Tag Archives: Steve Rathje

The U.S. House 1st Districts Republican race for Congress heats up as the June 5th Primary nears

The Iowa Republicans of District 1 have not yet chosen a nominee for the Congressional races; that will be determined at the June 5th primaries.

There are two candidates on the ballot and one candidate with an enthusiastic group of grassroots supporters working on a write in campaign. The three candidates are parallel in many ways but they are incredibly different from one another. In the end it all comes down to who would be the strongest candidate to take on Democratic Congressman, Bruce Braley.

Former congressional candidate Steve Rathje has a strong following as a write in candidate. His supporters have been feverishly working the social networking sites and sending emails in search of support. Rathje’s supporters argue that the bar be raised within the party. They aren’t satisfied with either of the two candidates on the ballot. For more information on Steve Rathje’s write in campaign please visit: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003823120547

In Ben Lange’s latest ad he stated “For centuries American progress has depended upon a generational compact in which each generation creates the conditions for the next generation to live better than the last” he continues “The current political leadership has indebted my girls to the tune of $150,000 before they can even ride a bike.” Ben has been big on the budget that Bruce Braley only recently became interested in fixing. “Our national debt has skyrocketed to $16 trillion and DC politicians now borrow $0.40 of every dollar spent.” -Ben Lange

Ben Lange’s name might sound familiar but that’s because he ran against Braley in 2010 and we were saturated with television ads of those two bantering back and forth. That was before the district lines changed. Lange lost that election by less than 2% of the vote. Will the district changes help or hurt Lange in the primary? We will soon find out! For more information on Ben Lange please visit: http://www.langeforcongress.com/

Finally, there is the black sheep of the ticket, Rod Blum. Blum is an enthusiastic liberty candidate from Dubuque who is clearly not one of our typical “politicians”. Blum has vowed to take a cut in pay down to the average American’s income and even wants to limit his own term.

Blum has spoken out against NDAA, the National Defense Authorization Act that allows the government to detain American’s without any probable cause & denies them due process. And he has spoken out against the latest Act the government is attempting to push through Congress called CISPA, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing Protection Act, an act that allows government officials to spy on your online activities, it’s similar to SOPA: Stop Online Piracy Act, a bill that Congressman Bruce Braley voted against. For more information on Rod Blum visit: http://rodblum.com/

I feel great pressure to endorse one of the three candidates for the June 5 primary but after meeting all three of them I have come to the conclusion that I won’t even know until I am in the voting booth. Getting to know the candidates is good but sometimes it only makes it more difficult to choose! On a personal level, I like all three of them! All three of them have great potential and would make fine nominees for the Republican Party .

No matter who it is they are up against a man who is very popular among voters. Braley, is, in a lot of ways—is the liberty candidate in the Democratic Party and oftentimes votes against the grain on controversial issues. This is going to be a heated race no matter who takes the republican nomination after the June 5 Primary!

I urge people to research their candidates and to reach out now, while they are in campaign mode, because once they do go to work to represent us they suddenly become harder to reach!

“What Being A Republican Means To Me!” by Steve Rathje

“What Being A Republican Means To Me!”
by Steve Rathje on Thursday, May 5, 2011 at 10:34pm
Republicans; it’s not what we are that separates us from politics as usual, it’s who we are. And once we compromise who we are, the vary foundation on which we stand begins to crumble. Remaining forever vigilant to our values and principles regardless of opinion, defines us as those that live for the future, and learn from the past.

We as true Republicans, Conservatives, Constitutional Patriots, believe that less government, a strong military and strong family values are the three core constitutionally based principles by which our Republic was founded, and should therefore be governed and represented accordingly. Any compromise to these key principles reflects nothing more than an exercise in mediocrity, a lack of integrity, and an unwillingness to stand up for what we truly believe.

