The Statesman is free to make choices for the candidates they feel will meet their interest. They should also properly inform the electorate on the records of those they endorse.
The Statesman hopes I can grab an oar and row with the momentum created by the education and economic initiatives that Lt. Gov. Brad Little is behind. Maybe we should consider the record before we grab the oars.
Since 2007 our median income has fallen by $4,000 and we have added 130,000 Idahoans to the food stamp rolls. Our GDP has fallen to 45th in the country and per capita we are 49th in the creation of minimum wage jobs. Thirty-six percent of our budget comes from a federal government that is $17 trillion in debt and another $125 trillion owed in unfunded liabilities. Most recently, Statesman reporter Dan Popkey reported that the current administration's boast about Idaho's expanding economy doesn't add up.
With regards to education we are failing our children. Forty-two percent of graduating seniors attending Idaho colleges have to take remedial English and 48 percent have to take remedial math. We have acquiesced to Obamacare and this is proving to be a complete disaster; we now seem content to hand over the education of Idaho's children to a federal bureaucracy 2,800 miles away with no accountability to the children of Idaho.
Are we better off today since Gov. Butch Otter and Lt. Gov. Little took control of Idaho's government?
The Statesman has one thing right: Our economy and education can be likened to that of two men rowing a boat, and one of them constantly bailing out the water from all the holes in the bottom of the boat. Their policies are placing a stranglehold on Idaho's economy and our children's education.
I believe in your capacity to determine your own destiny and that your success should not be limited by government intrusions of over-regulation and excessive taxation.
It is your individual genius that makes Idaho work. It is not politicians, judges, or bureaucrats - they only expand their power at the expense of limiting our freedoms.
We need to challenge ourselves as to the future we are leaving our children and our grandchildren; what do we want them to say about us? Will they be happy with how we left their future or will they be bitter because the heritage we left them was one of human misery?
Do we continue with the current policies, the continued expansion of government, the relinquishing of our liberties and the redistribution of our wealth through confiscatory taxation or do we choose the course set out by the Founding Fathers? Do we choose limited government, fiscal responsibility and freedom of choice for all our people or do we accept our current situation and continue down this road destined for economic ruin and state control of our lives?
I encourage you to sit down and write a letter to the future, envisioning the world you wish your children to inherit. When they read your letter 50 years from now, will they be pleased with the vision you foresaw?
With the proposals I have made during this campaign, Idaho's economy could be that of a jet boat planing on the success of the talents every Idahoan has to offer. There is a clear choice May 20 - if you like your government you can keep your government; your destiny is in your hands. I prefer jet boats to rowboats.
Jim Chmelik is a Republican candidate for Idaho lieutenant governor.