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Congratulations Toby Olson!

Tuesday, May, 20 2014

KXEL congratulates Toby Olson of Waterloo for winning the grand prize of the Meyers Nursery Dream Yard!

On Monday, May 19th, Toby's name was drawn among the qualifiers who had a chance at winning a $1,500 gift certificate from Meyers Nursery in Waterloo.

Hey, Toby!  Send before and after pictures because we'd love to see what $1,500 can buy as you create your dream yard!

Congratulations, Toby!  Thanks to all to call in or signed up at Meyers Nursery!  And thank you for listening to News/Talk 1540 KXEL!

posted by: Dennis Lowe 3 month(s) ago Comment On This Post

Help Wanted

Monday, May, 5 2014

Would you like to learn more about the radio broadcasting industry?  Do you have an interest in sports?  If yes – we may have an opportunity for you!

Woodward Radio Group, located in downtown Waterloo, is in search of a board operator to work live play-by-play sporting events on KWLO and KXEL.  Sporting events that are broadcast on our stations include the Waterloo Bucks and University of Northern Iowa football, men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball.  KXEL also airs a weekly coaches call-in show for football and men’s basketball.  This part-time position and the hours and days of work will vary depending on need.  To be considered you must have good voice quality, be dependable, able to work unsupervised, and have an interest in learning more about radio.  Prior experience is not necessary.  We will train the right candidate.  A high school diploma/GED is required.

Also, KXEL is looking for a part-time announcer for the news department.  This person would anchor the morning newscasts on the KXEL Morning Show.  Qualified applicants will have at least one-year of on-air experience, a high school diploma/GED, good voice quality, solid writing skills and the skills to properly execute broadcast equipment.  The most qualified candidates will be contacted at a later time for MP3 air checks.

KWLO-AM and KXEL-AM are operated as two of four radio stations in Waterloo/Cedar Falls, Iowa by employee-owned Woodward Communications, Inc.  Woodward Communications is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in the hiring, training or promotion of employees by reason of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.  We are engaged in a continuing effort to seek our prospective applicants for employment with our company.

For consideration, apply online at

posted by: Dennis Lowe 3 month(s) ago Comment On This Post

Commentary: U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley

Saturday, May, 3 2014

Dream Big, Class of 2014

The Class of 2014 will graduate from high school on the heels of welcome news that fewer of their peers are dropping out of school.  Recently released data from the U.S. Department of Education show America hit its highest-ever high school graduation rate when the Class of 2012 topped 80 percent.  Even more impressively, Iowa ranked highest in the nation with an 88 percent success rate at keeping kids in school through graduation.

This is good news.  It shows a commitment by parents and educators to give the next generation a strong start to become productive contributors of society.  America’s posterity will be shaped by the choices Millennials make to embrace and protect the blessings of economic freedom and individual liberty as they come of age in the 21st century.

Friends and family look forward to celebrating this milestone with the Class of 2014 in communities across Iowa.  Parents have plenty to celebrate. Since 1960, the USDA has compiled data on what it costs to raise a child in the United States. Child-rearing costs have seen an average annual increase of 4.4 percent.  The USDA’s most recent report projects parents would spend $241,080 to raise a child born in 2012 from birth to age 17.

If only sticker shock stopped on graduation day.  Some students may already have a taste of debt with monthly car payments.  Others may have hefty tuition bills on their horizon.  A growing share of college-bound students takes out financial aid and graduates with an average $27,000 debt.  Today the nation’s student loan portfolio is a whopping $1 trillion and many predict a likelihood of significant default, putting taxpayers on the hook yet again.

This spring I introduced bipartisan legislation to help families comparison shop for colleges.  The bill would update and standardize requirements for colleges to make available a net price calculator, an online tool to make it easier for students to better estimate and compare what they would pay at schools they are interested in attending.

Even without student loans, the Class of 2014 enters the “real world” already saddled with debt, their portion of the federal debt.  The $17.5 trillion federal IOU boils down to nearly $55,000 for every man, woman and child in America.  Before landing their first job after high school, these graduates have inherited an expensive tab.

However, the debt burden is not the only reason this generation will struggle to get a foothold in the economy.

