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Otter Finally Gets His Conscience Back?

March 22nd, 2007 by Halli

News flash: according to the Spokesman Review blog, Governor Butch Otter has just vetoed the bill banning smoking in bowling alleys, House Bill 121.

Lest you jump to conclusions about Otter returning to his “libertarian roots”, listen first to his stated reason for the veto: if the legislature refuses to give him his targeted grocery sales tax rebate, on the grounds that it is “social engineering”, he refuses to give them their smoking ban, on the grounds that it is interference with private property, lawful business activity and therefore also social engineering.

Remember that Otter also vetoed the legislature’s version of grocery sales tax relief, HB 81a. Otter wanted the poor to receive higher grocery tax rebates, and the middle and upper income to lose all grocery tax relief. The bill the legislature sent him called for increased (though lower than Otter wanted) rebates for all Idahoans, since all pay it. Otter vetoed the legislature’s bill, saying it cost too much. (Since when did giving taxpayers their money back “cost too much”?)

In other words, in vetoing the smoking ban Otter did the right thing for the wrong reason. Instead of taking the opportunity to champion personal freedoms and private property rights, Otter uses the occasion to push his clearly unfair grocery tax rebate.

Butch, stop a moment and take a look at yourself. Fair is fair, regardless of it’s cost. Don’t let your pride bury your principles!

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Posted in Idaho Legislature, Politics in General, Property Rights, Taxes | No Comments »

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