The Idaho Freedom Foundation Aligns With Conservative Principles (Part 2 of 3)


Later this month, Republicans state-wide will gather for their convention to elect leaders and once again adopt their Idaho Republican Party Platform (IRPP). Many people don’t realize grass roots Republicans review and approve the IRPP every summer before a fall general election because the IRPP serves as the gold standard for Republican beliefs ahead of a general election.

I recently wrote an article about how the first four principles of the Idaho Freedom Foundation Index (IFFI) used to grade proposed legislation closely resemble portions of the IRPP. This article addresses the next four principles of the IFFI and shows they too align closely with the principles found in the IRPP. Let’s look at the second four principles of the IFFI used to grade proposed legislation and compare them to the IRPP.

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The fifth principle asks, “Does it directly or indirectly create or increase any taxes, fees, or other assessments?” This principle is similar to the IRPP, which states, “We support lower federal, state and local taxes. High taxes are a burden on businesses, families and individuals.”

Individuals who oppose grading legislation and legislators who increase taxes oppose the IRPP. The fifth principle of the IFFI identifies legislators committed to lower taxes and exposes those who are not.

The sixth principle asks, “Does it increase government redistribution of wealth?” This principle is also similar to the IRPP, which states, “Municipal laws that allow public dollars to be converted to private use and government entities to compete against the private sector or divert public money to special projects without the support of the taxpayer must be repealed.”

We hear more and more from liberals that the benevolent hand of government must take from some and redistribute to others. You might remember Barack Obama saying, “I actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain level, to make sure everybody’s got a shot.” The IFFI exposes wealth redistribution legislation and grades it negatively because redistribution unfairly takes from those who have earned it and gives to those who have not. Eventually, those who get redistributed wealth feel entitled while those who pay feel resentment.

The seventh principle asks, “Does it increase government spending (for objectionable purposes) or debt?” This is a big one for the IRPP. Its Preamble states, “We believe Government must practice fiscal responsibility, and that taxpayers should allow the Government only money necessary to provide appropriate functions.”

The IFFI and the IRPP both disapprove of wasteful government spending.

The eight principle asks, “Does it in any way restrict public access to information related to government activity or otherwise compromise government transparency or accountability?” Similarly, the IRPP states, “We support Government transparency that allows the public to review all local, state and federal government expenditures, contracts and audits online.”

Both the IFFI and the IRPP believe in government transparency. The IFFI identifies legislation that “hides the ball” for government activity and those legislators who support this kind of bad legislation.

IFFI principles closely align with IRPP principles that serve as the gold standard for Idaho Republicans. The IFFI identifies legislation that opposes traditional Republican principles and also those legislators who oppose these principles.


Bryan Smith serves as the second vice chairman of the state Republican Party. He also serves as a board member on the Idaho Freedom Foundation.

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