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In 2024, let’s do hard things

In 2024, let’s do hard things

Wayne Hoffman
December 29, 2023

Many years ago, a friend of mine had bumper stickers printed up that read, “do hard things.” The point of the stickers’ message is: most everything worth doing is hard. I liked the message so much, it is the one and only bumper sticker I ever put on my car. 

Doing hard things is the story of my ancestors who immigrated to America in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. They didn’t come here to have government take care of them. They did not come here seeking out Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security. Such programs didn’t exist. Similarly, the men and women who journeyed West by foot, wagon train, and locomotive, who built log cabin shacks with their own two hands, did hard things. It would have been easier, and safer, to stay where they were. 

It’s the very essence of the Idaho Freedom Foundation, which figuratively pushes a boulder uphill everyday. We argue for less government in the face of politicians and bureaucrats who are owned by special interests and want something very different. We do hard things. It would be easier to join the throngs of people who want more government, only advocating for “reforming” programs in certain ways in order to avoid dealing with the systemic problems created by government. It would be easier to argue for ways to surrender liberty in the interests of “public safety” or comfort. We choose none of those options. Freedom is hard, but it is also what made America great. 

Doing hard things often yields better results. Given the choice between, say, giving a poor person money and helping that person land a job, the former is often far and away easier, but the latter, though more difficult, reaps better and longer-term rewards.

It’s easier to drop your kids off at a government-run school based on a zip code than it is to teach that child at home or shop for the education that best suits their needs. It’s easier to expand the government medical welfare system than it is to take the time to pay attention to an individuals’ specific concerns, put your own money toward that cause, and get the person the help they actually need. 

We enter 2024 with a nation on the brink of financial collapse. The country is $34 trillion in debt, which equates to about $250,000 per taxpayer. Annual interest on the national debt nearly equal to spending on national defense. Entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security represent the biggest components of the federal budget, and it’s getting larger. 

All the money printing, largely to pay for government welfare programs, has made a dollar today equal to 70 cents compared to 2000; 10 cents compared to 1970; and less than 2 cents compared to 1930. The government is systematically destroying the currency. 

The government education system is badly broken, with about half of Idaho students graduating from public schools unable to read, write, do math, or understand basic science or history. Young people are denied opportunities to work so that they can start saving for college, or to buy a house, or to start a business or family. As a result, depression and anxiety are like a plague on this generation of young people. 

Doing hard things, in this case, means insisting our lawmakers cast the difficult votes necessary to save the country from its own demise: Get the government out of the medical welfare, poverty, and suicide-prevention businesses so that individuals, charities, churches, families, and communities can — as they once did not so long ago — care for the neediest among us. 

Doing hard things means getting government out of the education business and expanding education choice so that parents get their money back, and with that money, be able to buy the education that best suits their childrens’ individual circumstances. 

Doing hard things means trusting parents to know when their kids are ready to work. Freeing young people to start jobs lets them learn valuable skills, appreciate the value of money, and start saving for their futures. It also means trusting students to decide for themselves what their future should look like — instead of dictating to them at a young age that they need to plan for college and career.

In 2024, let’s resolve to do hard things. Future generations will thank us for it.

Idaho Freedom Foundation
802 W. Bannock Street, Suite 405, Boise, Idaho 83702
p 208.258.2280 | e [email protected]
COPYRIGHT © 2024 Idaho freedom Foundation
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