Our Panel of Experts
The panelists' role in Deliberation Day was to answer
the questions posed to them by the participants in a Plenary
session, after the participants had discussed jobs and
national security in smaller group discussions. Our panelists
were Lt. Governor James Risch (R), State Representative
Margaret Henbest (D-Boise), Idaho Economics President
John Church, and Ross Burkhart, Chair, Political Science
Department, Boise State University.
Borden, Staff Sergeant, Army, Meridian
Is it naïve to expect that the exportation of democracy
be the solution to our security problems?
Henbest, State Representative Margaret Henbest (D-Boise)
I think it is naïve. If you look at the tradition
of democracy in this country, it evolved over hundreds
of years. I think it is somewhat naïve and it doesn't
honor the long road and long evolution that democracy
Risch, Lt. Governor James Risch (R)
I think the only hope in the long run is democracy. Certainly
democracy is not the short term solution. The short term
problem we have are religious fanatics with whom you can't
Velasquez, Administrative Assistant
Why should soldiers be the only ones to fight the war
Church, Idaho Economics President
We are running some record deficits that are ominous in
the long term future. Perhaps we should all be sacrificing
a little more to pay for this concurrently as the war
Anderson, Construction, Meridian
What criteria should we have to determine a pre-emptive
I don't know the answer to that question. My concern is
whether we made matters worse. I look at what seems to
be the increase in terrorism.
We have got to keep the nuclear material out of their
hands. If it takes a pre-emptive strike, so be it.
Hasson, Retired, Boise, Idaho
Can the political system and/or leaders affect trade policies
and companies from outsourcing…or are companies
stronger than the government? If they can, is a level
playing field attainable…and how do we get it?
Ross Burkhart, Chair, Political Science
Department, Boise State University
I think governments have been a little bit surprised by
the issue of outsourcing. The structure of global trade
negotiations, which have taken place either through GAT
or the WTO have been not particularly focused on this
issue in the past; and trading negotiations in the future,
I think, will start to address this issue more and more.
So governments have really not done what they can, or
what they could potentially do, on this particular issue.
I spend most of my time working on economic development
for the State of Idaho. And the way I go and steal companies
from other states and bring 'em here, and we have…is
to convince them that this is the best place in the United
States to do business. And that's what you've gotta sell
'em! And that's true in the world marketplace today
Williams, Foodservice, Eagle, Idaho
When we roll back the one percent sales tax, how will
we make up the difference?
I'm very disappointed that we didn't come up with some
sort of compromise on what we could do with services…I
believe there are so many services that are not regressive,
that could be taxed. I mean, the guy who mows my lawn.
Gee, should I pay a sales tax on it? I believe so. My
dry cleaning, same thing. These are not necessarily regressive
taxes, per se, but the time has come and the situation
has changed, that maybe some of these need to be taxed.
Wilson, Construction, Lowman, Idaho
Why did you squander the state budget surplus of state
tax year 2001?
I don't view that budget surplus as squandering. We did
some things with that money that we felt were very important
for improving the economy in Idaho.
Some of that money was used for a jobs credit for companies
that would create jobs for Idahoans; some of that money
was used for job training for Idahoans so that we could
put 'em to work, particularly if they were displaced.
So you can talk about it as 'squandering' if you wanna
talk about it as 'squandering.' I don't view it that way.
And we did, I think, fail to have a good look at the fairness
of our sales tax mechanism and the exemptions that we
provide in our state.
And I would hope that as we move into another tight budgeting
cycle that, rather than just slash budgets across the
board, that we really do look at our whole tax system
from a fairness and equity standpoint, and consider removing
some of those exemptions or changing the structure in
general to achieve more fairness.