A NEW VISION FOR IOWA
Written by Jim Hennager PhD
New Independent Party of Iowa: 2016
“Below is our vision for the future of Iowa. We invite you to leave us feedback by using the star ratings provided after each idea. Your opinions are important and your feedback will be added to those of others who take this survey. The results of this survey will be used to form our State Platform for 2016.”
The Iowa of 1910 is not the Iowa of today. The Iowa of 2050 is not the Iowa of today. We designed a state with 99 counties so we could ride our horse and buggy to a county seat and return in one day. By 1970 we could all ride our cars to Des Moines and back in one day.
Today we have computers that can link almost any government information to a click of a key. Tomorrow we may be able to see this information on our eye wear. We need to reorganize how we do government in Iowa.
(1) In 1970 with a state population of 2.8 million and a GDP (total economic activity) of $13 billion our total cost of government (both state and local) came to $2 billion or 15% of GDP. The cost of Iowa’s government was $1,400 per man, woman and child. By 1980 our population was at 2.9 million and our GDP was at $64.6 billion and our total cost of government had risen to $5.5 billion or $1896 per person and 15.8% of GDP.
By 2000 or population was at 3 million our GDP was $93.3 billion and our total cost of government had risen to $17.2 billion or $5931 per person and 18.4% of GDP. Our 2014 budget with 3.1 million people in Iowa is now $33.8 billion with a state GDP of $162.3 billion or a cost of almost $11,000 per person and 20.1% of our GDP.
Anyone can see that the cost of government in Iowa has risen from 15 % of GDP to over 20% and the cost per person from $1400 to almost $11,000, while our population has only increased by 200,000 people. For every dollar that is paid in taxes at least four to five dollars is taken from the community it came from.
Our government costs are draining the life blood out of our communities. Over half of our cities have less than 500 people. Over half of our counties are losing population. At the same time our state government sits with over $800,000,000 in surplus “rainy day” funds. Our government costs are too high. Our taxes are too high. Both must come down.
(2)We designed our school systems in the 1950’s to prepare our students to work in factories but by 1980 over half of our graduating seniors were going into service related jobs; and we are projecting that more than half of our future students will work from a computer and possibly from the comforts of their home.
Do we really need our students going to public schools that look and run like factories, with twenty minute lunches, three minutes between classes, teachers as bosses, spoon feeders of information that come from boring text books and lesson plans that require all students to be on the same page at the same time, and given grades that create competition between students with some to receive an F for Failing or does it mean the same as being Fired.
Don’t our students of today and in the future need computer and communication skills that will allow them to compete in a global market place, be able to problem solve and work independently, and deal with complex issues that require being able to get to facts, analyze them and create new solutions for an ever changing world?
We need to bring Iowa’s schools into the 21st century. We want our schools, colleges and universities to be number one in our nation and internationally. (Our education plan for Iowa.) (Click)
(3) Over half of Iowa’s high school graduates leave the state to find jobs. Over half of our college and university graduates leave our state to find jobs elsewhere. Our budget for education in the state of Iowa is over $10 billion a year and here we are losing over half of our young people because they cannot find a job in Iowa. Are we getting the bang for the buck that we should be getting in Iowa? Why spend the dollars to educate our young to only have them leave our state?
If we educate them in Iowa we want to be able to provide good jobs and career opportunities so our young people can stay in Iowa. We believe that there are over 100,000 Iowans who have lost their job since 2008 and Iowa’s response was to close most of our unemployment offices across our state. We want to add 100,000 jobs in non- agricultural areas such as retailing, small manufacturing and expansion with existing employers. We believe that providing tax incentives to subsidize jobs is a better option than subsidizing the unemployed. (Our plan to add jobs in Iowa.) (Click)
We do not plan to just wait for government to provide these jobs but we want to organize the New Independent Small Business Organization in Iowa to help support new enterprises and new jobs in Iowa. We plan to hire as many unemployed and underemployed people as we can into our own political organization. We also plan to organize the New Independent Credit Unions in Iowa to help provide start up loans to new businesses and farmers in Iowa.
We do not see the existing bankers in Iowa doing what they were chartered to do and that is take in local money and provide loans back to their community. We see existing banks sitting on large reserves and earning their profits by charging excessive fees to their own customers rather than offering reasonable interest rates on savings accounts and making loans at a higher rate. We would like to see new restrictions on fees that banks charge for services that affect the lowest income groups in Iowa and the unreasonable interest rates charged by some Pay Day Loan companies in Iowa. We need to protect Iowa’s low income earners from becoming victims of institutions that take advantage of them.
The New Independent Credit Unions in Iowa will offer interest rates on savings programs that start at 4.5% and go up to 6%; and then provide loans to businesses and farmers that start at 8% and go up to 12%. In addition to providing FDIC insurance we want the New Independent Credit Unions in Iowa to have a reserve of gold to back up their deposits. We do not need government to solve the unemployment problem in Iowa; but we believe it can do more than it is today.
(4) In 1950 Iowa had over 1000 thriving communities but by 1990 over half of our 950 towns had less than 500 people, many with only a small gas station and a post office to call home. By 2010 we have over half of our counties loosing population and continuing to age every year. In 1970 we had over 350,000 Iowa farm families. Today we have less than 90,000 farm families with less than 30,000 of them earning over $100,000 in revenue.
This is why our small towns are dying and we have done nothing to reverse this trend. If we continue on this trend we may only have a dozen vibrant cities in Iowa with a state population that has stalled out, just as has the opportunities for young Iowan’s. Do we really want to be labeled the oldest most overweight state, with the most polluted streams, lowest paid teachers, least amount of new jobs created and least competitive student graduates in the USA?
