End the dithering—
staring at an estimated $160 million revenue shortfall next year.
it looks like a deer in the headlights of an oncoming train.
is screaming for leadership, but getting none.
little more than a month until the Legislature convenes, neither Gov.
Dirk Kempthorne nor Republican leaders have put forth any kind of plan
for dealing with the shortfall.
are laying low, saying that it’s the Republican majority’s
responsibility to figure out how to get out of the hole it dug in the
time the ducking and weaving on the state’s toughest issue ended.
has a special obligation to come up with solutions. He created the
problem when he refused to veto a $100 million permanent tax cut passed
by the Legislature. He could have forced a one-time tax cut, or forced
the Legislature to override his veto, but did neither.
his re-election campaign, Kempthorne handed off the hot potato to a
47-member Blue Ribbon committee made up of business leaders, which has
yet to weigh in on the matter.
to legislators last week, he offered nothing more than his promise to
forge an alliance with them to solve the problem.
fire up the forge pretty soon. Barring some economic miracle, the
Legislature will face an unpalatable choice in January: Dismember
critical state programs for schools and other departments, or raise
legislators are whispering—post-election, of course—that a sales tax
increase could make up the shortfall that was created by the income tax
suggestion is so ridiculous—to replace a fair and progressive tax with
a regressive tax that falls on those least able to pay—that it could
be wildly popular in the next Legislative session.
should threaten to veto the idea now—before it goes further.
election is over. It’s time for Idaho leaders to quit dithering—and