When Idaho’s Legislature cuts programs serving the poor, children and education, we might at first glance see this as taking some moral ground to save the state budget. But when they take those funds saved by stripping them away from our kids and the less fortunate – no matter how large or small – and spend them to rebel against the federal government, they have lost any sense of morality.
By manufacturing conflict they hope that people will be swayed by fear. Clearly, the Republican commitment to the people of Idaho has lost stability and has been replaced by “courtrooms instead of classrooms.”
While Idaho citizens are suffering, the constitutional officers are being given pay raises. Idaho ranks only 44th among the states for personal income, yet the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, controller, treasurer and superintendent of schools are currently paid at the rate of 39th in the nation.
Equity would require dropping their wages, but instead they received 3 percent to 17 percent increases. This example of elitism speaks volumes about the lack of compassion from the state Republican leadership.
We cannot confuse flag waving with political substance nor elitism with cool heads, moderation and stable results.