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Idaho Freedom Foundation

Note: In order to take the Idaho Freedom Foundation survey, I had to mark one of the predetermined choices for each question.  For all questions, I marked the choice "I am not sure/undecided".  This was not because I am unsure or undecided; in fact I am completely sure and quite decided on all issues involved.  The problem was that all choices would misrepresent my actual position, even if they were close.  I stated my position in the additional comments section along with the following explanation, "I am completely sure and quite decided on this issue.  All predetermined options misrepresent my actual position."

This copy of the survey simply shows the options that were presented with my position in the additional comments section.

Candidate Survey

The Affordable Care Act calls for an expanded Medicaid program to include people earning more money than allowed under the current program for the poor and disabled. In 2015, the Legislature will face with the question of whether to accept or reject the expansion of Medicaid. Supporters of the expansion note that the federal government has promised to pay 100 percent of the cost of the expansion for the next few years. They also argue that Idaho taxpayers already provide services for this population via county medical indigent programs. Opponents argue that the state can barely afford Medicaid as it is and say the federal government is broke and in no position to offer a new entitlement program. They also say the county medical indigent program is broken anyway and should be fixed, not covered up with another entitlement. Do you support or oppose Idaho expanding Medicaid?

  • I support Idaho expanding Medicaid
  • I oppose Idaho expanding Medicaid
  • I am not sure/undecided

Please include any additional comments related to this question here.

I support eliminating Medicaid completely.  The proper role of government does not include running welfare programs.

Under the Affordable Care Act, states were asked to create a state insurance exchange, but if a state did not, the federal government stepped in to develop and run the insurance exchange in that state. During the 2013 legislative session, the Legislature implemented a "state exchange" in Idaho. In 2015, legislation may be brought forward to reverse that decision. Supporters of a state exchange say Idahoans are better suited to run the government program than the federal government. Opponents of a state exchange say the state doesn't really have control over what the exchange does and that resistance to the exchange is one of the best ways to continue the fight against the health care law. Do you support or oppose repealing Idaho's state insurance exchange?

  • I support repealing Idaho's state insurance exchange
  • I oppose repealing Idaho's state insurance exchange
  • I am not sure/undecided

Please include any additional comments related to this question here.

Repealing the state exchange does not go far enough.  We also should nullify the federal exchange and repeal all insurance regulations.

One of the biggest issues lawmakers face each year is public education funding. Supporters of restoring the K-12 funding to pre-recession levels say that any cuts to the budget greatly impact student learning in the classroom. Opponents to the restoration of funding levels argue that administration, overhead and other ed-related programs should be scrutinized to ensure taxpayers are not paying the bill for wasteful or unnecessary expenditures. During the next legislative session, what should Idaho do regarding K-12 education spending?

  • Greatly DECREASE public education spending
  • Slightly DECREASE public education spending
  • Keep the level of public education spending the same
  • INCREASE public education spending based solely on the increase in enrollment
  • Slightly INCREASE public education spending
  • Greatly INCREASE public education spending
  • I am not sure/undecided

Please include any additional comments related to this question here.

Idaho should return public education to the private sector.  All public funding and control over education should be eliminated.  Consuming two-thirds of the state budget, public education is the ultimate welfare program.

Each year, the Legislature is asked how to fund public college education. Supporters of increased spending in higher education argue that the state should assist in reducing the student's share of the education cost, while opponents say that the students should be paying for more of their own education. They argue that if more of the share is placed on the student there will be a focused effort to complete school and the institution will find ways to keep costs down to attract more students. During the next legislative session, what should Idaho do about funding for public colleges and universities?

  • Greatly DECREASE public higher education spending
  • Slightly DECREASE public higher education spending
  • Keep the level of public higher education spending the same
  • INCREASE public higher education spending based solely on the increase in enrollment
  • Slightly INCREASE public higher education spending
  • Greatly INCREASE public higher education spending
  • I am not sure/undecided

Please include any additional comments related to this question here.

All public institutions of higher education should be privatized, with all public funding and control eliminated.

Throughout the last decade, the Idaho Legislature has considered education tax credits in various forms to enhance school choice for those parents and students who prefer alternatives to public education. Supporters say such tax credits expand nonpublic school options to students who otherwise can't afford it. Opponents suggest that diverting money from public education to fund education tax credits or other school choice options will result in public schools being underfunded. Do you support or oppose Idaho adopting an education tax credit program?

  • I support Idaho adopting an education tax credit program
  • I oppose Idaho adopting an education tax credit program
  • I am not sure/undecided

Please include any additional comments related to this question here.

