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Idaho Republicans love to bash Biden but legislate like him 

Idaho Republicans love to bash Biden but legislate like him 

Wayne Hoffman
March 14, 2023

Last year, Gov. Brad Little was one of nearly two dozen Republican governors objecting to President Biden’s student loan forgiveness program. Little called the program unfair and unconstitutional. 

In an interview on NewsMax, Little said, “It’s unfair to the people that didn’t borrow and it’s more unfair to the people that made an extra effort to pay their loans off early.”

He added, “If you make a commitment to borrow money and pay it back and all of a sudden it’s wiped out … I just think that sends a bad message.” 

What Little didn’t say is that he, just months earlier, signed a bill forcing Idaho taxpayers to repay the student loan debts of rural educators. I suspect that Little will sign another student loan forgiveness plan shortly. The Senate gave final approval on Tuesday to legislation that would force taxpayers to cover the student debts of rural nurses. House Bill 213 cleared the Senate on an 18-17 vote, having previously made it through the House 39-30. Big government Republicans joined with big government Democrats to pass this bill.

This is just another example of the duplicitousness of some Idaho elected officials, including Little. It’s very easy to throw stones at Biden for his student loan forgiveness plan, which, as Little said, probably is unconstitutional and faces a U.S. Supreme Court challenge. Many Idahoans have heard about Biden’s debt cancellation program. But I doubt many are aware of Idaho’s, or that at the same time Republicans were attacking Biden, they were embracing the notion that taxpayers should pay back other people’s debts.

Idaho is not alone. Many of the same GOP-controlled states that had words for Biden when his program was unveiled are now also in the process of forgiving student loan debt. In Georgia, for example, Republican Sen. Bo Hatchett introduced legislation to help out law enforcement. 

"Law enforcement officers are critical to the state, but often they are faced with seeking other careers to pay off their loans," Hatchett told the press. "Across the state of Georgia and across the country, we're seeing a shortage of law enforcement officers … who are critical to protecting the citizens of the state and who are heeding the call of public service."

Many of the same comments were made regarding House Bill 213. There’s a shortage of rural nurses, and proponents argued a loan forgiveness plan would help. Opponents argued that the same could be the same for other professions — firefighters, welders, plumbers, and so on. Where does it end? 

And Little was right. It is unfair. It’s unfair to people who never went to college — the barista at the coffee shop, the auto mechanic, the farmhand — now have to pay for someone else’s college education. 

This is the very definition of socialism — “from each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs” — and it’s being practiced by Idaho politicians who claim they’re conservatives. It’s legalized theft, taking from people who earned money and giving it to selected special interests who didn’t under the force of law. 

In truth, the only conservative skill some of these politicians have is the ability to bash Biden. Beyond the rhetoric, they govern exactly the way he does. 

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