How soon they forget

Pretend for a moment that the 2010 election did not happen and Idaho voters did not send a message. Pretend that Republicans did not make gains to their already overwhelming majority in the Idaho Legislature. Pretend there is once ounce of validity to Boise State University’s phony public-policy survey.

 You have now entered the make-believe world of two leading revisionists, the Idaho Statesman and Democrat Rep. Brian Cronin of Boise.

 The headline in the Statesman’s editorial today screams, “We won’t pay for education? Says who?”

 In a forum with State Supt. Tom Luna on Thursday, Cronin said the Legislature needs to look at new sources for revenue, such as increasing the sales tax or “sin taxes.”

 Cronin doesn’t get it. In the eyes of the Legislature, and the overwhelming majority of Idahoans who voted them in, any tax increase is a sin. He pointed to Boise State’s joke of a survey as evidence that Idahoans support spending money (raising taxes) for education.

 The Statesman correctly points out that voters in a number of school districts, large and small, have approved school levies. That, according to the Statesman, is rock-solid evidence that there is a groundswell of support for higher taxes on the state level.

 “… the takeaway point was clear. Even in trying times and even when school districts’ sole recourse is to collect levies on the always unpopular property tax – Idahoans are generally willing to dig into their wallets.”

 Really? Of course, the Statesman ignores that the elections were held on March 8, and not November when most people vote. Sure, the stakeholders had their say and patrons will be stuck with higher taxes. But the results of a March 8 election have as much validity as BSU’s public-policy survey.

 About the only thing that legislators can look back on for guidance are the results of the November election – when voters sent a crystal-clear message: Hold the line on spending and no new taxes.

 That’s what Republicans pledged to do during the campaign, and they are delivering on that promise today.

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