Highlights of Gov. Otter’s State of the State addressIGEM initiative Long a dream of Idaho’s technology advocates, Otter’s new jobs and research initiative, the Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission, or IGEM, is modeled after a public-private program in Utah that aims to spur startup companies, lure top researchers and speed commercialization of ideas developed at universities. So far, the Gov is making sense. Research is good and help for 'start-up' businesses is good for this country. The question is, what Start-Up businesses is he talking about? Is he talking about small business, or is he talking about multi-billion dollar companies that aren't necessarily wanting or needing start up incentives. And where do those Incentives come from? Taxes? But Idaho’s effort, at least in initial funding, will pale in comparison to the Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative, the recipient of some $240 million in taxpayer funds and bond-sale revenue since 2006. Ah, now we come to the rub. We pay for it by raising taxes. Typical Republican ploy. While telling us that the businesses will hire employees, what they don't mean is that those companies are gonna cost us. In the mean time we cut Education and other social programs to pay for these 'start-ups.' Take the money from Medicaid. After all those tax-sucking mamas don't need it with all their crack babies hanging off their hips. Otter said this modest $5 million in seed money isn’t a reflection of his confidence in the program, just a sign of taking it slowly. Who's gonna pay for the money, Butchie? “It’s extraordinary, for us, even in this tough time, to put a $5 million bet on what I believe is going to be a longterm and a growing program,” he told reporters after his speech. “I also want to walk before I run. It’s not hard, when you’ve got a lot of money and you want to start passing it out, to get receivers to show up at the gate and say, ‘Give me some money.’” Rainy-day funds Otter said he hopes to use growing revenue — the state expects to bank about $103 million at the end of the fiscal year in June — to help replenish rainy-day accounts that have been drained to nearly nothing from $384 million four years ago. Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill supports that plan, saying that building up reserves “will give us that buffer so we don’t have to lowball future budgets.” Pay bonus for state workers The governor’s budget also includes a $41 million, 3 percent pay bonus for state workers, teachers, university professors and faculty — but only if tax revenues stay on track. There's always a 'but.' When it comes to 'giving' money to the people. That 3 percent is just enough to maybe cover some of the cuts this Governor has cut in these programs over they years. He's such a hypocrite. Missing revenue targets next June and January could erase the money, Otter warned. University of Idaho President Duane Nellis said he would have rather seen a permanent pay raise for employees at his school. Still, Nellis said he hopes the governor’s proposal, which includes directing $226 million to four-year universities — 8 percent more than a year ago — represents a first step in clawing back ground that institutions in Moscow, Boise, Pocatello and Lewiston lost since the recession first hit. All told, they’ve seen $80 million in cuts since 2009, reducing state higher-education spending to its lowest level in a decade. Here's where I take a huge exception to this governor's ideation. He thinks cutting Education will help this state. It does just the opposite. When Big Business looks for a place to put a factory, they look to see what the education potential is in the state where they are moving. Since Butch cuts education, this sends a huge message to these businessmen. "This guy doesn't value education." Let's take our business elsewhere. “I’m very encouraged,” Nellis said after the speech. “The governor has seen higher education as an instrumental vehicle to a more prosperous economic future.” Really? This guy's proved over and over what he thinks of social and educational programs. He's cut crazy. It's the first place he looks to to make up any deficit this state has. ‘Students Come First’ Booooo. Otter also recommended $32 million to pay for last year’s disputed “Students Come First” education reforms, which include laptops for students and merit pay for teachers. He promised lawmakers he’d be joining public schools chief Tom Luna to rally against measures on November’s ballot asking Idaho voters to throw the reforms out. “I’m committed, along with Superintendent Luna, to ensuring the success of those reforms,” Otter said. Otter proposed spending $2.65 billion in fiscal year 2013, 4 percent more than this year.
Now for the Lackies...