We want rural economic development to be a top priority in Iowa. We want to bring 100,000 small diversified micro family farms to Iowa in the next ten years, and we intend to help them finance their operations through our New Independent Credit Unions of Iowa and our New Independent Farm Program where we collectively buy inputs and sell outputs by future contracts. (Our micro farming plan.) (Click)
Raising a family in rural Iowa is one of the greatest assets Iowa has and we plan to support this advantage through New Independent Centers that have Family Advocacy services, Employment services, Financial Services, Insurance services, Banking services, Retirement Services, Emergency Food and Clothing, Travel Services, and Buying Cooperatives for our members. We would like to see New Independent County Centers in every county and larger city in each state. (Our plan for County Centers in Iowa) (Click)
We are saddened by the brown skin parinoia being expressed in Iowa against immigrants. Iowa is a state of immigrants. We all come from some place in our lineage. A number of studies have shown that Iowa can not grow unless we see at least 200,000 new immigrants come to Iowa in the near future. We should be embracing new people to come to Iowa rather than giving them a bad time.
We should take the national lead in creating a legal path for undocumented aliens to get a work permit, then a visa and after a period of time citizenship. These people pay taxes. They work hard. They have good families. Demonizing them does no one any good.
We really do not believe that there are 12 million illegal aliens in the USA. We see this figure as a political scare number. Do we ask illegal aliens to line up on our interstates and raise their hands to be counted. No way. There is no way to know exactly how many are here illegally but our estimate is that it is closer to four million and not twelve million. We do not see any problem with integrating 50,000 refugee children into our society. If these young children are not refugees what is a refugee?
Our American history is a story of ethnic groups one after another coming to our shores and starting at the bottom and working their way up our American Dream. Iowa needs people willing to work in restaurants, hotels, corn fields, hog lots, and in our factories. Even if just to replace our aging population.
But Iowa also needs skilled and trained workers to create the enterprise to develop new products and services, to start new retail stores and businesses across Iowa. We invite thousands of the brightest students from hundreds of countries to attend our colleges and universities and then we see them leave, even when many want to stay and contribute to Iowa. We will declare Iowa a Free Economic Zone and allow international students as well as students from other states to stay and prosper in Iowa.
We need to reduce tuition rates for international students and out of state students to in state rates. We do not believe it is fair to use these students as “cash cows”. At the same time we want job opportunities for students from Iowa to be able to stay in Iowa. Why invest $10 billion a year in Iowa education to lose half of our students to find jobs in some other state?
(5) Things have gotten so screwed up in Iowa that we have 99 counties but only a few state representatives are tied to any county. We have 99 county seats but do we really need 99 sheriffs, 99 auditors, 99 treasurers, 99 engineers and 99 civil defense directors? We have every county asking for more tax dollars to build new court houses and new facilities but do we really need them? We want to see Iowa reorganize government to reduce costs and streamline services to nine regional administrative centers with each representing eleven counties. We want our 100 state representatives to have 99 actually each represent a county and one elected as Speaker of the Iowa House. We want to have our 50 senators represent populations by a ratio of 1/50 to each district. (Our government reorganization plan.) (Click)
Another issue that is screwed up in Iowa is that our 18/19 and 20 year olds can vote for a president and volunteer to serve in our military, even die for our country; but they can not buy a beer, gamble in a casino, rent a motel room, sign a contract or run for Iowa House. This is age discrimination and taxation without representation. This issue alone so upsets our young people that it causes them to not trust our state government or want to vote in elections. Are 18/19/20 year olds adults or are they not? We want them to be counted as adults with all of the rights of adults.
(6) We want to reorganize state government so that we have six administrative centers for the DOT, DNR, Human Services, six detention centers, six recycling centers, six electric generating centers, six state universities, six community colleges, six regional school centers, phase out the AEA’s, and create six economic development centers that people and businesses can find. Where they are needed there could still be satellite offices but most services can be provided online today. We want to bring the total cost of government down from 20% to 15 % of our state’s GDP by 2020. Yes, we want to cut the total cost of Iowa government within six years, and to reduce Iowa’s taxes as well.
(7) Everyone in Iowa has been told, “If you do not like the weather in Iowa just wait a day and it will change.” Iowa has always had hot summers and cold winters but are we prepared for the kind of extreme weather changes that are coming from global warming. It is hard for many Iowan’s to wrap their head around what is happening when we see extreme rain fall, then drought and then coldest winter temperatures and hottest summer temperatures in Iowa’s history being related to global warming.
It is hard for many in Iowa to relate these extreme weather changes to the changes in the jet stream or understand that the jet stream and ocean currents are changing because the average earth temperature and ocean temperatures are rising every year. The average earth temperature in 2013 was 58.1 degrees (F) which is an increase of over three degrees since 1950. If this average temperature should increase to 60 degrees by 2030 it will mean that all of the ice of the North and South Poles will have melted and the oceans and seas may rise 100 to 300 feet around the world.
In 1900 over 90 percent of the US population lived in rural America, but by 1990 over 90 percent were living in urban areas and 80 percent of them lived within 100 miles of a sea shore. A 100 feet increase in sea levels will create havoc with all of our coastal cities but a 300 foot increase will mean whole states like Florida will become water parks. The Iowa of 2030 should not be worried about 3 million people but 10 million people. Will the Iowa of 1950 keep coming forward to try to meet the challenges of our future or will the Iowa of 2030 step forward?
We need to create at least six new regional administrative centers that can grow to each accommodate upwards to one million new people in the next thirty years. We need to find a new way to build roads and highways that can withstand the dramatic changes in weather. We need to develop new planning strategies for our flood plains. We need to train more emergency personnel to handle floods, tornadoes, droughts and high winds.
