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Brugger: I expect more from you, Steve
COMMUNITY COLUMNIST

Brugger: I expect more from you, Steve

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Ah, Steve. I admire your intellect, but your Jan. 26 column disappointed me. It has given me an opening to counter your anti-tax arguments, which I intended to write about anyway. However, you also included several other subjects to address plus a major slam at the liberal media. That is especially intolerable since you have worked as a journalist and presumably learned, as I did, that the opinion page is the only place a newspaper should use to press an agenda. Your broad brush is disingenuous. Your comment that the media “always favors (marijuana) availability” confuses reporting (legalization activism) with opinion as if their an editorial board agreed.

You state as a certainty that people from California are leaving because of high taxes. You also use the appellation “Californi-cation” to embody the evil that will befall us. That word is trite. It was used in Colorado Springs and in Albuquerque when I lived there. It referred most often to the influx of population and the higher housing prices they were able to pay because of cash from the sale of former homes. Political preferences were rarely mentioned because both states were closely balanced in public official’s political party.

In fact, high taxes are likely the least of the reasons people leave. A high number of these migrants are retiring and looking to relocate mortgage free. An aging population prefers and is safer on highways where there is less congestion, less population. With more free time, outdoor recreation beckons. There is a popular stereotype that individuals become more conservative as they age. Republicans shouldn’t worry. The young, who are taking advantage of job opportunities could be of more concern to you who want to maintain the status quo, aren’t always from California. Young people have disrupted social order since civilization began.

I don’t know how you can live in Twin Falls and not favor more flexible revenue sources for local government. How does local government pay for the services necessary to accommodate an urban population without taxes? If a small town wants to grow, how will they pay for the schools needed to attract employees for incoming business?

People being “forced out of their homes by taxes?” That meme sold prop. 13 in California and TABOR in Colorado. In both states it’s now an impediment to growth, government’s effectiveness, and quality of life. People make housing changes for a variety of reasons; they need less or more space, they are unable to or resent the care their current residence requires, they may become more minimalist in their thinking or want to reallocate their resources. Applying means testing to property taxes eliminates the concern of being forced out of their home. My husband ( a Trump voter) has advocated for a higher gas tax since moving to Idaho.

You want to allow “faith healing” for minors? Even the Christian Scientists, who were the biggest proponents of the practice, no longer fight for that right. Modern medicine has advanced to a point where it is effective in ways that were only dreamed of by Mary Baker Eddy. I’ve always considered it the mind of God in human hands.

Not vaccinate? That negates the choice of parents who do vaccinate. It can harm individuals who cannot receive vaccinations for health reasons. When a choice is based on harmful misinformation it is dangerous to others and government has an obligation to act.

The ballot initiative on Medicare expansion made no mention of work requirements. Only the bill signed by the governor did. “Couch loungers who want benefit without effort”—really? You are using pejorative language to cement a stereotype which has been statistically debunked.

Constitutionality clear laws save money used to defend them. Let other states pay. Further restricting citizen initiatives? Changing the redistricting commission to prevent minority-party gerrymandering? Majority-party gerrymandering is better? Our state has been lauded for our process. These three positions take away from the thought that government should protect the minority from the majority. These positions are autocratic, if not totalitarian, thinking about the role of government. I expect better from you.

Linda Brugger retired from the Air Force and is a former chairwoman of the Twin Falls County Democrats.

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