An education tax credit would simply expand government control over education, turning public education alternatives into public school choices.  For anyone who really cares about parental rights and quality education, the only real choice is to eliminate public education.

The issue of Common Core education standards and, more broadly, education standards in general, has come under increased scrutiny in recent years due to revelations that the standards significantly change how traditional subjects such as math are taught, include controversial curriculum materials and suggested readings, and rely heavily on lengthy and largely experimental standardized tests. Supporters see the standards as advantageous because they make it easier for students to transfer between districts and even states, but critics see a loss of local control and increased centralization combined with a move away from traditional education and toward government-centric propaganda. What should Idaho do about Common Core and education standards?

  • I support Idaho's adoption of the Common Core standards, and I see no reason to modify them at this time
  • I support Idaho's adoption of the Common Core standards to a degree, but there is certainly room for modification and improvement
  • I support Idaho's adoption of the Common Core standards to a degree, but I oppose the standardized tests that are currently included
  • I oppose Idaho's adoption of the Common Core standards, but I am supportive of state standards and standardized tests that apply to all districts
  • I oppose Idaho's adoption of the Common Core standards and standardized tests in general, but I am supportive of state standards that apply to all districts
  • I oppose Idaho's adoption of the Common Core standards, I oppose standardized tests and I oppose centralized standards of any kind. All education decisions should be made at the district level
  • I oppose Idaho's adoption of the Common Core standards, I oppose standardized tests and I oppose centralized standards of any kind. All education decisions should be made by teachers, parents and students
  • I am not sure/undecided

Please include any additional comments related to this question here.

Common Core is yet another tool designed to increase control over public thought patterns for nefarious political purposes.  All educational decisions for children properly belong to their parents.

Under a 1961 state law, Idaho prohibits the purchase and sale of health insurance across state lines. Critics of this law believe it is bad for free market competition and causes higher prices and reduced choices, while proponents claim it helps safeguard the public from bad insurance policies. Do you support or oppose legislation that would permit purchase of health insurance across state lines?

  • I support allowing individuals to purchase health insurance from any state
  • I support allowing individuals to purchase health insurance across state lines, but only from companies approved by the Idaho Department of Insurance
  • I oppose allowing individuals to purchase health insurance across state lines
  • I am not sure/undecided

Please include any additional comments related to this question here.

A truly free market, which I support, is one free from all government regulations.  The proper role of government in a free market economy is to punish crime.  Using language like "allow" presupposes that government has the authority to grant permission, rather than recognizing our inalienable individual rights.

Idaho lawmakers are regularly presented with proposals to increase taxes on products such as cigarettes, beer and wine—known as "sin taxes." Supporters of higher taxes say those taxes will help cut down on the use of products and raise revenue to finance state-funded services including those used by smokers and drinkers. Opponents say higher taxes limit individual freedom, injure Idaho businesses and ultimately have little impact on drinking and smoking because people who use these products find other, less expensive ways to get their product while avoiding the increased tax. What should Idaho do with these taxes?

  • Taxes on beer, wine and/or cigarettes should be increased
  • Taxes on beer, wine and/or cigarettes should remain the same
  • Taxes on beer, wine and/or cigarettes should be lowered
  • All special taxes on beer, wine and/or cigarettes should be eliminated, and they should be taxed at the same rate as all other consumable commodities
  • I am not sure/undecided

Please include any additional comments related to this question here.

The state should not tax any commodities.  I support the elimination of all current taxation schemes utilized by the state, and propose instead a voluntary capitation tax.

As the share of online product sales continues to grow, some have argued that Idaho should require out-of-state businesses to collect Idaho's sales tax on items Idahoans buy online. Supporters of this proposal say the lack of a sales tax for online purchases puts Idaho businesses at a competitive disadvantage. Opponents argue that it is unreasonable to make businesses collect taxes when almost no government services are required from an Internet transaction and they also suggest that the revenue will only serve to grow government. Do you support or oppose requiring out-of-state businesses to collect Idaho sales tax for purchases made by Idahoans?

  • I support requiring out-of-state businesses to collect Idaho sales tax for online sales
  • I oppose requiring out-of-state businesses to collect Idaho sales tax for online sales
  • I am not sure/undecided

Please include any additional comments related to this question here.

I support the complete elimination of all sales taxes.