We need to develop long term grain reserves in our state. We need to develop more water reservoirs to protect our water supplies. We need to develop our own gasoline reserve in Iowa. We need to develop higher standards for carbon emissions as well a tax incentives or punishments for our companies that continue to pollute our skies, streams and land.
(8) The New Independent Party of Iowa believes it is TIME FOR CHANGE IN IOWA. Change will come to Iowa whether we want it or not. Iowa needs people with foresight and the leadership to move Iowa into the future. We desire a future that can create new solutions and provide for people of all races, creeds, religions, ages and sexual orientation. And this is how we plan to move forward
We believe a new independent party can break out of the dead lock we see in the two party political system that has become dependent on special interest money and influence in the process of governing our state. All of our candidates of public office will sign a pledge not to raise or spend any money to win election. No more special interest influence. No more special interest legislation in Iowa. All of our candidates from governor to dog catchers will depend on a statewide cooperative campaign managed by our state and county party committees. All donations will go to the state and county committees or to third party PAC committees to endorse and support our state wide ideas and programs.
(9) All of our party’s candidates will sign a pledge to not participate in any form of negative campaigning or negatively attack any opponent personally, as will our standards for advertising and promoting all of our candidates. We will pledge to represent EVERYONE if elected and to seek positive solutions that will benefit ALL Iowans in every piece of legislation and in the administration of all government services. We do not want to bring forward polished professional politicians but sincere and capable individuals working toward common goals. New Independent Party Pledge (Click)
(10) We have set the goal of recruiting 600,000 Iowans to our New Independent Party of Iowa. We know that there are about 370,000 registered Republicans in Iowa and about 390,000 registered Democrats in Iowa with over 700,000 registered independents in Iowa so we know that there are well meaning independents in Iowa who have been forced to vote for either a republican or a democrat simply because there have been few or no independent candidates.
An even larger group of Iowans exist who have not registered and who have not felt it serves their interest to even vote. We believe it is TIME FOR CHANGE IN IOWA. We want to bring forward quality candidates that are independent and we want to attract those Iowans who have not registered or participated in Iowa politics in the past.
(11) We are asking new party members to the New Independent Party of Iowa to agree to pledge and give at least $10 a month to the state and county committees, with allowances for $5 a month to those below 25 and over 65, and to those who are welfare or unemployment. When we get to 600,000 state members we will have a monthly budget of approximately $6 million and an annual budget of $72 million. With 600,000 members and $72 million annual budget we will become the dominate political force in Iowa. We will be able to hire thousands of Iowans. We will be able to support thousands of new farm families. We will be able to support new housing, new retailers and new businesses.
(12) We do not believe that government is the only place where public problems can be solved. We do not plan to spend $72 million on political campaigns. We plan to invest in Iowa and Iowans. We plan to use these funds to subsidize job growth and startup businesses in Iowa. We plan to help buy learning computers for all of Iowa’s schools. We plan to offer scholarships to Iowa’s neediest students to attend college and job training.
We plan to hire the unemployed and underemployed in Iowa in our county offices, in new credit unions that will pay six percent on savings accounts and invest in their communities, into projects that will clean Iowa’s rivers and streams, and to help subsidize new recreational opportunities across Iowa.
Our goal is a real state unemployment rate of 2%. We want Iowa to be the highest state in high school graduation, highest in national competence tests, highest percentage going on to college and job training courses, and healthiest in the nation. And we plan to invest to make these happen.
(13) At the same time we want an Iowa that has the lowest income tax and property tax and the lowest per capita government expenditure per person in the nation. We recognize the reality that for every dollar paid in taxes in any form that government is taking four to five dollars out of any community in economic activity.
We want a major reduction in the size of all government and their cost. We want a simple, fair and equal tax system where our state and local government should not cost more than 15% of state gross product and our national taxes should not be more than 15% of gross national product per year.
We would like to see social security and individual health care be each set at 5% of personal income each year as Individual Retirement Accounts and Individual Medical Accounts. We would like to see an automatic tax system where taxes are taken from income sources and individuals no longer need to file an annual return. We want to see everyone pay into these taxes with no exceptions and no deductions. We want nonprofits to contribute to property taxes to help pay for public services such as fire, police and roads, to include churches, colleges and hospitals. We want to see a transition to Individual Retirement Accounts and phase out Social Security which is bankrupt. We want to see a transition to Individual Medical Accounts and phase out the Affordable Health Care Act as it soon will be bankrupt.
(14) We want a transition from 99 county seats to six regional centers in Iowa. We want these six regional centers to house government services for each region including six regional school districts that include the phased out Area Education Agencies, six area community colleges with six state universities with at least two of these in western Iowa to support applied technology and new economic incubators.
We want six regional detention centers with all inmates coming to them from counties and these inmates to work with road crews, recycling and energy production. We want six regional recycling centers to reclaim 100 percent of all Iowa’s garbage and waste material or use it in producing electricity. We want six electric power stations using a combination of recycled material, bio mass material, solar and wind energies to produce the lowest cost electricity in the nation.
We want to combine all of the state police services into one Iowa State Safety Patrol to provide security to any area not covered by local community police. We want the Iowa National Guard prepared and trained to serve Iowa’s safety needs in times of disaster and housed in these six regional centers.
We want these six new regional centers to be enclosed, self- contained, environmental balanced, self- sustaining, economic centers containing universities, hospitals and health care units, housing, retail, manufacturing and retirement opportunities for a community that could each someday reach populations of one million or more.
(15) We want a new approach to criminal law in Iowa where we move from arrest, lock them up and throw away the key to a much more prevention and preemptive collaboration between communities, juvenile offenders, gangs, adult offenders and the justice system. We want a plan for every first time offender to get back into being a responsible member of our society, with this plan to include parents for juvenile offenders.
