said today.

“Chet Culver is out of touch of working Iowans. He’s out of touch with reality and, frankly, he’s out of touch with common sense. Tax increases always stifle productivity and growth but that’s especially true in a slow economy,” Vander Plaats said in a statement released by his campaign committee. “This tax plan is especially onerous because the Democrats claimed to be aiming a rifle at the people who produce jobs, wealth and growth and instead they’ve taken a shotgun approach that is hitting Iowans in virtually all tax brackets.”

Vander Plaats noted that a Democratic analysis of their own plan shows 40 percent of Iowans who make less than $40,000 will receive a tax increase under the proposal legislative Democrats intend to pass on Friday. Sixty-nine percent of Iowans making less than $70,000 will see their taxes increase. Speaker Pat Murphy, D-Dubuque ordered state troopers to remove ordinary Iowans from a public hearing when they loudly expressed opposition to the plan to eliminate Iowans’ right and ability to deduct their federal taxes from state returns. Culver said Murphy’s actions were “absolutely justified.”

“Chet Culver has chosen to stand with Pat Murphy instead of working Iowans. This is the same Pat Murphy who claimed last week that 75 to 80 percent Iowans would get a tax cut under this plan. A few days later, the Democrats were saying about 65 percent of Iowans would get a tax cut. Then when their plan finally sees the light of day, it turns out 49 percent are getting tax increases not tax cuts,” Vander Plaats said. “It’s no wonder why working Iowans are saying, ‘Chet Culver can’t add and it’s time for him to go.’”

Citing an interview in which Culver said Iowans want elected leaders to “find common ground,” Vander Plaats noted that Culver does not seem to understand the common ground that Iowans really want.

“Chet Culver says Iowans who want tax relief are on the fringe when, in fact, he and legislative Democrats are the ones out of the mainstream,” Vander Plaats said. “Iowans want a governor who doesn’t approve a 17-percent increase in state spending over just two years. They want a tax system that treats them fairly. And the last thing they want is a bait-and-switch tax plan that promises cuts and throws more taxes on their backs when times are tough. If Chet Culver can’t understand that he needs to go back to his old job as a history teacher and reread the lessons about how this country was founded.”

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