Forty or so years ago I worked for the Idaho attorney general administering the local child support program. The federal government decided to make it a national program filled with rules and requirements that I felt were excessive and that put an undue burden upon the state. I argued that Idaho and Nevada (who also objected) should stand against the ham-fisted approach of the feds, ignore the dire threats and reject the program. Cooler heads prevailed, however.
Two score years have provided the wisdom of hindsight. I was a total knot-head. The program became Title IV D of the Social Security Act and a bedrock of good social legislation. It remains a sterling success. The problems with Idaho were eventually ironed out to the state’s betterment.
I, like the nine Idaho legislators who have recently blocked similar legislation, suffered from hubris and a failure to understand how things work in the big picture. I was wrong and so are they.
Michael Stoy, Boise
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