A new phrase in the lexicon of political commentary was introduced by Andy Kessler in the March 5th, 2023, Wall Street Journal that I hope I never forget. In an article entitled THE RISE OF KICKBACK CAPITALISM he states that “we have entered an era that has created a mob of mangy meritless mooches”. Technically I would call them “rent seekers”.
He talks about Federal Programs that embrace collectivism instead of “meritocracy”. Collectivism always fails. Name a country or a State where collectivist command economies have survived beyond two generations? Collectivist political and economic policy and legislation like student loan forgiveness programs, $11 trillion in spending loans, disbursements, and asset purchases since the political Covid Pandemic have been staggering. $369 billion in the Inflation Reduction Act, and $64 billion in new Obama Care spending that has resulted in an inflation that has decreased real wages to individuals by 4% and increased because of inflation their “taxable income” by at least the same amount. Just as significant these programs have decreased the ability of businesses and individuals to borrow because of increased interest rates. At the same time the interest payment on government debt has increased by 4% thus making the servicing on just the interest payment on our government debt bigger that what Medicaid and Medicare can distribute in transfer payments and almost as much as we spend for national defense.
Money is flowing everywhere—but not to the people who are paying taxes, or who will suffer the consequences of increased interest rates or increasing inflation with at the same time a decrease in the “real value of assets”. Where is all the money going? Is there any accounting for how it is being spent? A significant percentage is going to the States—some states not Idaho I hope, to shore up public service unions pension funds.
The same “Kickback” mentality is happening in Idaho. We are still under an “emergency Federal order” that allows for hospitals and providers to charge increased rates and use creative coding to increase revenues. The dislocations in the medical marketplace are causing hospital administrators across our country and across the State to become apoplectic as they realize their access to free money will soon become a trickle instead of a torrent. No more $18million/2yr CEOs! And their trade organizations that represent their interests in Idaho won’t have as much money to spend on lobbyists or political campaigns for politicians who will represent their interests and who are charged with regulating the organizations who are contributing to their causes and initiatives. The price of entry to The Governor’s Cup may go up!
With all this money sloshing around why no:
Property tax relief—”mark to sale” or “mark to market” the value of individual property—the choice is the owners. This could be put in State Statute and local taxing districts would have to make their code apply.
Grocery tax relief—repeal period.
Outside audits for government programs and the recipients involved in transfer payments of over $100 million/yr.
It is my belief that “vote buying” in Idaho is alive and well. Not by individual citizens, but by corporatists—many from outside our State, and lobbyists whose influence over the legislative process—governance and government, far outweighs the influence of “We the People”.
Vote buying is illegal. 18 US Code: 597 states: “Whoever makes or offers to make an expenditure to any person to either vote or withhold a vote, or to vote or against any candidate ……if the violation is willful, shall be fined or imprisoned under this provision…”. We have a similar statue in our state law. There must be a fine line between a contribution and “expenditure to influence” because neither law is ever enforced. Wouldn’t it just be easier to put in code an amount that would not marginalize an individual’s contribution who resides within a district. No contributions from outside the political entity that the politician represents and whatever the limit is on the individual, the same limit should apply to the special interest.
I would invite any lobbyist, lawyer, or politician to write in and tell me where I am wrong. Kickbacks and corporate cronyism are alive and thriving in Idaho. WE are living amongst a “mob of mangy meritless mooches.”