In 2014 (and in many other years as well) the Idaho Legislature passed targeted tax incentives that supporters claimed would encourage economic development. The Legislature has also used other redistributive fiscal tools such as the Workforce Development Training Fund to transfer tax money to private businesses. Supporters have claimed that targeted tax incentives and other such fiscal policies help Idaho compete with other states. Opponents argued that these narrowly focused programs were actually corporate welfare and social engineering designed to prod businesses into doing those actions or expanding in a manner that the Legislature believes is desirable. Opponents also said the tax incentives serve to pick winners and losers and put smaller businesses at a disadvantage. Do you support or oppose the Idaho Legislature implementing targeted tax incentives and/or other redistributive fiscal policies for certain businesses or activities?

  • I support targeted tax incentives and/or other redistributive fiscal policies for certain businesses or activities
  • I oppose targeted tax incentives and/or other redistributive fiscal policies for certain businesses or activities
  • I am not sure/undecided

Please include any additional comments related to this question here.

Government needs to completely stop trying to regulate business, including the "encouragement" of economic development.  I oppose taxing businesses at all.

In lieu of targeted tax incentives for certain businesses or activities, some have advocated for broad tax cuts such as eliminating the sales tax on groceries, reducing/eliminating the corporate income tax or reducing the individual income tax rate. Do you support or oppose the Idaho Legislature implementing broad tax cuts?
You can select multiple answers for this question.

  • I never met a tax cut I didn't like
  • I support eliminating the sales tax on groceries
  • I support reducing or eliminating the corporate income tax
  • I support reducing the individual income tax rate
  • I oppose reducing the individual income tax rate
  • I oppose reducing or eliminating the corporate income tax
  • I oppose eliminating the sales tax on groceries
  • I believe Idaho taxes are just fine how they are
  • I believe Idaho needs some tax increases
  • I am not sure/undecided

Please include any additional comments related to this question here.

It doesn't do much good to talk about tax cuts without addressing spending.  We need to drastically cut spending and return government to it's proper role.  I support the elimination of all current tax schemes and propose that they be replaced with a voluntary capitation tax.

In recent years the Idaho Land Board has been acquiring commercial properties in addition to the timber land that it has historically owned. Supporters of this increased diversification see it as a way of complying with the constitutional mandate that the Land Board endeavor to maximize its return. Critics argue that government ownership of commercial property puts Idaho on the "slippery slope" to socialism and that government-owned businesses don't pay property tax and, therefore, have an unfair advantage compared to private businesses. Do you support or oppose the Idaho Land Board owning or continuing to acquire commercial property?

  • I support the Idaho Land Board owning and continuing to acquire commercial property
  • I support the Idaho Land Board continuing to maintain ownership of its existing commercial property, but oppose it acquiring any additional such assets
  • I oppose the Idaho Land Board continuing to acquire commercial property and I believe it should divest itself of all such existing assets as soon as practicable
  • I am not sure/undecided

Please include any additional comments related to this question here.

I believe government should only own land if it is necessary to carry out the proper role of government.  The state has no business owning the vast majority of the lands that it does, and it should divest itself of them.

During nearly every legislative session, one or more proposals to regulate new industries under Idaho's occupational licensing board are brought forward for consideration.  Supporters of these laws argue that they ensure quality and uniformity and protect customers from dangerous or poorly performed services. Critics argue that these laws infringe upon the free market, impose excessive fees and regulations on service providers and prevent voluntary transactions between consenting individuals. Do you support or oppose Idaho adopting additional occupational licensing mandates?

  • I support Idaho adopting additional occupational licensing mandates
  • I oppose Idaho adopting additional occupational licensing mandates
  • I not only oppose Idaho adopting additional occupational licensing mandates, but I advocate repealing some of the existing ones as well
  • I am not sure/undecided

Please include any additional comments related to this question here.

Occupational licensing is an intrusion by government in the free market.  It is wrong for all occupations and I support the repeal of the entire occupational licensing code.

In recent years, Idaho has seen a steady increase in the percentage of its total budget that is paid for with federal funds. While some see this as Idaho getting its fair share of a growing federal budget, critics suggest that this trend is putting Idaho in a dangerous position of dependency that could come to an abrupt halt if the federal government's debt-financed and profligate spending is finally curtailed. Do you see this increase in federal funding in Idaho as a problem that needs to be addressed?

  • Yes. Idaho's dependence on federal funding is problematic and needs to be addressed
  • No. Idaho's dependence on federal funding is not particularly concerning
  • I am not sure/undecided

Please include any additional comments related to this question here.

Idaho is only dependent on federal funds if the programs and agencies that use them are necessary, which they are not.  In fact, these agencies and programs need to be eliminated, as they violate the principles of good government.  Idaho should not be receiving funding from the federal government.

