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big spender on public schools

I wrote, published and used the article below as part of my election campaign for Idaho Governor in 2006. Nine years later I’m looking smarter and smarter.

But the electorate put their Xs next to the R … hmmm does “R” stand for “Rather not think about it”?

Butch the R just signed a bill for $125,000,000 worth of public schooling. If I did that the first reaction would by hilarity. Most of us sign a bill expecting to pay it. But even Mr. Moneysponge, who actually could pay it, has absolutely no intention of contributing even a penny of it. Nope. He signed it FOR YOU. You, your friends and neighbors now owe that money.

Lemmesee, Idaho housing starts are down, manufacturing is down, unemployment is way up, wages are stagnant for those still working, a third of the under-30s can’t find ANY job after they get out of school, but those living off the taxes are due for raises …
the TRAINING of our kids MUST be kept separate from the realities of our world.

Kind-of defines the problem, doesn’t it?

In the Candidates’ Debate: Sunday October 29, 2006 where Butch backed out rather than face a genuine Libertarian on state-wide television, Democrat Jerry Brady, a true gentleman of honor and integrity, and I put on what the production team told us was “A great debate”.

My number one priority at that time, and you can see it there, was a tax deduction for tuition TO private schools of any stripe or organization FROM parents, churches, businesses, clubs or anybody at all. Imagine where competition in educational possibilities would have put the state of Idaho by now. Certainly not requiring another 125 million dollar bill for taxpayers now suffering from reduced incomes.

Ponder, if you will, just what criteria puts money grubbers in charge who will do and say whatever needs to be done and said to achieve the position – with no other criteria being relevant.

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— My article from Idaho Liberty.com in 2008 —

I tripped over a response I wrote exactly two years ago in my run for governor of Idaho. Interestingly, I don’t think I’d change a thing in it. The problem has become apparent to most folks who can fog a mirror, but the solution still escapes them. Here’s to hoping they will get it soon.

What are your feelings about Idaho’s economy and what should the state do to improve it?

Idaho’s economy is booming. We have people pouring into the state flush with cash from the sale of their homes in California, Carolina and parts in between. The Treasure Valley is alive with the sounds of earth movers and nail guns. Construction dollars enrich the lives and pockets of retailers selling boats and boatloads of doo-dads from China. Politicians with pockets full of tax dollars promise spending programs to suit every voter they can imagine.

Who wouldn’t love this?

I don’t. I say the time for belt tightening, particularly in government is now.

The “permanently hot” housing markets in the big-ticket places has died. Those markets are full of “product”, prices are dropping and still sales are not happening. The ripple effect will be felt here soon.

China’s 1.3 billion people are wanting more oil as are India’s 1.1 billion. We are competing for oil on an international market while Congressional spending has weakened the value of American dollars. Put another way, our fuel prices are about to climb significantly, putting another hit on Idaho’s economy.

Anyone making or believing promises based on business-as-usual will fail to deliver. What we need now is leadership with an understanding of the free market. We can no longer allow a handful of central planners to take money away from those who earned it and spend it on feel-good, sound-good projects.

Continuing to spend HALF of our property tax and state tax revenues on schools cannot continue. Increasing sales taxes to provide even more spending is a horrid idea. Tax deductions to stimulate private schools is the only way we will get educational improvements, diversity in education AND reduce costs.

Replacing private adult trade schools with taxpayer funded junior colleges is an awful idea. Forcibly taking money from all, to build schools for a few, while displacing existing private schools is a perfect example of socialist central planning. Stop it now. This is the wrong direction to take our country.

I will not promise to do magical things nobody can deliver. I will not interject my feelings about what is a fair wage into what should be a private discussion between someone who wants a job and another who has a job to offer. I won’t build any more government-monopoly schools to house an educational system managed by politicians. I will resist displacing private trade schools with taxpayer funded junior colleges.

I will move the government of Idaho back in the direction it came from: one constituted of men to assure the rights of life, liberty and property.