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Posts published in “Day: December 19, 2014”

Hell in a handbasket

rainey BARRETT


We “punditry” types rely on words to praise or condemn when dealing with political, economic or related issues. The words and opinions come easier than facts and, too often, we throw the nouns and adjectives out there and walk away with few facts to support the opining.

But statistics - especially those compiled by people with a dedication to neutrality and letting the numbers speak for themselves - have garnered my respect over the years. While I don’t really understand how they do what they do, I’ve learned to appreciate those who work with numbers. Especially when their findings tend to support what many of us have said for a long, long time. These do.

Idaho is going to Hell in a handbasket.

Those are just my words again. But they’re based squarely on the findings of the Idaho Center For Fiscal Policy. A “gang that can shoot straight.”

Rather than go into all the messy numbers, here are just the headlines from the Center’s latest report.

“Idaho collects less in taxes than all but two other states.”

“Support for Idaho’s schools has been steadily decreasing and is unequal across school districts.”

“Idaho’s support for higher education has dropped sharply, leading to big increases in tuition and fees.”

“Idaho has steadily cut revenues since the late 1990's.”

“Idaho’s low and moderate income residents pay a larger share of their income in taxes than the highest earners”

“Idaho’s per capita income is lower than all but one state - Mississippi.”

Those are their clinical, statistical findings. And they form the factual basis for the words “Idaho: Hell in a handbasket”

To my mind, those six headlines tie together in an endless circle. You can enter the circle at any point and exit randomly. But the pattern of disintegration in Idaho’s economic conditions just goes on and on. Down and down. (more…)

On the front pages


Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

Idaho school broadand at risk in legal fight (Boise Statesman)
Fiesta Bowl tickets caught up in price issue (Boise Statesman)
Money for Hitt Road approved (IF Post Register)
Reviewing community policing in eastern Idaho (IF Post Register)
Group tries to move grizzlies into Selway-Bitterroot (Lewiston Tribune)
Inslee suggests capital gains tax (Lewiston Tribune, Moscow News)
Board of Education urges teacher pay raise (TF Times News)
Christensen named new editor of Times News (TF Times News)

Eugene may annex orchard at Santa Clara (Eugene Register Guard)
Walden visits Klamath, updated on air field (KF Herald & News)
Hurt snowboarder may sue Mt Bachelor (KF Herald & News)
Lowest gas prices in years (Medford Tribune)
Jackson holds off on GMO ban while case in court (Medford Tribune)
Umatilla Tribes buying back land (Pendleton E Oregonian)
State addiction care programs languish (Portland Oregonian)
Uber slows down its plans for Portland (Portland Oregonian)

New taxes in Inslee budget plan (Seattle Times, Spokane Spokesman, Tacoma News Tribune, Everett Herald, Vancouver Columbian, Yakima Herald Republic, Bremerton Sun, Olympian, Longview News)
Poulsbo police station site may become apartments (Bremerton Sun)
Simpson sells mill at Longview, workers stay (Tacoma News Tribune, Longview News)
Debate continues over KapStone health care (Longview News)
Local electric rates set for next year (Port Angeles News)
Spokane transit seeks $300m tax proposal (Spokane Spokesman)