Governor Tom Vilsack today rebuked fellow democrats who’ve suggested the sales tax on natural gas be permanently eliminated. Republicans intend a two or three-month suspension, but democrats in the Iowa House last week said natural gas is a necessity, and should no longer be subject to the sales tax. Vilsack, who’s a democrat, says the sales tax proposals won’t help the 60-thousand to 75-thousand low income Iowans who can’t afford their heating bills. Republican leaders say they’ll try to find some money to help the poor with their heat, but won’t promise the 20-million dollars Vilsack suggests is necessary. Vilsack says he’s seen lawmakers conservative side, but says they’ve yet to see the compassionate side. New republican President George W. Bush coined the phrase “compassionate conservative” to describe his own political philosophy.
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