While it would not inherently curtail or reduce federal funding in Idaho, some who are concerned about the issue have suggested that the state should pass legislation that formalizes the review process for new grants, and that, at a minimum, determine what the grants received by the state are, whether the state will be able to discontinue a federally funded program at any time and what contingency arrangements have been made or need to be made in the event the federal government stops funding the program. Do you support or oppose Idaho passing such legislation?

  • I support Idaho passing legislation that formalizes the review process for new grants
  • I oppose Idaho passing legislation that formalizes the review process for new grants
  • I am not sure/undecided

Please include any additional comments related to this question here.

Idaho needs to get completely out of the business of running programs on behalf of the federal government.  There would be no need for review processes if that happened.

In order to protect Idaho from being cut off from its single most significant source of funding, it has been suggested that the state should refine its statutes to give less power to agencies and their directors to accept federal grants. Supporters say that because the acceptance of a grant is a major commitment on the part of a state government, broad powers allowing an agency official to apply for and accept a grant should be curtailed, providing lawmakers with adequate opportunity to make their own decision. Opponents say agency directors need flexibility to determine what grants they need and make application, rather than wait for lawmakers to consider requests in January. Do you support or oppose Idaho passing legislation to reduce the power of agencies to seek and accept federal grants without direct legislative oversight?

  • I support Idaho passing legislation to reduce the power of agencies to seek and accept federal grants without direct legislative oversight
  • I oppose Idaho passing legislation to reduce the power of agencies to seek and accept federal grants without direct legislative oversight
  • I am not sure/undecided

Please include any additional comments related to this question here.

The legislature should define anything and everything an agency is authorized to do.  Accepting federal grants is not something any agency should be authorized to do.

Although private sector entities have moved away from defined benefit pension plans toward defined contribution plans due to the volatility of the market and the unanticipated costs that defined benefit plans so often entail, public sector entities still frequently offer defined benefit pension plans to their employees. Proponents of this system believe that a generous benefits package encourages quality employees to apply and that defined benefit pension plans increase retention rates. Critics point to the unsustainability of such systems and point out that longer life spans and low interest rates are causing defined benefit pension plans to cost taxpayers far more than originally anticipated. Do you support or oppose state and local governments in Idaho transitioning to defined contribution pension plans?

  • I support state and local governments in Idaho transitioning to defined contribution plans, but only for new employees. All existing employees should get to keep their defined benefit plans
  • I support state and local governments in Idaho transitioning to defined contribution plans for new and recent employees. Those who have been employed for a while should get to keep their defined benefit plans
  • I support state and local governments in Idaho transitioning to defined contribution plans for most employees. Only those who are near retirement should keep their defined benefit plans
  • I oppose state and local governments in Idaho transitioning to defined contribution plans. Our current system is fine
  • I am not sure/undecided

Please include any additional comments related to this question here.

Government needs to stop acting like a business and thinking that it should compete like a business when it comes to human resources.  I believe that government employees should not receive any benefits, including retirement plans.  They should be paid a fair wage that reflects the additional money spent on such benefits.  Benefits are simply another way of controlling the way someone spends their money, and I believe that individuals should be free to spend their earnings how they see fit.

Although urban renewal was originally crafted as a way to flight "urban blight," today its proponents see it as an economic development tool that allows governments to use anticipated future tax revenue to help bankroll large projects (often for private companies.) While supporters of these programs believe they are contributing to economic growth, detractors point out that the tax increment financing (TIF) used to fund these projects is based on estimates of future growth rather than guarantees and that, even under the best of circumstances, property taxes elsewhere must often be increased to fund increased public services required in urban renewal districts (URDs). Do you support or oppose the creation of URDs and the use of TIF?

  • I support the creation of URDs and the use of TIF as an economic development tool
  • I support the creation of URDs and the use of TIF, but only to fight actual instances of blight
  • I support the creation of URDs and the use of TIF, but only if they are approved by a majority vote of the people
  • I support the creation of URDs and the use of TIF, but only if they are approved by a two-thirds majority vote of the people
  • I oppose the creation of new URDs and the use of TIF, but I believe that we should allow existing URDs to continue to take on new projects
  • I oppose the creation of URDs and the use of TIF, and I advocate halting new projects and winding down existing URDs as quickly as practicable   
  • I am not sure/undecided

Please include any additional comments related to this question here.

Urban blight is an indirect result of government planning in the first place, so it should come as no surprise that government has a "solution" for it.  Urban renewal violates the proper role of government by interfering with free market forces.  I support the complete repeal of urban renewal laws, and believe that all such activities should be halted immediately.