We want parents held legally responsible for all juvenile offenders below the age of 18. We want 18 to be the legal age of adulthood with 18 year olds being allowed to buy alcohol, buy guns, sign contracts, get a permanent driver’s license, gamble, buy small amounts of legalized marijuana in Iowa and of course vote and serve in the military. We do not want anyone under the age of 18 to be tried as an adult.
We would like to see juvenile offenders given half the sentences of adults and to limit the maximum sentence to 15 years for juveniles and 30 years for all adult offense. We fully support the introduction of Family Courts in every county that will require both parents be involved when their children are in legal trouble. We want to see adults held more accountable for the actions of their children under age 18.
We consider life without parole a cruel and unnecessary form of punishment that needs to end but each case must be viewed individually and before any inmate is released they must go through a transition training period and be given a life time parole assistance. We do not want our prisons to be training grounds for criminals and we do not want inmates coming back to prison because they do not have the coping skills to make it in our society.
We see no problem with legalizing marijuana and other nonaddictive mood drugs with state control of the growing, production and retailing of such drugs with high taxes to support addiction and safety programs. (similar to Colorado). Additional Clarification on Marijuana issues can be found here : Marijuana (Click)
(16) We are not comfortable with the current Iowa law allowing more permit holders to carry concealed weapons. We will move to set higher annual fees on such permits and to require each applicant to pass both a written comprehensive test as well as pass a fire arm handling and shooting exam.
We want limits on the kinds of guns sold as well as their ammunition clips. We want stricter laws on parents who allow juveniles to have access to guns in their homes without having safety measures on those guns. We want a ten year added sentence given to anyone who uses an unregistered gun in the commission of a crime and a five year sentence to anyone using a registered gun in the commission of a crime. We have no problem with people owning guns and protecting their homes but we object to the theory that having a gun in the back pocket of every Iowan will make Iowa safer.
(17) We are not comfortable with Iowa’s current laws on environment safety. We want our rivers and streams free of chemical pollution. We want stricter enforcement and limits placed on farm confinement operations. We want to see all fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides knifed into the soil rather than sprayed on, this to also include all sludge from confinement operations.
We want the same requirements for all urban applications of such chemicals. We want to see detailed food labeling of all GMO farm products. We want to see the end of putting fluoride into public water supplies. We want to see stricter requirements on the disposal and use of mercury in dental fillings. We want factories and businesses that pollute our atmosphere to be given an opportunity to upgrade to zero pollution operations over a ten year period of time or face criminal and civil penalties.
We want to see a five percent per year drop in carbon dioxide emissions in Iowa over the next ten years. We want to see fall plowing not allowed and encourage, even reward farmers to plant edge rows of tall trees and strips of prairie grass to reduce the amount of top soil loss in Iowa. We would like to see millions of new trees planted in Iowa each year. We have a responsibility to preserve and protect our land for tomorrow’s citizens.
(18) We want a state wide strategy to assist our aging citizens in their senior years. We do not see that all of our senior citizens will ever be able to afford these new for profit nursing homes or retirement centers. We want new subsidized housing along with assisted living options in our major cities and in the nine new regional centers. We want our senior citizens protected from abuse and neglect.
We want a zero income tax for senior citizens. We want to see a zero inheritance tax and a zero capital gains tax for all of Iowa’s citizens over 65. We also want to assist senior citizens in finding part time employment if they desire it in meaning jobs. We would like to see people who have moved to Florida and Arizona start to move back to Iowa to retire. Those in Florida may have no option in the future.
(19) Legislatively we want to move Iowa from a conflict legislature to a cooperative body where we deal with financial budgets every even year and other issues every odd year. We want committee chairs to rotate every session and to not have power to kill a new bill if a majority of a committee wants to see a full chamber vote on any bill. We want every new bill posted at least thirty days for public input and review. We want a state website that posts new bills so that the public can provide responses before they are voted on.
We want to provide for citizen recall of elected officials, referendum and petition opportunities for citizens to bring issues to the legislature. We advocate for 12 year term limits on any state House or Senate seat as well as all judges; and the candidates from the New Independent Party in Iowa will voluntarily pledge not to exceed 12 years in any position.
We want a complete rewrite of Iowa’s tax laws to simplify them and to rewrite the entire Iowa Code of Law to layman’s terms so every day citizens can read and understand our laws.
(20) We do not believe that the present for profit medical model is sustainable into the future or that the Affordable Health Care Act will be successful. While we support the concept of providing health care to all people we believe the actual costs of this new program will be astronomical because it continues the for profit model of services.
We advocate to develop six regional health centers in Iowa that use the Medicare and Medicaid funds to subsidize these centers to hire medical professionals on salaries and not commission incomes, and to allow those people that are Medicare eligible to get free services that are prevention and holistic in nature.
We advocate to create health insurance exchanges around these six medical centers that are also prevention and holistic to actually reduce the average medical claims and insurance premiums rather than the continued escalation of costs and premiums.
We want these health centers to be actively involved in new research towards life style wellness as we believe that the rapid increases in cancers and hearth disease are more connected to lifestyle choices and environmental pollution than age or genetics. We want Iowans to be some of the healthiest citizens of our planet. We want our health care centers in Iowa to specialize in the prevention and treatment of childhood diseases so that no child dies from disease, hunger, war or by accidents that can be prevented. We want to see the banning of all pharmaceutical advertising on television to protect our senior citizens from the dangers of over medicating and interactions from strong prescriptions.
