It Is Dangerous to Be Right When the Government Is Wrong is the title of Judge Andrew P. Napolitanos latest book that says it all!
America is no longer the experiment in freedom fashioned by the Founders. Most Americans prefer to quietly abide, and endure.
Suddenly, government knows best.
Nevertheless, I agree with Milton Friedman: If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years thered be a shortage of sand.
For instance, in the '60s when Congress gave wings to the wilderness wonks, timber harvest was increasing; but, by 1969, timber harvest began to decline and forest fires increased.
Remember the spotted owl? Loggers, truckers and mill workers were put with their bowls to beg. With 67 percent of Idaho owned by the federal government, any timber economy left in Idaho is pretty much from private and state land, with imports from a subsidized Canadian timber industry.
Predictably, Idaho forests began to overgrow, fall victim to disease, and burn. Concurrently, forest roads were decommissioned denying traditional access to fight forest fires.
Schools and counties dont miss timber as long as they get PILT subsidy from the feds. The tree huggers wont have much left to hug, but theyve moved on to fish, wolves, and sage grouse. No one on Main Street America misses timber as long as it can be imported. No one misses timber jobs as long as they can line up at the Food Truck and get food stamps.
The forest fires savaging Custer and Lemhi counties are being managed, not extinguished. Someone referred to the increasing incident of forest fires as an Act of God. Maybe but the cause is man-made: lack of harvest, overgrowth, disease, and mismanagement! Soon, the taxpayer will get a bill for the largest controlled burn in the state, while millions of dollars go up in smoke unregulated by the EPA.
Healthy, harvested forests will produce revenue, especially when shared by mining, agriculture, hunting, and recreation. That means jobs so rural families can survive with dignity.
Burn, baby, burn stupidity was a policy decision made in Washington being carried out by robotized professionals noticeably lacking in common sense, and with the consent of the governed.
Bottom line? Natural resource production is the coin of the realm no production, no coin. It is time Idaho dumped the federal carpetbaggers and took back her cash register. It can be done with leadership and consent of the governed as soon as they wake up!
What about a starting point? Try this: A New American editorialist, Jack Kenny, resurrected a Danny Thomas joke:
A man came across a parrot of extraordinary talent. It spoke seven languages! He decided to gift his mother with this magnificent bird. Later, he called to see if she had received the gift. She had, and said it was delicious!
You ate the bird? Ma, how could you! he demanded. That was a very special bird. He could speak seven languages!
After a brief silence, his mother said, So, why didnt he say something?
Consider it said!
Lenore Hardy Barrett, a Challis Republican, is a member of the Idaho House of Representatives.