I was a Republican for over 40 years before returning to Idaho. On return I discovered that the Idaho GOP has driven off into the weeds of extremism and weird ideology that I do not recognize as Republican. In the past Republicans have championed helping people to achieve and sustain self-sufficiency. Education, health and opportunity are the three key ingredients. Idaho GOP is notorious for putting roadblocks for people who are not “Idaho Way” that is not pure Republican, not white, not male, not heterosexual, not wealthy, and not claimed “Christian.” Ballot initiatives have given citizens some power, but the Idaho GOP does not stop.

Little has done it again by lobbying to cancel the student loan relief initiative. One time loan forgiveness of $10,000 would mostly benefit borrowers in the bottom four lowest segments of incomes. Borrowers between ages 25 and 34 who are starting careers and families owe an average of $33,429 or about 69 percent of their median annual income. I find it amazing that Little and his Republican colleagues condone forgiveness of millions of dollars of PPP loans or grant tax subsidies paid for by taxpayers but single out students as unworthy. Idaho gets $1.69 for every dollar of Federal tax paid. I paid off my student loans but gladly share my tax dollars with students. Education is the key to self-sufficiency and a strong Idaho economy. Little has convinced me yet again, to not vote Republican this year.

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