Dear Governor Otter,
As a conservative, I am sure you are troubled by the state of our nation these days. One especially troubling piece of the economic equation is the “Stimulus package.” You and I both know it is impossible to spend your way out of debt on borrowed dollars (borrowed from the next generation). However, it is apparent the stimulus money will be forced upon each and every state. If you bear with me for another paragraph, I think I have an idea that just might be the proper allocation of our share of the stimulus package and help Idaho crawl out of this recession quicker than other states and with a sustained effect.
As you know, the reason states were created, rather than one large government without sovereign borders, was to keep the power close to the people. It was designed that way so states could make policy based upon their regional preference. Such was a brilliant idea of our founders. A state, on its own accord could try new ideas, and if they failed the entire nation would not suffer the consequences of the progressive action. If they succeeded, the other states could observe the policy and act accordingly. In reality, the statehood ideal was a great insulation against wholesale failure of the states united. Alas, the state borders seem to be a bit hazy these days, as we seem to be moving towards National Socialism; a government ruling from D.C.
The conservative mantra for economic growth is tax cuts, especially for small business. Tax cuts have worked every time they have been tried, I think you will agree. So I propose, the State of Idaho ask special permission, in the spirit of state sovereignty and independent policy experimentation, to use our stimulus money in a different manor than other states. I propose we put the money into the general fund and spend the money as allocated in the budget. The key here is to not grow the budget simply because of the surplus. In turn, state income tax (business and personal) and property taxes should be cut/tax credited back to the engine of our economy; the people and businesses. Secondly, existing bonds on completed capital improvements could be paid off early and the interest saved could be brought back into the general fund. Basically, with this idea, we are turning an unproven irresponsible spending bill into a proven method of economic growth; tax cuts and interest elimination. This likely will not go over real well with the Obama administration, however, I voted for you (and I am sure others as well) because I had a feeling you were not afraid to make some waves. I think it is time to make some tidal waves. We are going in the wrong direction.
Lastly, on a bit of a different subject, I would love to see this state on budget every year. If the economy shrinks 2% than cut the budget 2% across the board. I am sure it will be said it is just not that simple. Really? I would love to see the long term goal of the state of Idaho (and the nation, I’m a dreamer) be financial freedom, which means no debt. I would love to see the State of Idaho adopt “Dave Ramsey economics” as its policy.