FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 10, 2024
During the COVID years, the State of Idaho accepted $22.9 billion of federal money, including billions of dollars of Federal American Rescue Plan money. The legislature outright admitted in the bill that “ARPA funds are borrowed from our grandchildren.” Idaho is now channeling these funds into substantial new government programs while offering very little tax relief.
Governor Brad Little laid out his vision for Idaho on Monday afternoon, and unsurprisingly, it includes even more government spending. With inflation still making life difficult for Idahoans and with economic uncertainty on the horizon, the governor is once again borrowing from our grandchildren by depending on federal funding. The irony is stark: the governor criticizes the federal government's debt while embracing it to fund 43% of Idaho's budget.
Despite the governor's statement that “In Idaho, we live within our means. We deliver tax relief while making meaningful investments, we maintain a balanced budget, and we keep responsible amounts in reserve,” the reality is that with $34 trillion of federal debt, this practice is far from fiscally responsible and conflicts with sound economic principles. The runaway freight train of federal spending has got to stop, and it's time to reevaluate these fiscal choices.
The Idaho Freedom Caucus has a different vision for Idaho. Whereas the governor continues to use federal money to supplement state revenues, members of the Idaho Freedom Caucus firmly believe that our state's sovereignty and future prosperity depend on minimizing dependency upon the federal government. Our members are actively working on trimming government bureaucracy, streamlining state agencies, and bringing real tax relief to Idahoans rather than simply shifting the burden around.
It’s become too easy for politicians to mortgage our grandchildren's future with short-term spending. While the governor may not be accountable when the bill comes due, our children and grandchildren will suffer the consequences of a broken economy. Government spending is a runaway train—the Idaho Freedom Caucus acts as the brakes. We will continue to support responsible government for essential services, but we will not tolerate continued reckless spending that will burden future generations.
The best investment the State of Idaho can make is to allow you to keep more of your money to build an inheritance for your family, not to spend more of your money on bloated bureaucracy. Governor Little was right when he said that “unbridled federal spending is crippling American families,” but we wish he understood that his own spending proposals are just as dangerous. Using federal money to continue growing the government is a house of cards that won’t last forever. (And on the horizon is a digital currency that the IDFC will vigorously oppose.)
The Idaho Freedom Caucus has a better way, involving real reform and fiscal discipline rather than tax shifts and shell games. We can build a prosperous state without mortgaging our grandchildren’s future. By staying true to our principles, we will make Idaho the ultimate haven of freedom and responsibility in America.
In this session, we will offer bills to protect our constitutional rights, create more fiscal responsibility, transparency, and accountability in government, restore quality education, and support and protect families and children.
Stay tuned as we continue to share our commitment to a FREE IDAHO.
Rep. Heather Scott (208) 920-3120HScott@house.idaho.gov
Sen. Tammy Nichols (208) 249-6290TNichols@senate.idaho.gov