How Idaho Legislators Seek to Buy Your Vote With Wasted Giveaways
Last year's Idaho Legislature was like a very long movie that would never end. In fact, after a historic session, the legislature returned for two more abbreviated sessions. If last year's session was the never-ending session, this year's version could be titled the session of giving everything away.
It could be a coincidence that we are in an election year cycle and have a historic near two billion dollar surplus that certain influential groups are getting a lot of goodies? Let's take a look at what your local politicians will be selling you during their predictable reelection pitches.
Teachers will now be eligible to join the state's healthcare system. Who doesn't want to support Idaho's teachers? A move by both the legislature and the governor to secure the backing of educators and their families. Was the teacher's healthcare system that bad? Is this move worth the cost? Who cares when you have reelection around the corner and 2 billion dollars to spend.
The governor decided and enthusiastically agreed that Idahoans deserved the most significant income tax break in state history. Did anyone petition or lobby our elected officials for the income tax break? The answer to that question would be no. The grocery tax issue has not been addressed or any real property tax reform.
Then why would our politicians pass a 'historic' income tax bill that will give most Idahoans a small amount of money back? The answer would be that it's all about the perception of doing something for the taxpayer. It's not about actual legislation, like property tax relief; it's about what politicians can claim they did for us.
Finally, and as predicted by yours truly, the legislature is looking at giving the state employees a seven percent pay raise. Never mind, home prices have risen over thirty-three percent in the last year, and wages haven't kept up with them. State employees make up about seventy thousand voters in the upcoming primary. Who wouldn't vote for a politician who gave you a significant pay raise?
Will you buy what politicians are selling? These folks count on most of us being too busy trying to pay our bills to hold them accountable.