How does jeopardizing $205 million in annual child support payments make us more free? Ask the families who rely on those payments. It doesn’t.

Earlier this month, nine Idaho lawmakers killed a bill providing funding for child support enforcement. Originally, those lawmakers cited a fear of Sharia law for killing the bill. But after those fears were shown to be unfounded and absurd, a new argument emerged: “Freedom.”

Yet Better Idaho has determined this is more about “freedumb” than “freedom.”

The main protagonist for Idaho’s latest round of foolhardiness is a preacher from Washington State named Shahram Hadian. Preacher Hadian has earned a reputation for being an anti-Islamic fanatic. In the wider world, he’s a kook. Yet for nine GOP lawmakers, he’s word is as good as gold.

He acknowledges that by stoking the xenophobic fears of Idaho’s more feeble-minded legislators, he cost Idaho families hundreds of millions of dollars. But he says it’s all worth it.

“I would say to those families, would you rather have short-term gain or lose our liberty long-term?”

Hadian further explains the bill was foisted on Idaho in a “dictatorial manner,” because the uniform child support enforcement legislation cannot be altered by the state legislature — hence the term “uniform.”

And just to be clear, the “dictatorial manner” includes the legislation being approved by the Uniform Law Commission and then passage through an otherwise gridlocked and dysfunctional Congress without objection.

It begs the question, “Does Hadian know what ‘dictatorial’ even means?”

But here’s the larger question. What does jeopardizing $205 million of child support have to do with freedom and liberty? It’s pretty easy to argue that 151,000 Idaho families will experience a major loss in freedom if child support payments terminate. When you can’t afford basics like housing and car insurance, you lose freedom.

Look, we at Better Idaho understand the unyielding need of certain lawmakers to thumb their noses at the federal government. And we support their right to do so. But aren’t there smarter ways of doing it than putting Idaho children at risk?

Take a stand somewhere less consequential. The truth is multi-state cooperation to benefit children is not tyranny. Nor will it take away anybody’s freedom or liberty.

For that, we’re giving this entire, embarrassing episode the maximum of five freedumbs.

Five-Freedumbs

 

 

 

 

“We can take care of our children without giving up our freedom.”