(21) We strongly advocate for new solutions in energy. We want Iowa to set the goal of having 80% of our energy come from renewable and sustainable sources such as wind, solar, geo thermal and bio mass. We want energy in Iowa to be the lowest cost in the USA. We want to see Iowa provide tax incentives for Iowans to develop wind, solar and geo thermal strategies for businesses and individual homes.
We see an opportunity in developing six centers of energy to collect all of the garbage from 99 counties and bring it to these six centers to recycle as much as possible and burn the rest to produce electricity similar to what Ames, Iowa does now. We would want these solid waster resource recovery centers to be designed not to pollute the atmosphere. Along with recycling solid wastes, which will help all 99 counties who are having major problems dealing with their land fills today, we propose that we harvest all of the grass and hay from highway ditches as bio-mass to add to these electric generators.
We also recommend that farmers and land owners adjacent to highways be rewarded for growing brush or fast growing trees that can be harvested to add to the bio-mass going into generating electricity for the state. We see the opportunity to have inmates involved in these recycling centers and the collecting of bio-mass. Why have inmates sitting around when they can contribute to Iowa’s energy needs? We want the lowest cost for energy per person in the USA for Iowa.
We would like to see Iowa’s nuclear energy plants be phased out for safety reasons. We would like to double the amount of wind energy production in Iowa and greatly reward home and business owners to add urban wind mills and solar collectors to their energy production. We want over 80% of Iowa’s energy electrical needs to come from renewable resources by 2020.
We also like the idea of developing a gasoline refinery capacity and reserve storage center in Iowa. If crude oil is going to be piped through Iowa why not develop a refinery along its path here in Iowa? We believe that we should have a reserve of gasoline in Iowa to counter future spikes in prices as well as supply. In any national emergency we want to have the capacity to keep supply trucks for food and water able to serve all of Iowa for several weeks. We also want the Iowa National Guard to collect and preserve enough food and water supplies to provide for Iowa’s needs for any kind of emergency for at least two weeks. We do not want riots to develop because we do not have food and water available.
(22) We strongly advocate for new solutions in transportation. We believe that the era of the railroad has past, and the era of the gasoline automobile and the airplane will soon pass as well. We want to see Iowa a leader in developing electric cars, trucks and buses. We want to see Iowa become the leader in providing research and a solution to create a new international mass transit system that can move people, products and ideas around our globe efficiently and safely. We want to see the six new regional centers designed around human environmental needs and not around an automobile. We want to see by 2050 a mass transit system that can accommodate business, industry, families and individuals around the world such that we can truly move to being citizens of the world. (Future Transportation Systems) and (Future of New Communities) (Click)
With the creation of six new regional government centers in Iowa we see the need to provide four lane highways to connect these centers. We want to see Highway 20 finally completed east to west but also highways 18, 30 and 34 east to west with four lanes as well as connecting north south highways to each of these regional centers when they are decided.
We also would like to see a new technology developed for the construction of Iowa’s highways such that the materials used will not erode. We want a new approach to building roads that will give Iowa a 100 year span on replacing these roads. We also want to see a new strategy of snow removal that does not use snow blades which probably break up roads the fastest. We see some kind of snow melting system and vacuuming of the residual water from the road ways when we have snow and ice. We can also see roadways that have heating systems connected to solar and wind energy to reduce ice and snow. We want a target goal of zero deaths on Iowa’s roads from ice and snow.
We have no problem with taxes gained from the sale of marijuana to go to the highway fund to pay for these improvements to our highways and bridges.
(23) We want to advocate for the creation of a State of Iowa Bank (similar to North Dakota) where all state and federal taxes, social security and Medicare payments are paid into and dispersed. We would want all IPERS and state pension funds invested in this State Bank and pay an annual rate of interest at six percent; with funds made available for loans and bond issues to communities and counties for economic development.
We do not want to sound alarmist but we believe that the US economy is very close to another major collapse and we will not be surprised to see stocks, bonds, real estate, farm land, commodities and assets fall across the board. We can see banks close, credit disappear, stock exchanges close and the loss of the US dollar as the international reserve currency. If these happen then the US will no longer be able to continue to print new money to cover government costs and such things as social security, Medicare, food stamps and government salaries will be at risk.
Our years of over spending and creating a national debt that can not be repaid will come to roost. Our recent legislation called FATCA asking foreign banks to provide reports on all of their customer account balances will actually drive foreign banks to dump American investments and dollars, which is already happening around the world. As a nation you can be stupid only so long before history repeats itself and a great nation begins to slide into serious financial problems and war. We fear that we are preparing for a global war. We believe that this is deliberate and planned even though they will tells us that it comes as a surprise and they had no options. We have always had options but the special interests who have created economic bubbles and crashed them are now moving the “big money” towards preparations for global war. We detest this strategy and hope voters will bring forward more reasonable and wise office holders in 2016 and the future.
The beginnings of this economic collapse is already starting but we foresee the possibility of a Black October in the stock markets with a Black November to follow and the real possibility of a Black 2016. It is very interesting to see Iowa politicians talking about Iowa being the Land of Milk and Honey when all around us is evidence of just the opposite coming at us. We believe we should be prepared for anything, whether it is dramatic changes in our weather, natural disasters, man made calamities, global war or economic collapse. The development of an Iowa Bank may be the best option Iowan’s have to provide some level of protection.
An Iowa Bank can be used to receive all government income but it can also be where all Iowa pension funds are brought back to avoid the huge loss from stocks and bonds falling in the near future. These pension funds can be divided up so that possibly half are investing in gold and silver commodities and possibly stored in Canada or Switzerland.
