Remember when Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter gave the State of the State speech in January? He said Idaho would boost funding for education and transportation and cut taxes.
If you believed that, I’ve got a photo of Bill O’Reilly in the Falkland Islands to sell you.
That’s how things have been going for conservatives lately. Their campaign promises and the real world just aren’t compatible. So they’ve relied on the old bait and switch. Forget being moderate, the right has gone crazy.
In Montana, a state representative introduced a bill to ban yoga pants in public.
In Oklahoma, the legislature is defunding he state’s AP history class
In Idaho, lawmakers filed four anti-abortion bills.
In Afghanistan, a Taliban spokesman said, “We thought you guys banned Sharia law.”
Voters from coast to coast are scratching their heads. The tea party was slain in the primaries. Why does it suddenly rise from the dead when it’s time to make laws?
Yet in Idaho, there’s been one notable hiccup to the tea party’s resurgence – it’s called “reality.”
Just last week, House Transportation Committee Chair Joe Palmer (R-Meridian) introduced a bill with $200 million of tax increases to fix our dilapidated roads. Then he ran for cover.
Those revenues are raised through the gas tax and registration fees, the types of taxes that impact the middle class and poor. Put plainly, people who think the cheese grater at Olive Garden is a luxury will pick up the tab for people who think the doorman at the club is a birthright.
In the meantime, Idaho conservatives are facing an ugly truth: the square peg of their rhetoric will not fit into the round hole of reality. For most of 2014, conservatives talked about funding education, fixing our roads and cutting taxes, an agenda as realistic as the American Sniper baby.
Now the chickens have come home to roost. Or more accurately, the vultures are on the carcass. We’ve been told cutting taxes for the wealthy would make Idaho into the next Monte Carlo. Yet here we are. Our schools are underfunded, our roads are crumbling and Idaho has the highest rate of minimum wage workers. Or as Idaho conservatives call them, “Revenue sources.”
For years, Idaho lawmakers have claimed they would help the poor by cutting taxes. And even though that has failed, it hasn’t dissuaded them from believing in trickle-down economics.
Yet in this case, the only thing that’s trickling down is the tax burden.
If you would like the Levity Blog delivered to your inbox, click here.