her current ‘Tour of Deception’ is just another example of the disregard she has for telling Iowa voters the truth


April 9, 2021



As the former co-chair of the Trump campaign in Iowa, Joni Ernst is no stranger to embracing disinformation, and her current ‘Tour of Deception’ is just another example of the disregard she has for telling Iowa voters the truth. 


As an extremist Republican, Ernst is spreading typically deceptive far right talking points about Biden’s American Jobs Plan, stating that only 7% of the bill is spent on infrastructure. However, a fact check by CNN states that the 7% number depends entirely on very inaccurate, very Republican math. A more accurate estimation (according to CNN) of the total percentage earmarked for traditional infrastructure is 30%. Republicans are playing word games while Americans drive across unsafe bridges. 


The truth is, Biden’s proposal expands the traditional idea of infrastructure to reflect our more modern reality - that the information superhighway is as much a part of America’s infrastructure as...a highway. That American businesses need our essential workers to have reliable childcare. 


And we have seen in Texas the devastating impact that climate change can have on a state’s electrical grid, especially when it’s antiquated and lacking proper environmental upgrades. Biden’s American Jobs Plan modernizes our electrical grid. Will Republicans deny that a more modern, secure and safer electrical grid is a necessary part of our infrastructure?


Further, Ernst is feigning concern about job losses now, but where was she during the Trump administration when Republicans’ deadly inaction, mixed messages and partisan spin over scientific facts cost not only more than 5,000 Iowan lives, but also caused so many Americans to lose their jobs? Senator Ernst blindly supported Trump when his tantrum with China caused a trade war that directly harmed Iowa farmers: her constituents. Ernst said nothing critical. You could have heard a bread bag rustle.


The fact is that Biden’s infrastructure plan not only creates jobs, but creates jobs in new industries with the widespread embrace of charging stations, for example. When asked about Biden's plan on CNN April 7th, Nela Richardson, Chief Economist at ADP, said, "In the near term I do think it means an increase in jobs, especially in construction." S&P Global estimated that in the short term, Biden's plan could create 2.3 million jobs, and that the net jobs added from the proposal would be 713,000 by 2029.


Ernst has dutifully repeated deceptive Republican talking points about the American Jobs Plan raising taxes on individuals –  also untrue. “They want to raise taxes—and not just on American businesses, but on the American people,” Ernst claims, but she misses a key point in the progressive study from Germany she cites – the authors of the study promote unions as a hedge against owners passing their tax burden onto workers. And to put a finer point on Ernst’s willful deception, according to CNBC, Biden’s proposal raises corporate taxes from 21 to 28%, but does not touch individual tax rates unless one is hiding money in the Caymans. 


In contrast, Ernst had only praise for the passage of the disastrous 2017 Republican tax cuts which temporarily lowered tax rates for the middle class while codifying permanent and significant tax giveaways into law for corporations and drastically increased the American deficit. The highest earners benefited most from the 2017 law, while the lowest earners will have to pay more in taxes once most individual tax provisions expire after 2025. The Congressional Budget Office at the time projected that the tax cut would add $1.9 trillion to deficits over 10 years, even after accounting for any growth effects. Joni Ernst lied to us when she claimed in 2017 that the law “provides much-needed relief for hardworking Iowans and helps strengthen our economy,” and she’s lying to us now.


We also believe the Senator is fear mongering about Iowa’s biofuels industry – claiming that by investing in electric vehicles Biden will destroy the market for ethanol – but nothing could be further from the truth. Scientists know that the Earth is past the point of ‘peak oil’ and that the amounts of gasoline we can produce will be in ever decreasing quantities. Ethanol has a shelf life, but the truth is that ethanol is a key bridge technology, helping the US move from gasoline powered vehicles to ones run on renewables. This shift will take decades. We have great Iowa universities, and have the potential to develop a 100% renewable biofuel in the future, but not if our brightest minds are unfortunately preoccupied with academic purity tests imposed by the Iowa GOP.


It’s long past time for Joni Ernst to start telling Iowans the truth.