Governor Otter recently signed an executive order calling for Idaho state agencies to identify and account for the federal funds they receive. A good idea, but why now? The Idaho Constitution requires a balanced budget but Idaho gets 36 percent of its revenue from D.C. and 40 percent of that money is borrowed, sending Idaho taxpayers further into debt. Over the last 10 years Idaho’s dependence on the federal dollars has increased by 82 percent. So why is the governor just now paying attention to this critical financial vulnerability? Is it because he has been busy with other things like embracing Obamacare, or drafting Common Core standards, or meeting Governor Christie to discuss traffic studies?
The answer is simple. Idaho’s dangerous dependence on federal dollars is now an issue because Senator Russ Fulcher, candidate for governor, has made it an issue. I have talked to Russ about this on several occasions over the last year. I know, firsthand, that Russ Fulcher’s experience in the private sector has given him the insight to know what career politicians often don’t get. He understands that things can change quickly and in a bad direction. Russ Fulcher “gets it.” Russ Fulcher clearly foresees the risk to our fiscal stability and has already taken steps to reduce it. The first step is educating people, including Governor Otter.
We live in uncertain and dangerous times. We need leaders with vision and the confidence to be proactive, not just reactive; to guard and prepare. We need governor Russ Fulcher.