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Posts published in “Day: December 9, 2013”

Dwelling in Beulah land

carlson CHRIS


Occasionally my dear departed mother would turn and say “quit dwelling in Beulah land.” It means get out of your fantasy world and start dealing with reality; work with facts, not fantasies.

There’s a major disconnect between the real and the surreal is another way of stating it.

If ever there is a walking personification of this it is Idaho’s charming but terribly out of it governor, C.L. “Butch” Otter.

Perusing a copy of the North Idaho Business Journal’s December issue recently, I came across a “no coincidences” juxtaposition of an article and an ad. The top of the page was a headline from a speech to a business group by Governor Otter. It said “Otter: D.C. Can Learn from Idaho.”

The bottom half was an ad by the “Don’t Fail Idaho” campaign financed by the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation. Headlined “We Fail, She Loses,” the ad portrayed a young child looking quite pensive, as she should given the deplorable record established by the governor and his fellow travelers for starving systematically state support for public education.

As the ad says, our children will be the ones to carry Idaho forward. It continues: But when it comes to preparing them for the challenges ahead, Idaho is falling behind. Education Week ranked Idaho 48thnationally. And only 1 in 10 Idaho high school freshmen are graduating from college with a degree. . . . .

We can do better. . . . Let’s get to an educated state.

Turn now to the governor’s speech. Incredibly, he brags about having inherited a $3.2 billion budget in 2007 but by 2010 having reduced it to $2.2 billion. In reality this is bragging about having eviscerated public k-12 and higher education. Its chutzpah reflecting misplaced priorities and a distorted world view.

The governor rationalizes his administration figured out what was truly “necessary” as opposed to what was “nice.” By his definition adequate supplies for school children and decent salaries for teachers are nice but not necessities. He is claiming he found $1 billion worth of “nice.”

Then he repeats the Big Republican Lie - but we didn’t increase your taxes! Pure balderdash. Almost 3 out of four Idaho school districts passed supplemental levies to replace the funding cut by the state. That’s a tax pure and simple directly attributable to the parsimonious governor and a cohort of education hating legislators. (more…)