Integrity says it all, it means adhering to a firm code of ethical standards, to rise above the fray and maintain a strong moral character, regardless of opinion. It’s about honesty and truth, and the willingness to stand up for both, but most of all it’s about you, the heart that beats within you, the conscience that guides you, and the soul that will one day leave you. Freedom and liberty are not determined by politicians, political parties or governments, but rather guaranteed by natures God, and within that guarantee fall certain responsibilities to all mankind, to protect and preserve that which is most sacred to life as we believe it to be.

Being a true Republican isn’t about being a member of an organization. It’s about a way of life. It’s about God and natures law. It’s about Freedom and Liberty and the opportunities they bring. It’s about free markets and capitalism, and the ability to earn and live the American dream, and it’s about humanity and the right to personally choose how to support those less fortunate. Republicans are made up of those that empower rather than enable. They take personal responsibility and accountability for who and what they are, and they are unafraid to stand on the principles instilled in them by the One that placed them upon this earth. I’m proud to be a Republican, and I’m honored to be your friend!


“After all, we are friends, aren’t we?”

by Steve Rathje on Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 10:24pm ·
Iowa politics are no different than that which you’d find anywhere else in America. Someone is always going to be demeaned, demoralized, made fun of, lied about, defamed or discredited in some way, shape or form. None of us like it, but that’s just the way it is. So when those things come knocking at my door, I’m disappointed, but in no way surprised. What does surprise me however is that I’m not a candidate, but rather a fellow Republican constituent, a Conservative Republican busness owner and employer that believes in personal responsibility and accountability, less government that requires fewer taxes, for every American earning a paycheck keeping more of what they earn, and the invisible hand of the free market determining the winners from the losers.

So I’m disappointed when some choose the path they’ve taken rather than joining me and thousands of others across the district in asking those that hope to one day represent us, to step forward with their plans and solutions for tackling the two biggest issues facing Americans today; a weak and vulnerable economy, and more than 25 million unemployed or underemployed across this nation. After all isn’t our ultimate goal to defeat Bruce Braley in November by electing a Representative that has the knowledge, experience, plans, and solutions that’ll be required for getting that job done?

Nevertheless, the focus has for some reason been redirected from them, to those advocating for plans and solutions like me, and our conservative credentials. So I’d like to dispel the rumors and myths in regard to me, and rather than write a note, provide a link to a speech I gave while running to defeat Senator Tom Harkin nearly half a decade ago that comes from my heart, my mind and my soul that should provide all you need to determine what side of the fence I’m on. Let’s all do what we can to come together and work side by side to get this country moving again. I honestly believe I’m doing my part. We won’t do it with just cheer leading and flag waving; it’s going to take a lot of hard work, so what say we get started. After all, we are friends, aren’t we?

Please note that you’ll have to copy and paste this lik to you browser for viewing…

“Yet to be answered…” by Steve Rathje

on Wednesday, May 9, 2012 at 12:14pm ·
Jobs can indeed come home to America and I’ve proved it. We’ve done so not only with competitive pricing, exceptional American quality and on-time delivery, but by the elimination of waste, cutting unnecessary spending, and proving to our customers that an average of 30% of all manufactured products (in my industry) outsourced to overseas companies are returned as scrap, and due to production requirements and time restraints, must be reproduced here at home. That cost however, is never taken into consideration and subtracted from the so-called savings from doing business overseas. Another 15% must be reworked, just to meet fit, form and function standards, again, never subtracted from the so-called savings. Then, once the cost of customs duty fees, tariffs (if applicable), long shoreman fees, dock fees, storage fees, insurance, freight from let’s say, Ningbo China to San Francisco, and from S.F. to its final destination, our company has come within 3% of the Chinese, matched the Mexicans dollar for dollar, beat the Canadians by 10%, the Taiwanese by 41%, and the Europeans by as much as 70% and our customers said; bring the jobs home! To help illustrate what we’ve been able to accomplish, I’ve gone back approximately 1 year, April through May of 2011, to reflect $8 million dollars in savings to customers and the return of parts that had been outsourced to foreign countries back to American companies where they belong, thus, as a private sector entity, helping to create and or save many American jobs. Just prior to April, I shared a success story whereby we saved our American customers $4.150 million by returning parts they were having manufactured in Taiwan, India, France and Mexico, and placing them with our part specific supply chain right here in the U.S., specifically, Iowa.

What I do for a living isn’t the answer by a long shot, but sitting on our hands isn’t either. The jobs can come home, question is; will we elect people all across this country, from the top to the bottom, that have the life skills and business acumen required for standing up to the Chinese, cutting spending and taxes, and eliminating the waste and the counter productive regulations that will ultimately ‘inspire’ consumer confidence and ‘empower’ employers to begin hiring again? That question is yet to be answered, and it’s you that must answer it.

The savings I’ve been able to achieve for my customers is significant, the savings to America however, is priceless!

On May 23rd,
Landed a major contract from a new Wisconsin customer that outsources all its components to manufacturers abroad, and then has them shipped to their location for final assembly. Now, every single component will be manufactured by American craftsman right here in eastern Iowa.
Current cost: $142, 835.00
Our cost: $121, 412.00
Total savings to customer x 36 units p/yr; $771,228.00 or 15%

On May 5th,
Received a Purchase Order Agreement today from a Chicago based customer for “Chute Slide Brackets” used on packaging equipment. This particular item ‘was’ being manufactured in Mexico and will now be manufactured in Dubuque, IA.
Mexico $3.88 ea.
U.S.A. $1.65 ea.
Savings to customer x 10,000 pieces p/yr. $22,300.00 or 58%

On April 27th,
Received another Purchase Order from our Wisconsin based customer for more precision machined weldments. This particular grouping covers an entirely new machine heading for the industrial film market. Based upon a previous projects pricing, neither Canada nor Mexico were even considered.
Project value: $114,000 x 7 units p/yr:
That’s $798,000 staying in America where it belongs.

On April 26th,
Received a Purchase Agreement from an eastern Iowa customer for large bronze bushings which he normally imports from S. Korea. Not anymore, this item will now manufactured by American craftsman in Minnesota.
S. Korea: $27.24 ea
USA: $16.02
Savings to customer x 500 p/yr.: only $5,610.00 or 42%.

On April 25th,
Final negotiations with our Seattle customer for the return of diesel locomotive parts from India and S. Korea was successful. All prices, were accepted. Now more than 5,000 piston cooling assemblies will be manufactured annually by American workers in Wisconsin and Iowa.
Combined India/S. Korea: $55.65 p/ass’y
U.S.A.: $41.22
Savings to cust. x 5000 pcs. annually: $72,150.00 or 26%.

On April 20th,
Received contracts to provide 28 more precision machined steel components used, once again, in the paper and transparent film industry, which were formerly produced in Canada and Mexico. All components will now be provided by eastern Iowa manufacturers.
Canada and Mexico: $127, 442.87
USA: $114, 879. 30
Savings to Customer x 80 Units p/yr.: $1,005,085.60 or 10%.

On April 19th,
Received contracts to manufacture structural steel components formerly manufactured in Canada and Mexico and used in the paper and transparent film industry.
Canada and Mexico: $162,418.37
U.S.A: $138, 012.91
Savings to Customer x 80 units p/yr.: $1,952,436.80 or 15%.

On April 18th,
Received an order today to manufacture gear segments for a customer in Fresno California. These machined gear segments used to be manufactured in Juarez Mexico. Now they’re being manufactured by American craftsman in Dubuque Iowa.
Mexican Cost: $312.30 U.S.A. Cost: $217. 87
Savings to Customer x 300 units: $28,329.00 or 31%.

Steven R Rathje Founder/CEO
International Procurement Services, Inc.

“A Touch of Reality!” by Steve Rathje on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 at 4:28pm

In November and December of 2010 steel prices shot up a whopping 33%. In January of this year, industry analysts projected steel prices could increase by as much as 66% more. If this turns out to be correct, the rise in steel prices during 2011 will be the second-biggest jump since modern records began in the 1940s. Are steel prices, like oil, pegged to the dollar? You bet they are! As the dollar continues its decline, oil and steel prices rise to compensate. Our indebtedness caused by out of control spending and our inability to address it, affects everything we do from the top down, and globally. Businesses will continue to seek remedies elsewhere and American workers will progressively go from being productive manufacturing specialists to members of a service only society.

We’re now paying for generations of weakness and the inability to say, “NO.” Our folly has finally caught up with us and the consequences are going to cause strife in our lives, but not the kind of strife we’ll see by listening to pundits and politicians alike making cheap promises based upon meaningless cuts and a willingness to raise the debt ceiling based on fear and trepidation.

The invisible hand of the free market is the only remedy for what ails us and those that claim to have another remedy are obviously doing nothing more than testing the direction of the political winds. This Country always has been and always will be the greatest Country on earth. American exceptionalism isn’t dead, it’s being restrained. Let’s loose the chains and shackles of debt and despair. Let’s hold everyone regardless of political party responsible for the misguided decisions they’ve made. Let’s pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and once and for all take back what men and women have given so much for since this country began more than 235 years ago. Let’s finally do what we all know needs to be done…VOTE!

Insist on plan from candidates by Steven R. Rathje

I’ve known several candidates and elected representatives who have no problem in sharing their solutions and ideas with constituents and colleague alike. Through passion, facts and skill, they articulate them to prove their merit and pass them into law for the benefit of all Americans.

There are a lot of issues facing American families today that require the direct attention from elected officials, as well as candidates. Leading the pack obviously are jobs and the economy and our budget deficit and debt. Then there’s energy, education and national security.

So it’s disappointing when people take the time and make the effort to run for office, and then fall short because of no substantive plan regarding the topics that most Americans are discussing. Talking points, sound bites and political rhetoric are one thing; it’s another to offer solutions in a coherent, well thought-out manner.
On more than one occasion, I’ve asked candidates for their rendition of what must be done to get people back to work and the economy moving again. I didn’t ask for sound bites but rather an honest plan that reflects well thought-out solutions to our problems. I’m looking for those who can form and articulate a plan, sell it to leadership, and actually get something done.

Shouldn’t would-be constituents be offered the opportunity to weigh-in on a candidate’s ideas about important issues before the election, rather than being forced to determine whether they’ve made the right decision several months down the road when it’s too late? After all, elections aren’t likability contests … or are they?
Most of us want to know what the candidate’s plans are for cutting taxes, spending and eliminating waste, so we’d like for them to tell us, in writing, where, how much, and what fiscal effect it’ll have on our country and our pocket book. We also want to know what their plan is for stimulating consumer confidence so as to empower employers to hire more people and get good-paying manufacturing jobs back home.

Banks insist on a business plan before lending money to a business, so why shouldn’t we insist on a plan from those we’re going to pay $175,000 every year and entrust with our country and our lives?
I’m not speaking to you as a Republican or former candidate who promoted a jobs plan of his own, but rather a constituent who’s insisting that other candidates do so as well. I just want some answers, because there’s a whole new generation of Americans depending on them.

Steven R. Rathje is founder/CEO of International Procurement Services Inc. in Cedar Rapids. Comments: srathje@ipsinc-usa.com

“Freezing spending does nothing!” by Steve Rathje

“Freezing spending does nothing!”

by Steve Rathje on Friday, May 4, 2012 at 8:02am

Below is a piece I wrote as a Guest Column for the Cedar Rapids Gazette dated December 5, 2010. I’m reposting it due to its relevance after hearing comments made toward Gov. Romney and his role in doing what was necessary to ‘save’ companies while being employed by Bain Capital. After you read this piece, I think you’ll be asking yourself why some choose to belittle capitalism (however unintended), rather than explain as I have what really needs to be done. Gov. Romney did for Bain Capital exactly what my consulting firm does for some of it’s customers. When companies are going under and find themselves no longer able to compete in the ‘Free Market’ there are but a few choices to make, of which ‘no one’ wants to. I hope you’ll take a moment to read this and afterwards please drop a comment as I’d really like to know what you think.

On November 29th, President Obama announced that he was imposing a two-year freeze in the wages of federal employees, with the intention of saving $60 billion over the next 10 years.

Question; How does freezing wages at their current level actually provide a savings?

Answer; It doesn’t! To actually provide a ‘physical savings’ cuts not freezing, need to take place. Otherwise, what is being described as savings is merely, in all reality, preventative spending, two very separate things. This freeze as they call it is nothing more than a shell game to get taxpayers to believe that the government is serious about saving money and reducing spending.

Let’s look at this from a common sense point of view. Let’s say you own a company, and that company spends a million dollars a year on payroll, payroll that it can no longer afford. Do you freeze future wage increases to save or reduce capital expenditures? No! Rather, you cut current wages and benefits immediately while analyzing the necessity of the current labor force. All departments have to participate with unnecessary personnel from each department receiving a furlough. Duties are combined wherever possible. Feasibility studies are made to determine internal costs vs. subcontracted ones. Budgets are brought inline with revisions being made, and prices are cut to stimulate sales in order to boost profits and become economically solvent again.

Keep this in mind. The average wage of a federal employee is right at $100K p/year, that in and of itself is a recipe for disaster. Why, because federal employees produce nothing that can be sold at a profit. They are what we in business call indirect labor, that is labor that cannot pay for itself. This type of labor is what companies try to eliminate altogether or at the very least, keep to a bare minimum. Indirect labor merely adds to government overhead, which increases costs/taxes and doesn’t add anything to the GDP in the process.

Using 2009 numbers, which are more than likely, due to historical fact, the most accurate numbers we have that can be trusted, there are, as of January 2009, 2,748,978 civilian federal employees in the United States government. This is according to the Federal Employment Statistics published by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Employees with security agencies (CIA, NSA, etc) as well as the Military and National Imagery and Mapping Agency are not included in this number.

During this time, 97.6% of civilian federal employees worked in the executive branch of federal government with a total payroll that exceeded $275 billion per year.

So what should we do? First of all, let’s cut all federal employee wages, with the exception of the CIA, NSA, etc., as well as the Military, National Imagery and Mapping Agencies by 15% immediately. That in and of itself will save $41.235 Billion per year or $412.346 Billion over 10 years even if no reduction in federal employees ever takes place. In addition, all government pensions and benefits (except the aforementioned) must be reviewed and reduced to levels commensurate with industry standards. I would also strongly suggest a 25% reduction in federal employees once feasibility studies are completed by an independent agency or agencies, and a determination made as to how many federal jobs can actually be provided by private sector companies. Based once again on 2009 numbers, a 25% cut in personnel would reduce the number of federal employees by 687,244, with an income averaging $100K p/yr, reflects an annual savings of $68.724 Billion or $687.245 Billion over 10 years.

So to sum it up, reducing federal employees by 25% or 687,244, and immediately cutting the average wage by 15%, saves the American taxpayer $120.268 Billion p/yr or $1.203 Trillion over a 10 year period. Imagine the message that would send to friend and foe alike.

How many folks reading this article, have been laid off? How many of you have gone to work one day, only to find yourself being called into the office to receive a pink slip? No one, especially your employer, likes to be placed in this situation. But in order to remain in business and continue to produce a viable product to the public, drastic measures like these are unfortunately necessary.

We all know too well how the size of government directly affects the economic wellbeing of America. Government must be reduced wherever possible, spending must be reigned in and waste a thing of the past. The shell game that’s being played by our elected representatives must come to an end, because if it doesn’t, America as we know it will become nothing more than a pawn in a game of cat and mouse where there are no winners, only losers.