The Idaho delegation of Sens. Jim Risch and Mike Crapo and Rep. Raul Labrador made a principled stance against financial insanity, said enough is enough and voted nay. Insanity, as described by the late Albert Einstein, is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
Our federal government is borrowing 42 cents of every dollar we are spending, and our national debt now matches our gross domestic output. If we ran our households in this fashion, we would be bankrupt. The United States is about leaving something for the next generation to build on. Our delegations vote is a vote to ensure that the legacy left to us by generations past is carried forward. We cannot, and should not, saddle future generations with our debt. Doing so ensures a forfeit of personal responsibility and sets the legacy we are leaving on a crash course toward a never-ending dependency on the government.
America needs to be put back to work and it is the private sector that makes this economic engine roar to life. Today, America enjoys the highest standard of living and the cleanest environment in the world. Sadly, government intrusions with high taxes, out-of-control spending and intrusive regulations are curtailing this engine. We have proven we can protect the environment and produce from our lands. However, radical environmental extremists are hell bent on curtailing economic activity and destroying the independent spirit that is the foundation of the American dream. Take a look at Montana, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. Wildfires destroy essential wildlife habitat and our national treasures go up in smoke, all in the name of caring for the environment.
Entire forests burn and not one mention from Al Gore and his climate change buddies about harmful greenhouse gases being emitted into the atmosphere. This represents the lefts total hypocrisy and irresponsibility to future generations.
This will come to Idaho soon enough. Just fly over Red River to Challis up to Salmon and on into Hamilton, Darby and Missoula, Mont., and what you will see is an ecological disaster waiting to happen. The potential for this fire to rage will make the Big Burn look like a matchstick, and yet the Earth Liberation Front, Friends of the Clearwater, Defenders of Wildlife and many other environmental groups look the other way at this coming disaster. Their actions are destroying the West and the dreams of many Americans.
It does not have to be this way.
Put America back to work, lower our taxes, stop out-of-control spending and remove burdensome regulations. Attempting to regulate dust on farms is like regulating mosquitoes in a swamp. It is just plain lunacy. We need to have practical, common-sense regulations, which protect our environment and at the same time allow us to utilize the land to our benefit. Our public lands should be a land of many uses. And while we are at it, these lands should be returned to state ownership to be managed locally by the people who live here and have a truly vested interest to utilize and care for the land. Without the human experience, there is no relevance for natures existence.
Thank you to the Idaho delegation and your vote to protect American exceptionalism and the American dream. Thank you for your efforts to come up with a lasting solution as challenging as that may be rather than simply affixing a new Band-Aid with only enough adhesive to last for a year. Your courage will go unrecognized by the left, but not by those of us who know and appreciate Idahos amazing potential.
Jim Chmelik is an Idaho County commissioner.