Thursday, March 04, 2010

I have a dream

This is how our Idaho Republican party rolls. They take care of their own personal issues to the detriment of the people of the State of Idaho. Two examples.

As Governor, Jim Risch jammed through a shift of taxes from property to sales. This was his signature achievement of his short term as Governor (or, as Geoff would say, his term as short Governor), and he crowed about it at every opportunity while running for Senator. Great. Jim manages the tax shift, rides it into the Senate. Unfortunately, the result was that the stable property tax funding source for schools shifted to the more volatile sales tax. As the economy tanked, so did revenues. So, the legislature just cut K-12 school budgets 7.5%, the first cut ever. The tax shift was good for Jim, not so good for the children of Idaho.

Likewise, the budget hawks in the legislature, and Governor Otter. This is an election year, and they have flatly ruled out any new taxes or revenue measures (except oddball stuff like making birdwatchers get a license). Well, see 7.5% K-12 budget cut above. Why completely refuse to even talk about taxes? Because it's an election year. "It doesn't matter that the children of Idaho will bear the brunt of the budget cuts, if it could harm my chance for reelection, it ain't happening." That's not political leadership; it's blatant self interest, and the citizens be damned.

I'm no fan of taxes; no one is. But I am willing to invest in our future. I say, do away with the sales tax exemptions, tax services, and lower the sales tax to 3 or 4%, or whatever it would be. Other than for the special interests who would lose their exemptions, this would be a relatively painless way to increase revenue. I know; it's a pipe dream. But a guy can dream, can't he?


elmoredemo said...

What's more appalling than the blatant tax shift away from property taxes (paid by individual Idaho citizens and businesses and absentee owners alike) onto sales tax (paid only by people who buy stuff here, without using the internet), is that WE VOTED FOR IT that November. That's right, we did this to ourselves at the ballot box. I despair for our people, most of whom seem to think that anything sponsored by a Republican is automatically the right thing, no matter how chuckleheaded the idea or how much it will cost me or my family in the end.

Someone once said that we get pretty much the government we deserve, but I still hope someday that we could maybe get just a leeeetle bit better than that. What did we do to deserve THIS?

Anonymous said...

Why don't you chickens**t Dems start doing something politically aggressive? Here's several:

1. Idaho is the ONLY state west of the Mississippi without constitutional home-rule powers for municipalities...but the I-GOP constantly stresses how they're for "freedom" & "local control".

2. Idaho is the only state with a supermajority req't for an ordinary school bond, and also, NO state monies for local districts' M&O budgets (a 17 yr lawsuit the legislature still funds, after losing in the ISC 3 yrs back)

3. Why does Idaho allow real estate speculators to call raw land, (anything over 5 acres)as "agriculture" even if it's in the middle of town (checkout the 52 acres at Home Depot, Sams Club, etc in the middle of Idaho Falls, 25th & Holmes). RealtyTrac named Idaho 9th in US foreclosures for 2009.

4. One recent blogger at 43rd State Blues actually suggested Otter's ag dept ruled in favor of a private company he has a priavte investment interest in...astounding!

Idaho Democrats: pathetic, lazy, stupid, and gutless.