Statist of the Week: Idaho senators blocks sensible bill

April 16, 2021

And it’s time once again for our Statist of the Week! 

Once again, there is an intense competition for this prize. Everyone (apparently) wants to hold the honor of being the biggest defender of Big Government and entrenched special interests. 

But this week’s winner is … State Senator Patti Anne Lodge. 

Lodge is the chairman of the Senate State Affairs Committee. But she’s not only the chairman of the committee. In her mind, that makes her the self-appointed decider of all public policy related to state government. 

She has thus decided to deny a hearing to a simple bill that would let the state treasurer decide whether to protect some of Idaho’s investments with an allocation to gold and silver.

Why is this important? Have you noticed that the federal government keeps printing money? And is likely to print even more money? This means that the value of your dollar keeps going down. It means that the value of the money in the state treasury keeps going down, especially as it achieves a ridiculously low “yield” that is way lower than the rate of inflation. 

As the real value of the state’s savings is whittled away, that impacts the taxes you would be asked to pay to sustain state services. 

House Bill 7 overwhelmingly passed the other chamber in early February and has wasted away on Senator Lodge’s desk since.

The bill would give the State Treasurer’s office one more investment option. Precious metals: gold and silver. It would not require the Treasurer to buy gold or silver. It just gives her the opportunity to manage the Gem State’s exposure to fiat currencies a bit better, where needed. 

But Lodge is telling supporters of the bill there won’t even be a hearing on the bill. And next year … well, she might hold an information session involving the State Treasurer’s activities. Meaning, probably she won’t consider the bill next year 

(Although we understand that the House sponsor was asked to trade his position on another bill in order to get a senate hearing on H7, in true swamp-like fashion.  And as a matter of principle, he wouldn’t.) either. 

Lodge has acknowledged she’s gotten a ton of phone calls and emails from Idahoans in support of the legislation. But Lodge is smarter than Idahoans. She gets to act unilaterally, and with impunity.  Not even her senate colleagues on the committee get a say.

But the action that nudged Lodge into top consideration for this week’s “Statist of the Week” award is this: In an email to an Idaho employer in which she revealed she’d be keeping House Bill 7 under lock and key indefinitely, she signed off with “My best wishes for your continued success in paying lots of taxes in IDAHO.” 

Who does that? Best wishes for continued success paying lots of taxes? Only a statist would wish someone success in paying lots of taxes. 

Because that’s what statists do. 

And that’s why Patti Anne Lodge is this week’s Statist of the Week. 
Who should get the honor next time? Let me know by writing an email, [email protected]. Unlike others, I’ll actually give your ideas a hearing. Until next time.

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