It is amazing what astute observers some of our predecessors were concerning the state of the country and politics in general. Recently, I ran across an observation from Henry Brooks Adams that states, “Practical politics consists of ignoring facts.”

I can’t agree with the “practical,” but he sure zeroed in on what is occurring today. Here in Iowa our current administration ignores that the Branstad/Reynolds campaign promised 25 percent increases in family income, 200,000 new jobs, a balanced budget and overall economic prosperity. I haven’t seen or experienced any of these. Have you?

Recently what I have seen is Republicans trying to balance the budget by legislating unions out of existence; the absolute decimation of mental health care (Iowa ranks 50th), and absolutely ruining the Medicaid program. President Trump helped on that last one. We lost our surplus of funds, cash reserves are severely depleted and somehow the controlling party seems happy about that.

Fact: If federal Medicare is allowed to negotiate prices of pharmaceuticals, we could save billions of dollars annually. Proof? Buy your prescriptions from Canada at 70 percent to 80 percent savings. The pharmaceutical companies have been ripping off American consumers for years. Their management loots millions annually in salaries and perks. They also charge exorbitantly for research and development, much of which is government subsidized. Yet our current administration thinks these are the people who deserve monstrous tax reductions.

Fact: The proposed budget is designed principally to reward the super-rich who finance political campaigns. This will harm the U.S. over the next 10 years. In an analysis by Mike Konczal writing in “The Nation,” he estimates a tax cut of $6 trillion over the next 10 years that could boost our national debt to $25 trillion! The interest burden alone could cause near bankruptcy for our federal government. Yet, a graduated income tax along the lines of the 1940s tax structure would reduce our debt.

Fact: The “losers” in the proposed budget are: Health and Human Services, $2.6 billion; State Department, $11 billion; Labor, $2.5 billion; Agriculture, $4 billion to $7 billion; Transportation, $2.4 billion; IRS, $234 million; Commerce, $1.5 billion; Education, $1.2 billion. There are certain Republicans who think this is marvelous. The hell it is! Essential programs and services are being cut, and these cuts will be felt across the country. While Congress should be allocating funds for infrastructure repairs, research and development and shoring up our relations with foreign countries, it is giving the necessary money to the top 3 percent, which doesn’t need it. What price campaign money?

Fact: Congress has tied itself into inaction over illegal immigration, totally ignoring ridiculously simple solutions. The anchor baby problem: Babies born here must have at least one parent as a U.S. citizen either by birth or naturalization. A simple word adjustment to the 14th Amendment. The remaining millions of undocumented immigrants who aren’t criminals and are gainfully employed can be offered a regimen whereby in five years they can gain U.S. citizenship. It isn’t rocket science.

Fact: The United States sends more money, manpower and management to other countries beset by natural calamities than any other country. Why are we the people who tax our citizens for these giveaways when other countries blithely ignore the dire straits other nations have experienced? Another fact: Here at home thousands of people don’t have enough to eat or decent living quarters. Education is out of the question because they lack income, are beset by physical or other financial drains. Fact: Our politicians would rather help foreigners than those at home.

Fact: There are hundreds of other examples of our politicians ignoring facts, but my space allotment is limited and prevents listing even a tenth of them. I wish every Sunday newspaper would publish a listing of the hundreds of problems ignored by our politicians. Over and over again, until action is taken.

I quote Aldous Huxley: “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”

Stanley Smith is a former Cedar Falls City Council member.


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