Even though the grocery tax is one of the most regressive taxes we impose on Idaho’s citizens, there is no appetite in our legislature’s hierarchy to grant any relief to those hurt most by this egregious tax. Mike Moyle has introduced a tax bill that would exempt the first $750 of income from exemption but it also reduces the top income and corporate rate from 7.4 to 7.2% along with an exemption on personal property and equipment from $100,000 to $250,000. Does anyone see a pattern here? Our legislators are perfectly willing to lower taxes substantially for business and high-income earners but they continue to ignore the working class citizens who are burdened with a stupid grocery tax which is supposedly returned to those who file taxes. The problem is it reduces their spendable income for the entire year for those that need it the most. There are only 13 states that have a grocery tax in this country; the rest have seen the light, that it not only hurts the economy but also the middle-class wage earners.
Governor Otter has expanded the state budget again this year, and the state will be adding hundreds more state employees to the payroll while our state is still dependent on 35% of its budget from the federal government. We have been saying for years that this is a tax and spend big government administration under Governor Otter and the cronies who are in his inner circle are out of control.
Now that we have elected a new President who is trying to cut wasteful spending, cut income taxes for the middle class and reduce the size of government, Idaho’s legislature pretends to be doing the same thing, but is it? No, it’s not, and in fact, it’s the same old story as every past legislative session. More rules, regulations and licensing fees along with big tax breaks to the corporations and the wealthy while screwing the little guy. What we need in Idaho is a movement of the people to get rid of the crony establishment and elect more constitutional conservatives to office. We need to do some Swamp Draining at our State House.
Legislative leaders have become the lap dogs of Governor Otter and do exactly what he tells them. It’s high time that we started backing the real conservatives that we have elected to office. They need our support if we ever intend to change the widespread cronyism which is all too prevalent in our legislative process. While Speaker Bedke continues his tirade about comments made by Rep. Heather Scott, Majority Leader Mike Moyle introduces a tax bill cutting taxes for the high-income wage earners and corporations who finance establishment campaigns and gives us working stiffs a meager exemption of the first $750. But that’s not all, a panel just approved a plan to plow more money into judicial pensions and Kelly Packer, who likes more rules, introduced a bill to regulate sign language interpreters and charge them a $125.00 registration fee. So be careful not to use any sign language in the street, as if this bill passes you could be fined $1,000 if you don’t have a license to sign. Maybe the legislature should use sign language to communicate and we wouldn’t have all these so-called ethics violations.
If you don’t speak up, you will not be heard above the crony politicians running our legislature. These attacks on our conservative legislators by leaderships appear more as a distraction while they go about passing regulations to license sign language interpreters and give tax breaks to the corporations and high-income earners. It’s high time that the citizens of Idaho figured out that many of our legislative representatives are not representing the people but are taking care of those who finance their campaigns year after year. When was the last time you voiced your opinion to your legislator?
If we don’t make our voices heard, we will “Get the Government We Deserve.”