Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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November 20, 2010

Sullivan’s Salvos 11/23/10

In this edition:

*Happy Thanksgiving!
*Bush Tax Cuts
*Speaking of Taxes…
*Food Insecurity
*Olmstead Hearings
*Did You Know?

*Happy Thanksgiving!
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. It is very true that we all have much for which we should be thankful.

I do not want to forget to thank all of you for bothering to read what I write each week. I am thankful that at least a few folks are interested in what I have to say. Your feedback is often challenging, but it makes me a better person. I sincerely appreciate it.

I hope your holiday is warm, safe, trouble-free, and full of family and friends.

*Bush Tax Cuts
Thanksgiving is a time when we give thanks for all our blessings, and share our good fortune with others. Let’s look at the Bush Tax Cuts through the lens of Thanksgiving.

I think it is vital that Congress vote to extend the cuts for the 98% of us, and to eliminate the cuts for the wealthiest 2%.

Let’s be honest. If we really care about the deficit, we all know it will require both spending cuts AND increased revenues. Where would we rather increase revenues than on the richest 2%? Those are the only people who can afford it! Their Thanksgiving table is full. To allow their cuts to expire is the best solution both economically and morally.

Politically speaking, voting to tax the rich will not cost Democratic members of Congress ANY votes. The folks who want trickle down tax cuts already voted for the GOP. They are going to vote GOP next time. Democrats cannot do anything to change their minds. So Democrats may as well do the right thing!

Polls show over 70% of Americans agree with this approach. Much more importantly, it is the only morally correct thing to do!

We should look to the spirit of Thanksgiving for guidance here. Those who have a full table should share it. That is good for everyone. The rich will still have more than enough to eat.

This is a winning argument, economically, politically and most importantly, morally. I hope Democrats make it.

*Speaking of Taxes…
The co-chairs of the President's fiscal commission have released a series of options to reduce the long-term federal budget deficit by $3.8 trillion over ten years. 75% of the savings would come from cuts in public services while only 25% would come from closing tax loopholes and reforming the tax system.

This makes little sense, given that the United States is one of the least taxed countries in the developed world. A new report from Citizens for Tax Justice explains that the most recent data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) show that the U.S. is the third least taxed country of the 27 OECD countries for which data are available.

See for more information.

*Food Insecurity
A Thanksgiving thought from our friends at the Iowa Policy Project:

One in nine Iowa households had trouble at some point putting food on the table in 2007-09, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The new report indicates 11.5 percent of Iowa households, on average, experienced “food insecurity” during that three-year period, which was dominated by the recent recession. The estimate is essentially unchanged from the previous three-year average of 11.4 percent, for 2004-06 — but significantly higher when compared to estimates in the previous decade.

“As we approach Thanksgiving, we can recognize that as high as food insecurity has been in our state, Iowa households have remained better off than many of their Midwestern neighbors,” said Andrew Cannon, a research associate for the nonpartisan Iowa Policy Project, part of the Iowa Fiscal Partnership.

The report, “Household Food Security in the United States, 2009,” found 5 percent of Iowa households on average in 2007-09 to have “very low” food security, a jump from 3.9 percent in 2004-06. A “food insecure” household has difficulty at some time during a year providing adequate food for its members due to a lack of resources. “Very low” food security includes reduction of food intake and disruption of eating patterns.

USDA found Midwestern states in 2007-09 to have food insecurity rates ranging from 10.5 percent in Minnesota to 15 percent in Missouri, but with all of Iowa’s neighboring states seeing significant increases from 2004-06.

The Iowa Fiscal Partnership is a joint budget and tax policy initiative of IPP in Iowa City and another nonpartisan organization, the Child & Family Policy Center in Des Moines. IFP reports are at

*Olmstead Hearings
You are Invited to Join a Community Conversation on Mental Health and Disability Services. The Iowa Legislature, Iowa Department of Human Services and the Olmstead Consumer Task Force are sponsoring several public forums on mental health and disability services.

A local event is co-hosted by State Senator Joe Bolkcom, State Senator Robert Dvorsky, and State Representative Mary Mascher, and scheduled for November 23 from 4:00 to 6:00 pm in the Johnson County Health & Human Services Building Room 203B.

These community conversations are an opportunity to share your opinions and experiences and learn about the DHS Olmstead Plan for Mental Health and Disability Services, “A Life in the Community for Everyone.” For more information on the Plan and its development, visit the website at:

Everyone is welcome to attend and share input. Refreshments will be provided and travel expense payments are available for individuals with disabilities and accompanying family members. Contact Connie Fanselow, DHS Division of Mental Health and Disability Services, at 515-725-0131 for more information or to request any special accommodations.

*DID YOU KNOW? You can listen to audio of all meetings of the Board of Supervisors at

Anyone interested in learning more about County government should take a look at the County website-

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As always, feel free to contact me at 354-7199 or I look forward to serving you!



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