Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

Previous Posts


March 26, 2011

Sullivan’s Salvos 3/29/11

In this edition:

*Social Security and the Deficit
*Most Admired
*Fair Vs. Equal
*Democratic Party Hall of Fame
*Did You Know?

*Social Security and the Deficit
I am tired of the hatchet job that is taking place on the Social Security program.

Social Security has never added ONE CENT to the federal deficit. It is completely self-sufficient, and always has been. This is an incontrovertible FACT!

Social Security is already set until 2034. Wealthier people only pay Social Security on the first $106,000 they earn. A tiny change, raising that $106,000 to say, $125,000, will make Social Security solvent for the next 50 or more years.

So, next time you hear pundits talking about balancing the federal budget and they mention “Social Security”, contact that show and call them on it! Every time you see a “journalist” sit there and let this go unquestioned, call them on it! Social Security has NO relationship to the federal deficit!

We know how this works. Repeat it over and over, and people begin to believe it, even though it is false. This is the same thing that happened with President Obama’s religion, Iraq’s ties to Bin Laden, and John Kerry’s military service. Do not allow that to happen to Social Security!

*Most Admired
Of all the many jobs out there, which do I admire most? Public school teachers. The school teachers edge out police, fire, and paramedics at the very top of my list.

Do those jobs ring a bell? Have you heard much about them lately? If you get the opportunity, tell a teacher you appreciate her/him. They have been under attack, and they deserve SO much better!

*Fair Vs. Equal
As a Supervisor, I often find myself concerned with trying to determine what is “fair”. I find that this searching leads to some interesting struggles between the concepts of fairness and equality.

In case you are thinking these two terms mean basically the same thing, you are incorrect!

A quick check of the dictionary gives us the following definitions: Fair: free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice. Equal: the same.

There are times where making things equal is being fair. There are other times where making things equal is unfair. Here are a few examples:

You can kill someone in self-defense, through vehicular homicide, or through premeditated murder. Our justice system has wisely chosen to treat these three instances differently. In each case, one person took the life of another. So we could claim that the perpetrators should be treated equally. To do so, however, would not be fair.

Imagine two employees who are both missing work. Employee A goes to the doctor and finds that she has leukemia, which explains why she has felt so poorly. She immediately begins treatment, meaning more missed work. Employee B continues to miss work with no explanation. To meet our definition of “fair”, we need to make sure there is no legitimate excuse for the poor attendance of Employee B. If there is no reason, Employee A will likely keep her job, while Employee B loses hers. They are not being treated equally, but they are being treated fairly.

Look at income taxes. Some wealthy people like Steve Forbes would try to make you believe that we should all pay the same in income taxes. That would be equal, but it certainly would not be fair! Why should someone earning $20,000 pay 5%, while someone earning $20,000,000 also pays 5%? This is hardly fair.

I spend a lot of time in my job trying to determine what is fair. It is not always easy. On some occasions, fair means equal. On other occasions, fair and equal mean very different things.

For political junkies like myself, March 31st is a big day! That is the day that Iowa’s Redistricting Commission releases the new Congressional and Legislative District maps.

As you know, Iowa is a model for our nonpartisan method of determining the districts. Because of this, there is always great drama – no Member of Congress or Legislator is safe!

This will be particularly true in 2011, as Iowa loses a Congressional seat. While the first map is unlikely to be the final map, the speculation begins in earnest on 3/31. Stay tuned for all the fun!

*Democratic Party Hall of Fame
Save the date! The Johnson County Democratic Party is holding a Hall of Fame awards ceremony on Saturday, May 7 at the Marriott in Coralville.

Honorees are Ralph & Arlene Neuzil, Jae Retz & Roberta Till-Retz, and Dick & Doris Myers.

Tickets to this event are $25; many sponsorship opportunities are available. For more info, please send me an E-mail!

*DID YOU KNOW? In 2010, Johnson County cities annexed 339 acres of county land. (207 of these acres are now the Terry Trueblood Recreation Area in Iowa City.) That is up from zero acres in 2009, and 45 acres in 2008.

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

"Sullivan’s Salvos" is sent once per week to any interested party. It will give a brief update on issues of interest to Johnson County residents.

These messages come solely from Rod Sullivan, and neither represents the viewpoints of the whole Board of Supervisors nor those of groups or individuals otherwise mentioned.

If you do NOT want the weekly E-mail, simply reply to this message, and type "unsubscribe" in the subject line.

If you know anyone else who might be interested, just forward this message. They can E-mail me at with "subscribe" in the subject line.

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



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home