We recommend that Iowa create its own coins with silver plugs in $1/$10/$20 coins worth these values in todays actual prices for silver. We recommend that we then create gold plugs in coins worth $50/$100/$200 and $1000 at actual value. We fear that all fiat paper money and electronic bank money may become worthless very quickly but gold and silver coins may actually increase in value even in a major financial crisis. We realize these coins will be inconvenient and may be hoarded but an asset worth something is worth a lot more than paper worth nothing. We also realize that the US government may move to confiscate these coins as they have in the past but as IOWA coins we will resist any confiscation of our state coins.
We also believe that these pension funds can be the source of funding for new business start up and business expansion. By offering a fixed return of six percent on all pension funds we would be fair to pension holders but by using these funds to make business loans with interest rates of 8% to 12% we can develop funding for thousands of micro farms, thousands of new retailers and manufacturers across Iowa. Our goal will be to see economic development in all 99 counties. Why not use Iowan’s money in pension funds to benefit Iowa’s economic growth? Whether we have a financial crisis or not.
(24) We would like to see private banks and credit unions encouraged to develop master bank accounts with sub accounts for taxes, individual medical accounts, individual retirement accounts, bill paying account, smart debit card account, and an open discretionary sub account. We would like to see private banks again offer business and private loans at higher interest rates so they can also offer higher savings interest rates to encourage saving. We would like banks to make their profits from turning local money through loans rather than profits from fees and administrative costs. We would like banks to secure customer funds with gold reserves rather than depending on FDIC insurance.
We plan to develop our own New Independent Credit Unions of Iowa on these same strategies. We want to offer our New Independent Credit Unions services to our members across Iowa. In addition to having a gold reserve behind our deposits we want to offer up to six percent interest on our long term savings accounts, with eight to twelve percent loans, no fees ever, no one turned down for an account, free financial advice, secure smart debit cards, online services such as bill and tax paying, and friendly service to all of our members. Plus we want to create our own New Independent Peace coins with actual value for the silver or gold in the coins. We want our coins to be of actual value rather than symbolic value. We want to see money turn in all of Iowa’s communities to benefit our members and their communities.
(25) We would advocate for the relaxing of student federal and state loan restrictions to allow students who are in default to take Chapter 11 bankruptcy where they still have to pay the principle but can be forgiven both interest and penalties. We do not believe it is fair for colleges and universities to recruit students and offer federal and state loans to students who may not graduate and may not be able to pay off their loans. We will ask that banks and schools who enter into student loans be held responsible for a portion of the debt if a student defaults. We believe student loans should have co-signers if the student is under the age of 18 or if the lending institution is not comfortable that the student can repay the loan.
(26) We believe the high cost of tuition, room and board at private and public higher education institutions needs to be reversed and lowered as the rate of return on such an education may no longer be reasonable. We believe that institutions of higher education have taken advantage of federal and state loans to allow them to raise salaries and add to administrative costs by passing on these costs to students and parents without risk. We want to see a deliberate trend in lowering costs for students or subsidize alternatives such as online learning so that students can avoid traditional colleges and universities.
We would endorse a cap on all state employees and public education employees of $120,000 per year, but allow alumni and foundations, as well as research and off campus incomes to offset this cap. If the costs of Iowa’s state universities do not come down we are prepared to develop a private strategy for Iowan’s to earn college credits, from accredited institutions, through low tuition online options like our New Independent Learning Centers.
(27) We endorse the addition of six public universities for Iowa with two to be located in Western Iowa. A Regional Center for Higher Education in each of our six regional governmental centers. We would like to see these new universities concentrate on applied technology, Internet communications, alternative energy, alternative transportation, and holistic medicine.
We want to see all Iowa universities and community colleges develop strategies to incorporate business incubators into their activities to attract companies to Iowa and to provide part time employment to students. We also endorse ending the practice of charging out of state students and international students higher tuition rates. We believe this practice to be discrimination.
We would want to see a statewide strategy of recruiting out of state and international students to offer them career opportunities to stay in Iowa after they graduate; and we would want all of our public institutions of higher learning to have the priority of job placing 100% of students from Iowa. We believe that adjunct faculty at Iowa’s public institutions should be eligible for health insurance benefits and be represented by a statewide union.
(28) We want Iowa’s public schools to again be recognized as number one in America but also number one internationally. To accomplish these goals the public schools in Iowa will have to change from their present model of learning to a model that incorporates master teachers that are learning facilitators of a cohort of learners for four years with four levels of cohorts starting at age 3/4/5/6 then 7/8/9/10 then 11/12/13/14 and finally 15/16/17/18. Instead of group learning with group lesson plans with all students expected to be on the same page we need to move to individualized learning strategies that are competency based.
We want to see the integration of computerized super learning into these competencies so the practice of “social passing” ends. We want to know that every student is competent at every learning objective before they move to the next level. We expect higher standards for these competencies across the board at every level. We believe that high school students may finish their high school requirements by age 16 and that community colleges should be there to offer general college level courses in our high schools. We want the age moved to 18 before a student can drop out, or they have to obtain a high school diploma. We want 100% graduation rates.
We want the standards for home schooling to be enhanced and discouraged. We do not want students leaving our public schools because our schools have failed them. We want to extend the school year to eleven months and extend the school day from 8 am to 5pm which is exactly what the schools in South Korea, Japan and China are doing today. We want more core subjects required in our curriculum and we want foreign languages taught at an earlier age.
We want students from age 15 offered opportunities to work part time in apprentice type jobs in the afternoons and evenings. We want more extracurricular opportunities offered to our young people in the afternoons. We want all of our teachers paid more and paid the same across the state. We would support a state wide increase of $10,000 to the salary matrix when a school elects to go to eleven months a year; and another $10,000 added to the base of teachers who successfully complete a degree in Masters of Learning and become a Master Teacher.
