The Gazette Fact Checker

The Gazette

The Fact Checker team checks statements made by an Iowa political candidate or officeholder or a national candidate or officeholder about Iowa, or in ads that appear in our area. Claims must be independently verifiable. We give statements grades from A to F based on accuracy and context. If you spot a claim you think needs checking, email us at factchecker@thegazette.com.

Federal grant program won’t pay for crack pipes
Feb 26 2022
Federal grant program won’t pay for crack pipes
More than 70,000 Americans overdosed on drugs in 2019, with 70 percent of those deaths caused by opioids, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. An increase in drug overdose deaths in recent years has caused the federal government to look at harm reduction, a strategy that seeks to keep drug users safe so they have a better chance of eventually kicking their addictions. In a Feb. 15 news release, Sen. Joni Ernst ridicules a federal Harm Reduction Grant Program, which would provide nearly $30 million in grants funded by the American Rescue Plan to increase access to harm reduction services and support. “When Iowans hear about the outlandish ways in which Washington wastes their hard earned tax dollars, I’m often asked if the folks making these spending decisions are on crack. Well, it turns out some are!” Ernst goes on to say: “As part of a new Biden administration initiative, ‘people who use drugs’ will help decide how to spend nearly $30 million of your tax dollars on smoking kits and drug equipment and supplies for other drug users. “While the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) initially confirmed crack pipes would be included, the administration is now attempting to backtrack, saying the pipes won’t be part of the deal. “Regardless of the latest line the administration is pushing, the program announcement is not so crystal clear on if crack pipes will be included.” This episode of the Fact Checker Podcast is researched and hosted by The Gazette's Erin Jordan. Additional members of the Fact Checker team are Elijah Decious, Marissa Payne and Michaela Ramm. The Fact Checker Podcast is produced by Stephen M. Colbert and music is Lobby Time by Kevin MacLeod Link:
Do states with low income tax see more growth than states with high taxes?
Feb 7 2022
Do states with low income tax see more growth than states with high taxes?
Iowa Sen. Mike Klimesh, R-Spillville, wrote in a Jan. 14 legislative newsletter about legislative proposals to ensure Iowans “keep more of their hard-earned money.” Democrats have criticized these plans as disproportionately benefiting higher wage earners. Gov. Kim Reynolds has proposed a 4 percent flat tax rate, which would be less than half the current top Iowa income tax rate if approved. The House and Senate have both unveiled different packages that staff estimate would provide $1.7 billion and nearly $2 billion in tax relief, respectively. Those both carry higher price tags than Reynolds’ $1.6 billion proposal. The governor’s proposal also calls for a gradual reduction in the corporate tax rate each year revenue surpasses $700 million, until the top rate is 5.5 percent. The Senate proposed a five-year gradual reduction of the top rate from 9.8 percent to 7.8 percent, while the House plan does not make any changes. “Data has long shown the states with low or no income tax grow more quickly than states with high, punitive tax rates,” Klimesh wrote. The Fact Checker team checks statements made by an Iowa political candidate/officeholder or a national candidate/officeholder about Iowa, or in ads that appear in our market. Claims must be independently verifiable. We give statements grades from A to F based on accuracy and context. If you spot a claim you think needs checking, email us at factchecker@thegazette.com. This episode of the podcast is researched and hosted by Marissa Payne and features Elijah Decious, Erin Jordan, and Michaela Ramm. The Fact Checker Podcast is produced by Stephen M. Colbert and music is Lobby Time by Kevin MacLeod. Link: