Rep. Brent Crane recently told Chuck Malloy of Idaho Politics Weekly, “ A lot of folks on the Democratic side of the aisle are not small business owners, so they don’t understand it. A lot of them work for a bureaucracy or a government agency and they’ve never had to make those business decisions that every small business owner faces.”
As a small business owner, I was shocked. It’s true that Rep. Crane and I often disagree on policy and what is in the best interests of Idahoans. But when Mr. Crane makes a statement so patently and knowingly false, I have to wonder about his motivation.
The first thing that came to mind when I read Mr. Crane’s statement was “character”. There are a couple of ways to define character. A character can be someone playing a role on stage, a person who memorizes lines and performs for the audience. Character can also describe a person’s values, standards and principles. Bottom line for me: Mr. Crane’s comments show that he’s a character.
Democratic legislators, on the other hand, demonstrate character through their values.
Our record shows we value policies that support an expanding economy and a thriving business climate where every Idahoan who’s willing to work hard and take personal responsibility has an opportunity to succeed. We believe high quality apprenticeships that will improve our workforce, that early childhood education is essential to our future, that local control is preferred, when possible. We voted to lower the unemployment insurance tax, provide communities with economic development tools, and to fund our K-12 education system as our constitution dictates. The issues I just mentioned are core legislative priorities for local Chambers of Commerce. In fact, time and time again, we vote our values and our values are in alignment with most Idahoans.
We believe every Idahoan should be able to work at good paying jobs that can support a family, that a modern economy should include a level playing field where everyone who’s willing to work hard and take personal responsibility has an opportunity to succeed. We believe in putting Idaho workers first, that an honest day’s work deserves an honest day’s pay. For too many Idahoans, wages haven’t kept up with escalating childcare costs, college tuition and day-to-day expenses. We need better incomes so that we can keep our kids and grandkids in Idaho.
Idaho Democratic legislators care about responsible tax reform that does not increase the tax burden on working Idahoans who struggle to make ends meet, while providing necessary revenue to essential services. We are especially concerned about politicians like Rep. Crane who refuse to fully fund education, resulting in disproportionate and unfair property tax increases.
All in all, Rep. Crane’s comments are indicative of a character who thrives on division and false rhetoric. Like our Republican colleagues, we are a diverse caucus including small business owners, teachers, lawyers, doctors and even guides.
Oh, and by the way, Rep. Crane, the “bureaucrats” who work for “government agencies” aren’t caricatures. They are teachers, police officers, firemen, judges, and others who care deeply for their communities. Please don’t dismiss the work of people in government throughout Idaho who work every day serving in the best interests of our citizens. Instead, show them a little respect and assume that they might understand the concept of taxation.