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Huckleberries Online

Idaho Lawmakers Delusional

These days, Idaho's politicians are afflicted with legislation selection disorder. You know. LSD. It works like this: Act as if the people of the Gem State are a self-reliant bunch of up-from-the-bootstraps, rugged individualists who are beaten down by an oppressive federal government.Ignore the reality: The benevolent U.S. taxpayer is all that stands between them and financial oblivion. John S. Kiernan, a senior analyst with the personal finance social network, worked over the numbers and here's what he found:

  • For every dollar Idahoans pay in federal taxes, they get $1.40 back. That tracks with earlier studies by such groups as the Tax Foundation. Idaho's poorly compensated workers don't generate a lot of income tax, but they require an awful lot of help from Uncle Sam in terms of Medicaid, food stamps, Social Security and Medicare.
  • State government would be 35 percent smaller - or state taxes would be 35 percent higher - if the feds weren't propping up Idaho's budget.
  • Out of every 1,000 people, nearly eight work for the federal government - whether that's Idaho National Laboratory near Idaho Falls, Mountain Home Air Force Base, the U.S. Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Are you tired of lawmakers in federally dependent Idaho pandering to voters by yapping about federal intrusion?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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