John Livingston News

Pioneers or ‘Pie in the Rear’

When Idaho was still a territory and was applying for Statehood many people in the State wanted Idaho to be known as the ‘PIONEER STATE”. Many Idahoans I know are direct descendants of the early pioneers. The 1st patient I ever attended to in Idaho was a 91-year-old lady. I asked her if she was an Idaho native and she told me –”no. I came across in a covered wagon with my parents when I was 3 years old”. After almost 35 years of being an Idaho citizen it looks like I will never be a “native”.

Many of those ancestors of native Idahoans still work the land of their ancestors, and still run businesses and 2 I know of live in the same house that their family’s 1st built. People like me who have lived here a long time and people who just moved here from California learn early on about the “Idaho Pioneer spirit” Rugged individualists, hard workers, proud of their families, churches and communities and more than willing to share their bounty of richness—not riches, with anyone and everyone who is willing to share in the unending project of building Idaho into being the best place to live and work in the world.

But the Democratic politicians in Washington DC, and our Republican legislature in Boise, may have backed us into a corner. Instead of continuing to build up the pioneer spirit that has been part of our State’s Heritage since its’ founding, they have given us a big “PIE IN THE REAR”. It all started with the State accepting larger and larger grants and funding from the Federal government. Medicaid and Education are just examples. This year Medicaid spending will be over $5.5 billion with only about $770 million coming from the State’s general fund. Almost 30% more than 2012.

One in 8 Idahoans are on Medicaid—about 280,000, but that number could increase significantly if the Feds change the rules like they did for eligibility on the Health Insurance Exchange where a family of 4 making $140,000 is eligible for a significant subsidy to buy their health insurance. The average family of 4 in Idaho makes $60,000/year. But more likely the Fed will change the FMAP—the matching funds formula for Medicaid increasing the States contribution at a time when more people and more Medicaid patients will be coming into the State. Talk about a “squeeze” in the budget. Did the Milliman consultants account for this?

Last week the Senate as it passed the $1.9 trillion American Relief Act, added language prohibiting States from lowering taxes or adding additional tax credits for two years. If they do they potentially could lose all their Federal Subsidies including Medicaid and educational grants. Furthermore, States can’t use the money to lower fees, but the last round of subsidies the ACA could be used to shore up other state debts and obligations. No matter what, you can bet that some of this largesse will find its’ way into pension funds and lobbyists pockets or campaign funds. It wouldn’t surprise to find out if Governor Cuomo has already found a way to divert funds into his legal defense fund—not really but maybe?

We have heard almost nothing from Governor Little or most of our legislators on this issue. Has the Idaho AG joined other States (Ohio) for example in a law suit arguing for a severability claim based on Federalist principles? In 2012 the Supreme Court ruled favorably on a similar matter with Chief Justice John Roberts agreeing with the opinion.

Our current group of RINO—Romney—Republicans, the new 3 r’s since kids aren’t learning the 3′ r’s in school this year unless they are being home schooled, ran out of town yesterday bent over with their heads behind their collective Covid tails. Talk about public health mitigation and risk management—run and hide from the “boogie man” while young mothers and fathers work in healthcare, drive trucks and work, on the farm and on construction sites and in grocery stores. No PIONEERs at our State capital. Just a big fat PIE IN THE REAR for the people… No grocery tax cut, no property tax relief, no sales tax relief and no income tax relief. I saw several legislators out and about today and one eating at a restaurant. Now that’s courage.

Six positive Covid-19 tests in over 100 legislators and staff. None with symptoms. None in the hospital. None who are immune compromised. Many have already received the vaccination having stepped to the front of the line. Anyone of them could assign a proxy to “bravely and courageously” take their place until the dust settles. Now that is not what I call leadership. I know many of these men and women and they are fine people, fine family people who care about their communities and give willingly of their time and labor, but what they did by walking out yesterday was anything but brave. I know, you know, and most of all they know that they are not doing their DUTY. Where is the virtue in hiding?

Pioneer or “PIE IN THE REAR” We get to choose come election time—including the primaries. The people who cleared the land and risked their lives and built a great State wouldn’t recognize us today.

In 1890 there were no elites or experts in Idaho, telling everybody else what to do. Today we are still smart enough to figure it out for ourselves. The longer the State House is empty the better off we all are.

Don’t come back until you are ready to do “The People’s Business” Otherwise stay in your districts and explain to your constituents why you can’t get anything accomplished in Boise

As they say downtown—”With all due respect” MAGA “Fight Like Hell”

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