Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Homeless and helpless

I am disappointed to report that just moments ago in the Senate Local Government and Taxation Committee my effort to provide temporary tax relief to non-profit homeless shelters in Idaho (HB 435) was soundly defeated. The measure was unanimously supported in the House, but that didn't matter.

Senator Mike Jorgensen compared requesting the exemption to a story in the Old Testament where two women had fought over a baby and the King concluded that the only fair way to settle the dispute was the split the baby in half (1 Kings 3:16-28). Unfortunately for Senator Jorgensen, he doesn't understand how the story ended. The real mother of child asked for mercy on the child and relented on her demand. In other words, mercy and wisdom ruled the day. Sen. Jorgensen exhibited neither (to little surprise).

While the measure itself was rather minor, its symbolism was its greatest virtue. Republican legislators (in this case in the Senate), especially so-called "conservatives" deride entitlement spending and the role of the Department of Health and Welfare. Yet despite their contempt they offer absolutely no vision. They lay blame, but have no solutions. I am not saying my bill was a panacea, but at least it was an idea. It was a try to reduce the size of government in a real way. Lip service doesn't rehabilitate the addicted or shelter the homeless. Here is my challenge to those naysayers: What's your plan? I suspect the question may as well be rhetorical, but here is to hoping that they can figure out a way to put aside their personal agendas and partisanship and actually do something.


ericn1300 said...

The way I saw it was that you managed to win over the far right wing in the House, not a tough job since they will pounce on any opportunity to cut taxes. Then the more moderate Senate took the opportunity to rebuke them with a call for no more tax exemptions until all existing exemptions are put on the table for reconsideration, a move I applaud.

Chuck Pollock said...

Politics has to rear its ugly head at every opportunity, no? Moderates in the Senate, right wingers in the House ---yeah, whatever. Go spend some time at the Rescue Mission with James and some of the others and perhpas you will gain a different perspective. The death of this bill in committee has not served the citizens.
Keep fighting the good fight, Branden

Ben Wilson said...

The Bible - Compassion = Republican ideology; not that you'll find it in a Poli Sci -- or Math -- textbook.

kencda said...

Compassion is the responsibility of the individual not the state!!