A pre-response to Gov. Little’s upcoming State of the State address

A pre-response to Gov. Little’s upcoming State of the State address

Wayne Hoffman
January 10, 2022
Wayne Hoffman
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January 10, 2022

There’s a possibility that I’m completely wrong about what Gov. Brad Little will say and propose in his State of the State address today. But Little has dropped enough clues over the years that I think it’s fairly reasonable to release my response before he gives his speech. If I’m wrong and I need to change it, I will. For now, here it is: 

“I’m going to pretend to be shocked that Gov. Little didn’t propose eliminating the grocery tax. After all, the state’s budget surplus is more than six times what it would be to get rid of the tax. And as we all know, the grocery tax is hurting Idahoans even more today, given that inflation is driving up the cost to feed a family. 

“When Little was running for governor in 2018, he said he supported getting rid of the grocery tax, so it’s disappointing that he’s not honoring that promise.

“It would be another matter if the governor needed to keep the grocery tax in order to make another, more dramatic shift in tax policy, like getting rid of the income tax or the property tax. But he instead opted to just lower the income tax a little. That’s not to say that the governor’s tax relief plan isn’t welcome news, it’s just not ambitious enough.

“It’s also concerning that instead of giving Idahoans a more dramatic tax cut, he’s decided to use some of our hard-earned money to grow government. The biggest complaint is the addition of a new government housing program. It’s a shame that my money will be taken from me in order to pay for someone else’s housing. Affordable housing is a problem, but most of the blame rests with government programs, laws, and taxes. More government won’t make matters better; it’ll just make politicians feel better about themselves and help collect campaign donations.

“In all, the governor proposes too much spending. A good candidate for less money was Idaho’s public colleges and universities. Just as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is taking on social justice indoctrination in education, it would have been nice to see Little do the same, and he has good reason to.  

“Last year, Little signed a bill to cut $2.5 million from higher education social justice programs. But the university presidents decided they’d just disregard that instruction. The social justice programs that were in place last year on Idaho’s college campuses still persist. The schools even continue to ask job candidates to sign woke diversity and inclusion pledges as a condition of employment. 

“It’s also unfortunate that Little’s plan for the K-12 government school system is more of the same, more money tied to a basket of empty promises about performance and achievement that will never come true. Gov. Little also had an opportunity to use the budget surplus to eliminate the financial hold the federal government exerts over our schoolhouses and schoolchildren, but didn't.

“It would have been nice if the governor got behind the growing Idaho movement to expand school choice through the addition of an education savings account system that lets the money follow students to the school or education resource that best serves their needs. 

“That’s not even a terribly original proposal; students in other states benefit from ESAs already, but Idaho students don’t have the same opportunity. 

"An original, welcome idea would have been for the governor to propose adding Bitcoin to the state’s balance sheet so as to protect the state from government inflationary policies. Our state government should not sit and act helpless when it comes to the federal money printer and its impact on Idahoans. That's also not among Little's recommendations. 

“Finally, I’d point out that even though the governor delivered the same, predictable government-centric plan for 2022, lawmakers are not bound to his recommendations. They still have an opportunity to go another direction, and give the residents of Idaho something different in the form of real conservative policy solutions."

View Comments
  • Carolyn says:

    What a loser. Bundy for governor.

  • john livingston says:

    You mention nothing about the Governor's Covid response or the collusion between State Agencies---DHW and Dept. of Insurance and Education, and the large hospital systems and insurance carriers and local school boards and teachers' unions. The significant issues that need to be addressed this session are corruption and collusion and how this is hurting Idaho families.

    • Bee says:


    • Bobby W says:

      Complain to the AG office, Dr Linenstone. You're alleging criminal conduct. I would absolutely LOVE to hear your specific allegations of criminal behavior by the Idaho govt. Start with the Idaho Penal Code and tell us the indictment you would pursue if you were The AG.

      • john livingston says:

        Maybe when Raul becomes AG that would be an avenue worth pursuing. Until then I would suggest that all government agencies and those private entities that they do business with who are involved in over $100million of government transfer payments be required to undergo signed partners independent audits on an annual basis to be made available to the people of Idaho through their legislators. At least this year with a $1.6billion surplus in the State Budget the money for those audits should be available. If no legislation comes forward regarding such audits, then our questions will have been answered. Individuals receiving such payments of over $1million should be required annually to submit a Statement of Financial Position. Reconciling accounts and looking for fraud, abuse and or waste is always a promising idea. When the government agency that regulates your industry also disperses transfer funds, and when an industry contributes to the political campaigns of legislators who are responsible for the oversite of government agencies, the conditions are ripe for shenanigan's. I believe the predicate for my suspicions is well founded.
        Don't you?

      • john says:

        Bobby W to complete my response below. I am not a lawyer. The legal issues that you refer to are not for me to comment on. Both corruption and collusion can be legal or illegal. The moral and legal standards are different, but even if legal they can be damaging to individuals and society. Hitler and Stalin and many other modern-day despots operated within a legal framework that allowed them to murder and starve and imprison millions of people. Corruption, collusion, conspiracy, calumnae, all are wrong and immoral. Their legality is another issue.

      • john says:


        This is what government oversight looks like. Up and down the supply chain of drugs and medical supplies there is corruption. Our State and Federal governments use taxpayer money to pay for Medicare and Medicaid and Tri-Care and VA benefits. Negotiated contracts are never reviewed, and patients without insurance pay "list prices". And the beat goes on.

  • Bruce Hendricks says:

    It is time freedom lovers to stop pinning their hopes on the GOP, at least at the national level (their hopeless for the most part), but even, to some degree at the state level. Gov. Small is what he appears to be; a not very imaginative or bright big government politician, who is able to pass himself as a small government advocate. Hence no elimination of the highly regressive grocery tax, no advocacy of offering options to the government school paradigm, and a continuation of the Covid tyranny, including ludicrous ongoing "emergency" powers almost two years after his soft lockdown of Idaho's economy.

    To the extent that our problems can be addressed through the political process, people need to think locally and act locally by getting liberty minded folks elected to city councils and other city officials. And make sure your sheriff is sympathetic to resisting federal tyranny. Continue to work to rid the state GOP of lazy milk toast or corrupt lawmakers (see Scott Bedke for example) who will sell the good guys out at the drip of a hat. Educate the state lawmakers on the concept of nullification as a tool to push back against Federal tyranny. These are a few suggestions, but there are obviously other excellent ideas as well to use in the fight to keep what remain of our rights.

    In any event, the time invested in deriving possible solutions to our problems is much more valuable then the time spent listening to a bland and lackluster grifter such as Gov. Small.

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