Will Idaho become the next Colorado?
Dr. Livingston was right when he said that the republican party is broken, and we have a dichotomy of leadership. You have the old-line elitists like Little, Otter, and Jones who want to continue to wield the same power they’ve had for decades. Then you have the new conservative faction led by Dorothy Moon who see how poorly our government has been run for the past 20 years and want to reform many bad policies and reduce government to actually serve the people. Idaho has grown by leaps and bounds in the last two decades but the people who run our state have never made the changes that are necessary to escape the inevitable problems that occur with unbridled growth.
There has been virtually no planning to deal with the increased population expansion which has caused our highways to be congested, our sewer and water systems to be overtaxed, and our education system to fail so badly because of government mismanagement. The old-line politicians have aligned with the corporate establishment like IACI which made sure that there was growth in new corporate businesses that received all kinds of tax breaks but forgot who pays for those tax incentives. The people of Idaho who pay the bills through property and income taxes have been left behind when it comes to repairing and expanding the infrastructure for the growth created by these new corporate entities. While everyone would like to blame the developers for the many problems, we currently have it is the politicians both local and state that are the real problem.
Developers have been permitted to run wild, building on just about every piece of land available within driving distance to our capital without being required to make the investments critical to the repair and expansion of our infrastructure. Growth has a cost, and no one wants to pay the piper, so impact fees are kept artificially low. The easiest way for the government to get the money it needs for infrastructure is to increase property taxes. Every time a new corporation comes to the Treasure Valley along with it comes many new employees who need homes to live in, schools for their children to attend, and expansion of essential facilities.
The developers and new corporations have never contributed their fair share to the needed infrastructure. Instead, they have contributed tons of money to the politicians who run our state which have helped keep their costs low. The impact fees that are charged on new construction don’t come close to covering the costs associated with the growth. Many of Idaho’s political problems have essentially been created by corporate growth, in the Treasure Valley. This is not much different than what happened in Denver, and we all know how that turned out. We have 180 bureaucratic agencies in a state with 1.8 million people. The government has grown too fast, while our state budget has doubled in the past 4 years, much of it is associated with medical services. You would think that our legislature was filled with liberal democrats. Our old-line politicians don’t want to solve the problem because it is not good for their political futures. Just think how egregious the grocery tax is on low-income Idahoans, but we can’t seem to find support in a legislature that is 80% Republican to eliminate it. This alone has to make you wonder who these legislators are really working for.
If we want to reverse this process of Idaho becoming another Colorado, we had better wake up and smell the horse manure that our politicians have been feeding you for the past 10 years. While I would not call Idaho a conservative state as such, I would say it is a libertarian state where people want to be left alone and we saw that in the 2016 primary when Senator Ted Cruz took 60% of the vote. I have lived in several states that have turned from conservative to liberal in my lifetime and there are fewer and fewer places for conservatives to move where they can avoid this blue surge.
All I can do is give you the benefit of my 78 years of experience in this world and let you know that the freedoms our Constitution guarantees us as American citizens are rapidly slipping away and if we don’t act soon, they will be gone. We are a country under siege, and we have to recognize that to do nothing is to capitulate to the left. Fixing the problem will take hard work, especially on the political front. We need to convince those who are capable of running for office to get off their high horses and do something to stop this continued deterioration in our state by running for local office and our state legislature. It is up to us to support these candidates and help get them elected or we will all suffer the consequences of our inaction.
So, as my good friend and former Constitutional Attorney Christ Troupis used to say, keep riding your ATVs, watching football, drinking beer, and letting the left run the country. Wake up Idaho, the future is in your hands. Remember evil triumphs when Good Men do nothing.
“We Get the Government We Deserve.”