John Livingston

Wisdom and Elections

Peggy Noonan, not a fan I, recently opined: “There are two characteristics of radicals……… both now and forever”. I will paraphrase and apply this to my opinion about liberal economic and political philosophy and what we see coming out of the progressive Democrats in Washington and the Progressive RINOs and their Democratic brethren in Boise. Both groups share the belief that government is the solution to our problems, and they fail to see that government is the cause of many of our problems. The longer they stay in office, the more they embrace this philosophy. Their intentions of doing good rely on resources that they did not produce. If they want to do good volunteer to work at the Rescue Mission, or the Idaho Food Bank or coach a Little (not brad) League team. Spending money that is not theirs—the fruits of other’s labor (taxes), is not charity by any measure. The accountability standards for how legislators run their own family’s finances and their businesses and farms, and ranches are very different than the standards used by government when they account for their budgets. If JFAC were a corporate board it would be investigated by the SEC!

“They have extreme respect for their own emotions”. If they feel it is true or their position is correct it must be true or correct. Feelings yes—facts and analysis—no. Listen to AOC on CNN or MSNBC, or Idaho’s own Rep. Lauren Necochea or Sen. Chuck Winder—all three progressive emotional ideologues.

 “They tend to be stupid in the sense of having little or no historical knowledge or the sense of context and proportion that such knowledge brings”. In fact, the longer they remain in positions of power, the more they see the strong hand of government as a tool to further their own power and the positions of their corporate—lobbyist campaign contributors, not the people who voted for them. My question to them has always been “who do you serve”? Let us get video documentation from the Governor’s Cup this year or examine the campaign financial reports to find out the true answer to that question. We can certainly count on the media, Betsy Russell, and Idaho Public Broadcasting to ask and answer those questions. Or what about the renowned “crack investigative reporter” Brian Homes at KTVB. Can he do his own investigating instead of having a story spoon fed to him by establishment sources? Speak “truth to power” instead of kissing (PF) — Power Fundament. Isn’t that what the media is supposed to do instead of acting as an agent for those in power?

They seem to be oblivious to the idea of “opportunity costs” or unintended consequences, When given a choice about how to allocate scarce resources—tax payer revenues to the government or Federal transfer payments to large health care systems and networks, they fail to take the next step and ask—how does this impact the market place, or how could this money be used differently, or does this money give an unfair advantage to a supplier or consumer of services, or most importantly what about sustainability of such a program into the future? Do these obligate taxpayers in outlying years to commitments by government that will be difficult to fulfill? What if the Medicaid Federal match becomes 70-80/100 instead of 90/100? What if reserve requirements in the State and now teachers Health Care Insurance Programs change? What if Critical Race Theory (CRT) programs become a requirement for other Federal transfers to education? What if abuses in Medicaid enrollment and billing practices of providers comes under a DOJ scrutiny—Idaho has been identified as having the 4th most fraudulent Medicaid program in the country with 39% false billings and claims, and reimbursement (transfer payments) that run through the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare to their corporate partners—large hospital systems and insurance carriers are impacted forcing health insurance premiums paid by citizens, constituents, and patients, to skyrocket at the same time their taxes will also go up to backstop the increased cost of premiums that State workers and teachers will also have to pay?

When I listen to the heads of many government agencies testify before legislative committees I am impressed by the intelligence of the presenters, and their ability to reiterate the same “jargon and doublespeak” no matter what the question they are asked. Different committee, same jargon, and Power Point. What is lacking is WISDOM. We elect our representatives to apply wisdom when making decisions that impact, WE THE PEOPLE. No matter where one looks—legislative chambers in Boise or D. C., I see very little “wisdom” or even “scholarship” being applied to problems that aren’t as complex as the problems these bodies have created for individual working citizens and their families.

The key to wisdom Aristotle said is asking the right questions.

Here is my question. Why do we keep electing the same RINO progressives repeatedly who keep spending and spending without any accountability? Has your health care improved over the past 10 years especially with Covid mitigation strategies imposed by our Governor and government agencies—access, quality, and cost? Have SAT scores or your child’s educational opportunities improved over the past 10 years? What about Idaho roads, campgrounds, and government services?

Our Governor takes credit for Idaho’s low unemployment and surplus in revenues when in fact the work ethic of Idahoans and Federal monies created by deficit spending—most allocated by executive orders and not appropriated by Congress, are the reason for the temporary false sense of security that we now enjoy—not anything he has done. Let us hope many of these guys and gals are out of office when the real financial impact is realized, and true wisdom will rule the day.

It is up to the wise voters to ask the right questions. Then vote for the person who will represent you and not a lobbyist or a special interest. Vote for the person who will come to your home for a campaign visit instead of going to The Governor’s Cup.

I believe in the WISDOM of Idaho voters and pray that this will someday be again reflected in our representatives and Governor.

2 replies on “Wisdom and Elections”

Just a note, but I wouldn’t be using SAT scores as your watermark. The SAT has become a woke institution and its scores have seen dramatic inflation in the past ten years….

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