Asked about the economy, Gov. Butch Otter noted that a recent USA Today story said Idaho is one of the states leading the nation’s crawl out of the recession, along with energy states, and touted his “Project 60” to increase the state’s gross domestic product. Jana Kemp said as a small business owner, she never received anything from the state about Project 60 until recently. “This is a great place to live - it needs to be a great place to work,” she said.
Keith Allred said the USA Today story paired Idaho with energy states with large fossil-fuel reserves. “What is it about Idaho?” he asked, that put it in that group. “The lion’s share of personal income growth in Idaho was from unemployment, Medicaid, federal welfare and entitlement money. That’s what Butch Otter is offering you for his economic vision - more dependence on the federal government. … I’ve got a better idea.” Allred called for lowering Idaho’s relatively high state personal and corporate income tax rates. “We cannot get this economy going without taking that brake off of it,” he said.
When Pro-Life said government shouldn’t be involved in the economy, Otter responded, “We’re not in the business of picking winners and losers. … In that aspect, you’re absolutely right,” to which Pro-Life responded, “Yeah, I knew that.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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