“99 Ideas”

Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Rants of Sioux City has chosen 99 as the number of ideas he’ll list on a new website.  His first of 99 ideas involves saving for a downpayment on a home. 

Why 99? Perhaps Rants was humming that awful “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” tune when he settled on the number.  Or maybe — since Rants was coming of age in the ’80s — he was humming the 1983-84 recording of “99 Red Balloons” which was a one-hit wonder by Nena.

Here’s this morning’s news release from Rants:

“Good campaigns are about more than just Candidate A or Candidate B. Good campaigns are about issues facing us as Iowans, and more importantly the ideas and solutions to address those issues,” said Rep. Chris Rants, candidate for Governor from Sioux City.  “This 99 Ideas page is the place where I will present new ideas to improve Iowa.”

“Some ideas will be big – like my property tax proposal. Some will be small – like creating IowaCompareCare.com to help Iowans become better consumers of health care. No matter there size – someone, somewhere in Iowa will be impacted for the better.  In full disclosure, not all of them are original. As I travel Iowa people are always coming up to me and saying “Hey Chris, I’ve got an idea for you…” Many of those ideas will join this list.”

“I hope people will check back often, and watch as the Idea List grows until it reaches 99.”

Today’s Idea Box:

Home Mortgage 529 Plan – This idea is patterned after the 529 college savings plan. Not all kids go to college, but everyone needs a home. As the mortgage industry struggles, it would help first time home buyers to build up a reasonable down payment. It ensures that riskier loan products aren’t needed to get buyers into a home. Encourage parents and family members to make tax deductible deposits into a savings account that would grow tax free to be used for an initial down payment on a qualifying new home. The college savings account has been a tremendous success because it has both state and federal tax benefits. If Iowa does this right, we could lead other states to follow suit, with the goal of obtaining federal tax benefits as well.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.