We want to keep our individual school boards but to have all teacher and staff salaries and benefits bargained as a state. We want more collaboration and cooperation between individual school districts and fewer administrators within state regions. We want our public schools to be number one in America. (Our education plan.) (Click)
(29) We believe a woman should have the right to choose an abortion in the first tri semester of a pregnancy but in the second semester a medical doctor’s opinion that the mother’s health or child’s health are at risk should be a final factor; and in the third tri semester a judge should degree that the pregnancy was the result of rape, or the life of the mother is at risk. We want an end to late term abortions unless the mother’s life is threatened or a judge rules for it.
We are in support of using telemedicine to support abortions in the first tri semester, as well as use of the morning after pill which we believe should be available over the counter without a prescription to women of any age.
(30) We believe that pharmaceutical advertisements should be banned from television such as alcohol and cigarettes have been banned. We are only one of two countries that allow such advertisement and we feel these ads are unnecessarily influencing senior citizens to seek medicine that they may not need. The average 65 year old today is taking 10 prescription drugs from three doctors. Iowans are now more likely to die from a prescription overdose or an interaction between prescription drugs then they are likely to die from an overdose of an illegal drug. We believe that all people should seek the advice of medical doctors for their medicine rather than from a TV advertisement.
(31) We believe that the US war on drugs, crime, poverty and terrorism have all been a waste of time and money. To curb drugs we need to treat addiction as a physical and mental health issue. We should have government in control of production, marketing and taxing of all drugs instead of making organized crime some of the wealthiest people on earth.
(32) To control crime we need more early prevention; and eliminate all cash (except coins) to move to smart debit cards for all monetary transactions and guaranteeing everyone a bank account. (We could pay all taxes this way as well.)
(33) To eliminate poverty we will need to invest and subsidize jobs rather than subsidize welfare programs, and we need to raise the minimum wage to $10, with a twenty five cent increase every year so that someone working will make more than staying on welfare. An alternative to raising the minimum wage is to allow corporations to become legal employee owned companies where all profits are divided to the employees and the company does not pay any corporate income tax. We would also like to see the move to taxing revenue and income in non employee owned companies rather than profits.
(34) To stabilize our economy from ups and downs and prevent economic bubbles we advocate for the banning of selling short all stocks, bonds, derivatives, and commodities in US markets. We believe the present stock markets are really gambling institutions and they should carry such a warning to anyone investing in stocks. We would like to see Iowa create a stock exchange that pegs stock prices entirely on company assets and profits, and limits the amount of rise and fall beyond these set points.
We want to see Iowa develop a Start-Up Stock Exchange for small investments from a state sponsored website and with monies to go directly to a new business. We would like to see any Iowa business that is employee owned not have to pay state income taxes where at least 50% of the profits are distributed back to their employees through dividends and bonuses. Larger companies that turn to become employee owned with employees having at least 50% of the seats on the board of directors and receiving at least 50% of net profits before taxes should be exempt from income taxes.
We would like to see companies that have workers represented by unions that turn to become employee owned and share their profits with their workers also be represented by a union if desired by the workers. We would like to see unions, employees and owners of companies work together for mutual benefits, instead of being adversaries. We would even like to see teachers added to school boards so that teachers, board members, administrators and union representatives can work toward mutual goals.
(35) We believe the actions of the Federal Reserve since 2006 have been more to protect the largest banks that own the Federal Reserve than to stabilize the American economy. We believe the recession of 2008 was the result of deliberate criminal fraud on the part of the largest banks and financial institutions and we want to know why not one person or bank has been indicted or sent to prison as a result of these criminal acts. As long as the Federal Reserve and its bank owners receive interest from our national debt we do not see any real pressure for our government to balance the federal budget or reduce the federal deficit.
Our federal deficit at over $17 trillion is now larger than our gross national product per year. The interest we are paying on this debt is consuming a larger and larger portion of our federal budget. To continue to print new money to keep our economy going is only delaying the inevitable collapse of the US dollar and the loss of the US dollar as the international reserve currency. The real inflationary rate, counting inflation in energy, gasoline and food commodities, is rapidly cutting into the budgets of every American family. We believe the Federal Reserve should stop printing new money, the US government needs to balance their annual budgets and every effort should be made to pay down our national debit. We believe the Federal Reserve should be brought back into the US Treasury Department as part of our government with it governors elected from each state. We call for a national financial emergency that requires the federal government to cut all departmental budgets by one percent per month, across the board, until expenses and revenues are equal. We call for deep audits of all government departments and the federal reserve every year. Funding should stop if these audits are not performed to government accounting standards.
(36) We believe Americans are actually less safe since our war on terrorism as we have created tremendous backlash from people and countries around the world that now see the US as the Evil Empire and that we are only interested in protecting American companies and their profits by invading country after country, and flying drones into countries that have killed innocent people. Innocent people are not collateral damage. They were human beings. We want the end to drone warfare. We do not want a drone military center in Iowa. We want the end of invading foreign countries. We want the end to kidnapping, torturing people or holding them in secret prisons. We want the Guantanamo prison closed.
(37) We respect the commitment and sacrifices of our military volunteers, and we feel that we should do everything possible to take care of their needs when they return and help them find good jobs. We, however, want an end to wars for profits and to serve the economic needs of the military industrial complex. We do not want American boots of war in any foreign country.
We believe in a strong national defense but we do not support America being the top cop of the world. We advocate for moving the influence from the military industrial complex of companies in America to spend and earn money in space technology and the technology needed to create and develop an international mass transit system. We believe we can move companies that make profits from war into companies that are needed in space and transportation technologies for peace. We believe that peace can be as profitable as war, if we only give it a chance. We advocate for the development of an international mass transportation system we call the Peace Highway in which new technologies will be needed by the same companies that make money from war and terror today. www.peacehighway.org
(38) We want our military and intelligence national budgets trimmed to 15% of our national budget, our national budget should be balanced and not more than 15% of our GDP. We want to see our tax revenues kept at 18% of GDP with the difference used to pay down our national debt. We must come to balanced federal budgets immediately.
