Category Archives Opinion

Wayne

Is the Idaho Legislature really conservative? Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill, R-Rexburg, says it is. And he probably believes it, too. Hill recently told a columnist, “We have a very conservative Legislature, and I would put that up against any legislature in the nation.” As my old friend Ralph Smeed would say, “Interesting, if true.” As concerns the Idaho…

Wayne

While other states have been rapidly expanding education choice, Idaho, painfully, will again likely do nothing this year. But it’s not for lack of trying. Rep. Ron Nate, R-Rexburg, has the boldest idea of them all, but his bill is being denied a hearing. Nate has proposed an amendment to the Idaho State Constitution that would allow education funds to…

new wayne

Idaho Freedom Foundation President Wayne Hoffman blasted Gov. Butch Otter’s budget document Monday, describing the plan as a “tax-and-spend bonanza.” Here’s Hoffman’s full statement about the budget: The governor's budget is a tax-and-spend bonanza. It disappointingly contains no tax relief, but rather offers stratospheric, unrealistic levels of state government expenditures. His budget should be declared dead on arrival with lawmakers…

Wayne

Instead of focusing on how he might promote conservative ideas, such as tax relief, Gov. Butch Otter used a press conference Thursday to announce that he’d ask lawmakers to create a $30 million government entitlement program. The entitlement program would provide medical services to people who don’t qualify for Medicaid or Obamacare insurance subsidies. Otter’s announcement is bad. His proposal…

Photo: Matt Keenan

This winter, Idaho lawmakers and Gov. Butch Otter must figure out how to provide $100 million — and as much as $200 million — in tax relief. We’re talking about real tax relief. Why cut taxes? Because Idahoans are struggling to make ends meet, and the state’s confiscatory tax policies are squarely to blame. A person earning about $11,000 in…

Hoffman BISD

It’s hard to imagine that Idaho officials could make a bad situation worse for children with intractable epilepsy, but that’s exactly what’s about to happen. Next legislative session, Idaho lawmakers will be asked to put general taxpayer money toward a program that allows 25 children to test an experimental pharmaceutical product. This might seem like the ultimate Hobson’s choice: pay…

Wayne

When I first wrote about Black Friday sales, it was truly Black Friday, in the singular sense. Since that time, the shopping extravaganza has morphed into a multi-day binge of deals. Interestingly, the shopkeepers who offer some of the best deals are criminals. Yes, criminals -- because many of the prices-so-low-your-head-will-explode sales are illegal in Idaho. Retailers risk big fines…

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Employers Resource in Boise is one of Idaho’s top privately-held companies, and its story is one of homegrown entrepreneurialism. George and Mary Gersema started their payroll processing and human resources company 30 years ago. They’ve never asked anything of the state or local governments. George and Mary have grown their business to include offices in eight states.  Through it all,…