Idaho Does Not Technically Have A Budget Surplus.
Shocking, I know. This past week the Idaho House passed a bill that will lower very slightly the income tax rate because the governor anticipates a $1.9 billion budget “surplus” this year. House Bill 436 contains slight income tax reduction and a one-time $350 million in tax rebates.
Here is the problem, Idaho’s financial report shows that the state received $14.8 billion in revenues last year, including sales and income taxes, against $12.7 billion in expenses. But included in the revenues was over $6 billion of federal “money”. Last year, much of this was Covid relief funds created by the Fed, and this year Idaho anticipates another almost $6 billion of ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds created by the Congress and the Fed out of thin air.
Some Republicans claim we should take all the federal money we can get because it is our taxpayer money being returned to us. But, when the federal government creates money out of whole cloth, it is not current taxpayer revenues. For every dollar the federal government spends, 43 cents is national debt.
Those 43 federal cents on each federal dollar will be charged to our children and grandchildren. They will have to pay it in taxes. So, in Idaho’s revenues, 43% of revenues are from the federal government, and 43% of that is borrowed against future generations and doesn’t exist today. That means last year as much as $2.7 billion of Idaho’s $2.1 billion surplus (yes, do THAT math) was actually debt. Idaho’s budget is actually in the red.
In other words, Idaho is actually in debt because much of the federal money that Idaho counts as “revenues” is debt for future taxpayers to pay off. The current national debt is just shy of $30 trillion now, and there is no end in sight of the accumulating debt.
We are also giving away our state’s constitutional authority to the Federal government.
Every dollar we take of federal money usually agrees to allow the feds to have some control over the programs being paid for. A simple example is Child Protective Services – Congress passed a child protection law and gives money to Idaho in return for Idaho implementing federally recommended procedures and programs.
Most of these monies and programs are found nowhere in the constitution as an authority of the Congress nor the federal government’s agencies. In exchange for the money then, Idaho is ignoring the limited role the federal government was given in the US constitution.
It would be a principle of mine, if elected, to help turn this around. I also believe in the principles of the Idaho Republican Party Platform, which states very clearly “We believe the size and cost of government, as well as the national debt, must be reduced”.
Have you noticed that for years Republicans have stopped talking about the mounting national debt?
There is much more about fiscal responsibility in the Idaho Republican party platform, and most of it is being ignored by the Republicans in leadership in Idaho’s government.