(39) We do not believe that any sane country would ever use nuclear weapons or weapons of mass destruction in the future so we need to find ways to reduce and eliminate these weapons from all countries.
(40) We want the hundreds of FEMA detention camps in the United States made into Economic Development Centers and a promise from our government that we will never arrest mass numbers of citizens and detain them in prisoner camps.
(41) We advocate removing the veto vote from any country on the United Nations Security Council so that all nations are treated equal. We do not see America as extra special, exceptional, or entitled to be above international law. We want an America that is a world partner in moving every country and all individuals to a better future. We believe that we can support and flourish with ten billion people on earth. We believe we can provide food, water, shelter, jobs, education, health care, a clean environment, safe communities and nations, with stable economies that are not based on inequality but justice and opportunity for all.
(42) We believe that American citizens have the constitutional right to individual liberties that include personal privacy from our government spying on them in mass. Using the standard that citizens should not care about their government spying on them if they are not doing anything wrong is wrong. If a government agency has clear and real evidence that someone is a threat or involved in criminal behavior, and they are willing to seek a court order to spy on an individual then we have no problem; but we cannot support any government agency blanketing anyone and everyone they can with secret surveillance without a court order before the spying operation begins, and only if the court order is directed at a specific target.
(43) We also want to have all social media, mobile communications and Internet communications organized so that any individual can easily hit a “NO” button and refuse to allow them to track and spy on them for commercial purposes, and not to allow these businesses to sell or market their information to any third party without the written consent of each individual. All individuals need to be openly and easily notified that they are being tracked for commercial purposes and that their information can be sold to other parties, if they do not sign such a “NO” request. Companies may decide if they will continue to provide services to individuals who elect to notify them of a “NO” request.
(44) As you can see the New Independent Party of Iowa wants to see change come to Iowa and American government. We believe Iowan’s as a whole are well educated reasonable people who only want what is best for all of Iowa and Iowan’s. What has happened is special interest money has come into Iowa to influence specific legislation, often even writing the very laws they want to benefit them. We have no problem with special interests having their input on issues but they should not have the power to influence elections or legislation by their money alone.
If Iowan’s want to keep democracy in Iowa we believe they will move with us to elect new people from a new political party that is willing to provide the leadership for tomorrow for all Iowan’s. We invite you to join us. Your help will be appreciated.
(45) If you find that you are comfortable with our vision for Iowa and American we ask that you come forward as a new member by signing into our membership page. If you feel that you can contribute your skills and energy as a candidate for public office we encourage you to write to us and let us know. We are looking for good people to run for offices from local school boards and city councils to governor. We ask that you pledge not to raise or spend any money to campaign and to work cooperatively as a team member.
(46) You are also invited to become a volunteer to work with us to help improve your neighborhood, your city, our state and our nation. We do not feel that we have to wait for government to do everything or solve every problem. We want your involvement whether it is time, skills or donations. We need your help in organizing neighborhood, community and county wide teams. We don’t just want to be involved during election times but year around. We believe that individuals can make a difference. Meet new friends. Help us make a difference.
We plan to develop a point system for our members to earn points from their donations of money (one point per dollar), donating their time (ten points per hour), to running for any office (500 points) and accepting roles in county and state offices or committee leadership. To encourage young people to vote we will reward them with 300 points every time they vote in public elections and 100 points to all other members. (We support a fine of $300 for people who do not vote in state or local elections.) Members can earn points for taking supporting college credit courses or participating in training programs. Members can earn points by participating in group volunteer projects to clean up streams or neighborhoods.
All points will be managed by county chairs. New members will become vested members upon earning 3000 points and make them eligible for special incentives and rewards from our sister organizations the New Independent Credit Unions, New Independent Small Businesses and New Independent Farms; as well as credits toward Individual Medical Accounts and Individual Retirement Accounts.
We will have three levels of member. Our general members can belong by just signing up to receive newsletters and use our county services. Active members will give at least $10 or more per year to support our services and candidates in county and state elections. Vested members will be Active members that obtain 3000 or more points and are accepted by their local county committee. Vested members will be eligible to receive quarterly and annual dividends from surplus funds as voted by county and state New Independent Organizations that will operate as nonprofit membership organizations similar to membership golf courses.
(47)We promise not to share or sell any member information without their signed agreement. We will develop an ID system that uses numbers such that the first three digits are for a member’s country; the next two are for state, then two for county and then eight for an individual’s birthdate. These 15 digits will be each members ID. We will need to gather name, address, phone number and email address so we can communicate with our members with newsletters and special announcements but the ID will be used to allow online voting and polling of members without the member’s personal identity being known. For example, Iowa’s members will need to vote on state wide candidates and our state platform before our State Conventions in the future.
(48) We want to have the New Independent Party be an opportunity for members to make new friends, socialize and be involved in community projects that can benefit everyone. We want to encourage yard sales, bake sales, barn dances, fishing derbies, foot and bike races, walking tours of our state parks, visits to our state museums and historical sites; as well as neighborhood meetings to discuss issues and program. We want people who want to be involved in their communities and neighborhoods.
(49)We want the New Independent Party to become known for rational thinking, solving problems in a cooperative way to benefit everyone, progressive in our outlook for the future, downsizing the size and cost of all governments, reducing taxes and public debt, open minded to all, and always mindful that we all live here together on one planet.
IT IS TIME FOR CHANGE IN IOWA.