Economic growth hasn’t kept pace and the result is shrinking opportunities and dreams for would-be entrepreneurs, job creators and workers struggling to find full-time employment.  The labor force participation rate is the worst in four decades and entry-level job applicants find themselves competing with over-qualified candidates for work.

Tax, spend and borrow policies in Washington are driving up debt instead of recharging what drives U.S. economic growth.  Rather than giving the green light to job-creating policies, such as simplifying the tax code, making the corporate tax burden more competitive in the global economy, fighting for trade promotion authority, approving the Keystone XL pipeline and going after homegrown energy whole hog, allies of Big Government support forcing small businesses to give raises they can’t afford, controlling the delivery of health care in America and dictating regulatory burdens that make it harder for businesses to grow, hire, expand and invest.

Overpromising, overreaching and overspending occur at the expense of future generations.  Policies that push wealth redistribution and unsustainable entitlements are unraveling the merits of America’s success story handed down for generations:  that big dreams, hard work, sacrifice and ambition would be rewarded with unlimited opportunity.  The heavy-handed levers of government-knows-best are uprooting America’s “sky’s the limit” mindset.  Fostering a culture of dependence and entitlement instead of self-sufficiency and hard work goes against America’s grain.

So, I challenge the Class of 2014 to help put America back on track.  Whether choosing to enter the workforce, obtain vocational training, pursue higher education, volunteer, or serve one’s country, it’s more important than ever for our youngest generations to dream big and understand the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.

That’s why I make it a priority to foster robust representative government and strengthen civics education.  That includes visiting regularly with students in their schools.  I want to hear what’s on their minds and challenge them to get involved and tune in to current events.  Recently I cosponsored a bipartisan resolution that affirms the importance of teaching civics education in our schools.  It puts the U.S. Senate on record that we must reinforce the principles of self-government so future generations will understand how to hold government to account.

Research shows an erosion of basic knowledge about our constitutional government, such as the natural rights set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the functions of the three branches of government.  And growing cynicism about the institutions of government and public service reflect a growing disconnect between “we the people” and the healthy functioning of self- governance.  Apathy is damaging to the crop of new graduates who will sow the seeds of America’s prosperity for posterity.

Dream big, Class of 2014.  As farmers working the fields this spring have known for generations, you will reap what you sow.

posted by: Dennis Lowe 3 month(s) ago Comment On This Post

KXEL launches two great promotions!

Monday, Apr, 21 2014

Two great promotions have been launched on KXEL.

KXEL and Meyers Nursery are giving you a chance to win your dream yard.  Weekday mornings between 5:00 and 8:00, Gary Edwards will qualify a listener.  Just listen for the cue to call in and you’ll be eligible to win a $1,500 gift certificate from Meyers Nursery.  You can also register at Meyers Nursery, located at 1685 Independence Avenue in Waterloo.  Each Friday morning through May 16th, staff at Meyers Nursery will draw a name from the registration box and announce that name live on KXEL!  Then, on Monday, May 18th between 5:00 and 8:00 a.m., Gary will announce the name of the grand prize winner of the $1,500 gift certificate from Meyers Nursery.  Yet this summer, you can add the trees, shrubs and/or flowers you’ve always dreamed of!

KXEL also wants to “Make Your Mother’s Day!”  All you have to do is go to  and tell us why your mom is so great.  On May 5th, we’ll select one of the essays to win a great prize package:  A $100 gift card from Beck’s Sports Brewery in Waterloo; a $100 massage certificate from Cedar Valley Reiki Center in Cedar Falls; a $100 gift certificate from Cabo Blue Sports Bar in Fayette; and a $100 gift certificate from Frederick Furniture in Grundy Center.

Stay tuned to News/Talk 1540 KXEL and join in the fun!  You could win some great prizes!

posted by: Dennis Lowe 4 month(s) ago Comment On This Post

Commentary: U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley

Tuesday, Apr, 8 2014

Taxpayers are familiar with the annual drill.  Keeping records, gathering receipts, filling out forms, figuring out changes in tax rules.  Right around this time, taxpayers are ready to see April 15 disappear into the rearview mirror.

The IRS estimates it takes average taxpayers 13 hours to comply with the federal tax code.  Americans annually spend more than $168 billion and collectively clock in 6 billion hours to settle up their tab with Uncle Sam, according to the 2012 annual report by the National Taxpayer Advocate.

This year, Tax Day turns 100.  Congress assigned an annual Tax Day after the 16th amendment was ratified on Feb. 3, 1913.  Nine months later, the Revenue Act of 1913 established a one percent bottom marginal rate on income graduating to a top marginal rate of seven percent.  Something tells me taxpayers today wish their federal tax tab was calculated by those brackets instead of the seven marginal rates under current law, ranging from 10 percent to 39.6 percent of adjusted gross income.

Today, the tax code is too complicated and a drag on economic growth.

As tax filing season winds down, it’s a safe bet that few taxpayers have dug into the details of the president’s fiscal year 2015 budget proposal.  That must be what the White House was banking on when it proposed jacking up tax revenue by $1.3 trillion over the next decade.

Taxpayers already pay enough to shoulder the costs of the government.  In fact, the Affordable Care Act will raise taxes more than $700 billion over the next decade.  From a dollars and cents perspective, a persistent Potomac paradox makes no common sense.  No matter how much money flows out of taxpayers’ pockets into the federal treasury, it’s never enough for big spenders.  The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported federal 2013 tax receipts reached an all-time high $2.7 trillion.  Uncle Sam spent $3.45 trillion, creating a $680 billion deficit.  And still, the President wants the taxpaying public to pay more instead of asking Washington to spend less.

Let’s get things straight.  Washington didn’t rack up a $17 trillion national debt because Washington taxes too little; it’s because Washington spends too much.  According to the CBO, the percentage of debt held by the public is now about 73 percent of the nation’s economic output.

The deeper Uncle Sam dips into taxpayers’ pockets, the harder it is for America’s start-ups, entrepreneurs and businesses to grow, hire, invest, innovate, raise wages and increase productivity.  The bigger-is-better government approach guts the bedrock principle of limited government from which America was founded upon, including individual liberty, free enterprise and property rights.

The federal tax collection agency is riddled with problems of its own.  The IRS is challenged to restore credibility for targeting taxpayers based on their political views and for wasting tens of millions of tax dollars on lavish conferences.  On top of that, it’s been handed an expansive new role to enforce 45 new provisions of the Affordable Care Act, including verifying eligibility for insurer subsidies.  What’s more, the IRS struggles to narrow the $385 billion tax gap, uphold basic services to taxpayers and update its IT systems.  The IRS’ perennial plea for more funding doesn’t square with the taxpaying public, especially when the agency fails to answer 61 percent of taxpayer phone calls seeking assistance and yet has room in its budget for generous employee bonuses.

At the turn of the 20th century, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. said, “taxes are what we pay for a civilized society.”  Taxes do fund the basic, necessary functions of government, like national security, but big spenders like to use this statement as a license to lift the lid on taxes and spending.  However, in the century since Justice Holmes made that observation, the growth of entitlements, the size of the national debt and the scope of government programs have shifted an unsustainable tax burden to future generations.

Between 1930 and 2013, federal government receipts increased from 4.1 percent of the economy’s output to 16.7 percent, and federal expenditures rose from 3.4 percent of economic output to about 21 percent, according to historical data released by the Office of Management and Budget.  The Congressional Budget Office expects revenue to reach 19 percent of the Gross Domestic Product by 2018.  Current receipts are relatively low because of the economy.

Through regulation of private enterprise, burdensome levels of taxation and intrusive transfers of wealth that benefits some at the expense of others, it’s clear that big spenders define a civilized society as the bigger the government, the better.

Tax Day 2014 reminds us of that Potomac tax-and-spend paradox.  Nearly two decades into the 21st century, policymakers must work together for the public good and take a civilized approach to taxation and regulation.  Bloated bureaucracies, unsustainable entitlement spending and regulatory overkill are taking us down a dangerous road.

And taxpayers know that leads to trouble with a capital T.

posted by: Dennis Lowe 4 month(s) ago Comment On This Post

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