Lt. Governor Brad Little recently wrote an Op-Ed for the Times News, and we would like to address this article which has all of the appearances of a man running for Governor. He starts off talking about his hometown of Emmett, and how it suffered a devastating loss with a major employer of the town closing their doors and leaving 400 families without any source of income. He doesn’t go into the reasons for this plant closing. What could the state have done to prevent this from happening?
Brad was appointed to an Idaho Senate vacancy in 2001 and was elected Majority Caucus Chairman in 2003. Why was he not fighting then for the people of Emmett and Idaho to get control of our land and natural resources back from the federal government? When was the last time you heard our Lt. Governor even talk about the subject? I will tell you he does what he is told by Butch so it is not a topic for discussion.
Brad goes on to talk about the success stories of the companies that have grown here in Idaho, but he fails to mention the taxpayer monies expended to help them grow with investment tax credits and special tax considerations for moving their plant to our state.
Our suggestion is for Brad to stop talking about the successes of the businesses and start helping the people of Idaho who are hurting because of stagnant wage growth and no tax relief. The only thing Brad and Butch are interested in is making sure that members of IACI, “Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry”, are happy and that corporations keep contributing to their campaigns so they can continue to take care of all the cronies that run this state with your taxpayer money.
Brad talks about limited government yet each and every year our legislature passes hundreds of pages of regulations to Idaho’s statutes requested by the various bureaucratic agencies, but I have never heard one word of protest from Mr. Little.
He says “we must retain a tax system that is fair, simple, predictable and competitive”. I say baloney. (Idaho ranks #19 in ease of tax burden, while all six surrounding states are in the top 10 – according to The Tax Foundation). In a recent Forbes survey Idaho ranks 22nd in business costs. Guess who is in front of us, Utah #5 Oregon #8 and Washington #17
Here is a beauty from Mr. Little (No Laughing Please) “We must maintain Idaho’s position as one of the most competitive health care cost states in America, despite the Unaffordable Care Act.”
If our health care system is so great and competitive, why is it that we have a bill in the legislature H421 to repeal the State Healthcare Exchange? In the words of Rep. Ronald Nate in his latest message on the State Exchange, “It has cost over $70 million to set up, it binds Idaho to all the federal rules, leaving no room for Idaho solutions. And, it has led to a virtual monopoly in health insurance “choices” for Idaho citizens—only a few insurance companies have been permitted space on the exchange. All the while, Idahoans’ health insurance premiums and deductibles have skyrocketed. This is what we refer to as the Medical Mafia or Health Insurance Cartel. Just take a look at the campaign contributions made to legislators and constitutional officers by the authorized health insurers in this state, and you will see why health care costs have doubled and tripled for Idahoans.
Next on the list, Brad Says, “we must not default to raising taxes, keeping government efficient with no wasteful spending”.
So where was Brad Little when the House passed a great tax reform bill in the last legislative session? He was standing with his buddy Governor Otter doing everything they could to make sure that there was no tax relief for the middle income families of Idaho, but made darn sure they got a 7 cent increase in the gasoline tax. This year there is a proposal to cut taxes for the two top individual rates by one tenth of one percent and for a kicker a $10 per person grocery tax credit, BUT the corporations would get a tax cut from 7.1% to 7%. He allowed this tax increase along with buddy Butch knowing that there was going to be a substantial surplus of over $100 million in state funds for 2016. Can you guess who will make out better, the individual or the corporate crony campaign donors? One hundred and ninety thousand Idahoans have no taxable income. Why is that?
Why does Idaho have an unemployment rate of 3.9%? Think for a moment that Idaho had the 2nd highest number of minimum wage jobs in the U.S. at 7.1% according to www.governing.com Not only that but, in 2013, 20.2 percent of Idahoans used welfare programs. In 2014, the figure rose to 20.6 percent. In the pre-recession days of 2007, only 14 percent of Idahoans needed welfare payments each month. This is occurring because low wage growth will eventually lead to more welfare reliance, also keep in mind that employee benefits like health insurance have skyrocketed and depress actual take home wages. Can you say government permitted Healthcare monopoly?
His last two comments say “we must prepare for inevitable slowdowns by having rainy day funds and minimal debt” and we must have a responsive government, both local and state, that moves at the speed of business.
Folks, I ask you to think about the fact that we receive 36% of our state budget from the Federal government. If the Feds can’t come up with the money, does anyone think our rainy day fund will fill the gap? Keep in mind our federal debt is now $19 trillion and climbing. His final comment refers to moving at the speed of business. When is our state government going to start recognizing that Idaho is made up of 70% small businesses, and that we need to grow those businesses instead of giving tax breaks to outsiders who will compete with long standing Idaho businesses?
We are stuck with Butch Otter for 3 more years which means more cronyism in our future. Do we really want to saddle ourselves with 4 years of his twin crony Butch Lite at the helm of our state?