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Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights – April 5, 2010

April 5th, 2010 by Halli

By Representative Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

As I was sitting down to eat Sunday Dinner I couldn’t help but think that it had been a while since the last such dinner at home. I also had to chain the axle of my trusty pickup to the shed to keep it from taking off for Boise this afternoon. With the end of a session comes a “shifting of gears,” as life starts to get back to normal, if there is such a thing at the ranch.

I’ve been reading some of the commentaries on the session and I sometimes wonder if I was in the same place they have been describing. Of most interest has been the criticism of how the majority party is so pessimistic about our state revenues. I would rather call it being cautious, recognizing that overestimating revenues and falling short has a completely different outcome than underestimating and having more funds come in. A special session to increase budgets would be much simpler than having a year full of shortfalls such as we have just been through.

It was the most difficult year I have personally seen and also the busiest. For some reason the session started out being very intense and it finished the same way. State affairs for example, met right up to the last day of the session to accomplish what we were assigned. The issues we heard were more complicated than usual and at times quite controversial. Getting used to our new surroundings also played a role.

Some have said that we should have raised taxes to sustain the activities of government and then the question I have raised with them has been, “Whose taxes should we raise?” Not on them is the most frequent reply. Then on whom should we have raised taxes? The dairy industry is still selling milk at below cost. The potato farmers are selling spuds (if they can find a buyer) for two dollars and under, which is far below the cost of growing them. How about the construction industry? I have neighbors who have not had a project in a year, and have no current prospects on which to bid. And the list goes on.

Some say that we should have done more to improve the economy, and that state government should play a bigger role to help. Does that mean more government involvement in everything? President Ronald Reagan put it best when he said that government is the problem, not the solution.

Linda and I went to Ohio last fall to visit our son Reed and his family who is in anesthesia school. While there we visited Amish country and it was quite the experience for me. He told me that the Amish people are quite well off. He also told me that they have a lot of tax exemptions. They don’t have health insurance. They don’t use the welfare system. They take care of each other. They don’t expect much from government and don’t want much from government. They don’t drive cars but they do hire drivers once in a while. They don’t have electricity in their homes and only use some in some of their businesses. They don’t have tractors. They milk the cows by hand. They use horses for everything. In short they live a simpler life and take care of their own. And they prosper even in these times. We could learn a thing or two from them.

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Posted in Idaho Legislature, Rep. Tom Loertscher | 2 Comments »

2 Responses

  1. IF Thinker Says:

    Tom, You can romanticize the Amish all you want and ignore that they have real issues of drug and alcohol abuse, and a lack of reporting crimes against children, and not to mention they also reap the benefits of things like roads that they do not have to pay for and social services that they use when they want, but please, we would all love it if you moved to Amish country and left Idaho alone.

  2. Linda Says:

    I was’nt surprized to see that Rep.Loertscher voted down the bill the would protect domestic animals from the same cruelty law that protect animals in almost all other states. We here in Idaho will pass a bill to kill wolves to protect livestock but fail to past legislation to protect our own beloved domestic pets.
    Shame on Rep. Loertscher for not even letting the debate begin.

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