Lawmakers react to speech“I liked his pro-business tone. I look forward to hearing more details about his tax cuts. … Those folks (teachers and state employees) work hard, and we just need to look at the numbers (for potential bonuses). He said there would be some parameters on that that would correspond with our financial status.” You cannot show me where tax cuts grow businesses. They don't. — Rep. Darrell Bolz, R-Caldwell “I thought he made a couple of really good proposals, especially on restoring a little bit of the salaries for teachers and state workers if we’ve got the money for it. I also thought it was a pretty good idea for a one-time bonus thing. That’s going to have to be a wait and see (with tax breaks). There may not be that money there (for it).” A little bit of salary restoration. Not nearly enough. You wanna 'grow' the economy? Pay people more money...do not...ever...cut salaries. This causes a panic and people begin saving and money goes out of the economy. When will Republicans get this!!! The pittance the Gov is giving the state employees isn't near enough and will make little or not difference to the economy. Butchie's just doing this to salve some egos and gain some voters if they fall for his crud. — Rep. Gary Collins, R-Nampa “We need to make sure that if we’re setting tax policy that we’re doing it in a way that brings businesses here and keeps businesses here and not just reduces revenues. It’s smart to reward our employees and teachers but not put it into the base (budget). If he puts it in as ongoing, I don’t know if the economy is strong enough to handle that.” Horray. A thinking legislator. — Sen. Curt McKenzie, R-Nampa “That’s extremely important (to consider lower income taxes). It’s their money in the first place. It would be nice (to give state workers a bonus). They haven’t had a raise in four years, but we’ll see if that’s fiscally possible.” It better be possible. — Rep. Brent Crane, R-Nampa “It was a very positive address. It wasn’t full of gloom and doom, and that’s always nice. Tax relief sounds very good if it’s feasible. I think people are waiting for that. (But) it (the proposal) was so broad that I really can’t say, ‘Yea, let’s do it.’ I was very happy that he was going to put an emphasis on higher education.” Wishy-washy. — Rep. Christy Perry, R-Nampa “It was balanced in the fact he was talking about tax relief as well as getting education funding back. The economy’s looking better and we still have surplus, but it’s going to be touch and go.” — Sen. John McGee, R-Caldwell “There still are big gaps in our services (such as Medicaid). That’s why I’m somewhat concerned about a tax break. There’s never been any proven benefit to that in stimulating jobs. This guy's got it right! “It isn’t enough (money for schools). How much of that (education) money is going to go out of state to for-profit companies?” A really, really good question! — Rep. John Rusche, Minority Leader, D-Lewiston
Letter about federal debt hits nail on headThanks to Dave Banker of Caldwell for his thoughtful letter to the editor on Thursday. It expressed my thoughts on the federal debt perfectly! The old axiom defining insanity as doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results couldn’t be any more appropriate in this instance. I marvel that there are so many people out there begging to have their taxes raised to help fix this crisis, when all it would accomplish would be enabling the government to waste more money. If any of you don’t believe that the feds are wasting our money, check out Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn’s report called “Wastebook 2011.” You can easily find it by Googling it, or here is the address: http://tiny url.com/89qxmy6 . Read it and weep! Thanks again, Dave! n Gary Beard, Nampa
I really don't know why I put Gary's letter here except that I think he's a bit misguided when he says "The old axiom defining insanity as doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results couldn’t be any more appropriate in this instance. " The government is not your pocketbook. If the government was, it would only spend what you send in when you pay taxes. Sound good? Not if you are the one who's paying the taxes. Plus, I don't think you can print your own money. The government can. They control the flow of money in this country and taxes have very little to do with it. In fact, taxes is probably the #1 reason we are in the position we are in right now. Let me ellucidate...
The government knows how many tax payers there are in this country. They see the money paid into the coffers each month and base the budget on what is coming in. So far so good, right? Right. But wait... When the year ends, you've got money coming back. Yikes! The government has already spent your money! That's causing a deficit, m'friend.