Watch: Idaho Gubernatorial Candidate Has a Plan for Liberals Who Want to Leave State if He’s Elected

“Haven’t we all heard some irritating person saying that if so-and-so is elected, then he/she is absolutely definitely leaving the country?” the late Anglo-American writer Christopher Hitchens noted in 2008. “There must be some reason why it is mainly liberals who tend to say this … but the chief thing to note about the promise is that it is usually an empty one.” Hitchens died in 2011, which — little did we know at the time — was a relatively more harmonious and undivided era in 21st century American politics. Last year, I had friends threatening to move out of my native state of New Jersey after Republican Jack Ciattarelli made a late charge in the polls. (Incumbent Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy held on to his seat, so those phantom moving trucks could stay put.) You can probably imagine, then, the number of irritating persons in Idaho insisting they’ll leave the state if independent Ammon Bundy ends up winning the gubernatorial race. Yes, he’s that Bundy — the one who led the 2016 occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge as a protest against federal ownership of land and also participated in the 2014 standoff at the family ranch in Nevada after the Bureau of Land Management confronted his father about $1 million in grazing fees the rancher supposedly owed. The polarizing Bundy is running as an independent after abandoning a run in the Republican primary; given that GOP incumbent Gov. Brad Little easily fended off a primary challenge from a Trump-endorsed candidate in what’s usually a deep-red state, there haven’t even been any polls worth noting, if just because the race seems like a fait accompli. However, on the long-shot chance that Trump’s supporters get fed up with Little and vote for Bundy as a protest, who knows? It’s a very, very long shot, mind you — but it’s enough that people are apparently using the old feint of threatening to leave the state if the third-party candidate wins. Fine, Bundy said in a new ad. Not only can you leave, the state will pay for you to get out. “Idaho liberals say that if I’m elected as governor, they will leave the state,” Bundy began, sitting inside a truck. “Well, I’m here to tell you that when I’m elected governor, Idaho will help pay for their moving costs — after all, it’s cheaper than keeping them here.” [firefly_poll] As Bundy gets out, the truck is revealed to be a U-Haul mover. Here’s Bundy’s logic: According to his numbers, almost 40 percent of the state’s budget goes toward welfare programs. “That’s almost $4 billion of your tax dollars going up into smoke every year,” Bundy said. Bundy says he plans to end the welfare state — and to eliminate property taxes, income taxes and grocery taxes while balancing the budget in the process. It’s not necessarily clear whether that math checks out, but in a media release issued alongside the ad, Bundy noted it wasn’t just the Democrats who were involved in the ballooning costs of Idaho’s welfare programs. “The Republican Party establishment has controlled the Idaho Senate, House and Governor’s office for the past 26 years, so, being Republicans, you would think Idaho would be the state with the least welfare. But it’s not!” Bundy noted. “The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported that nearly 51 percent of Idahoans used at least 1 state welfare program in 2021. And to make matters worse, the department heads are saying, ‘That is not good enough, we need to do more.’ “Governor Little has increased Idaho’s food stamp program by 24.2 percent. That’s more than any other state in the country,” he continued. “Governor Little has also dedicated millions in federal and state funds to free government housing in Idaho. Governor Little also supported Obamacare and Medicaid expansion in Idaho. With Brad little as Governor Idaho has become a leading welfare state.” Thus, Bundy says, helping liberals follow through on their threat to leave by paying for the van saves money. We’ll likely never know if that works out because, as previously noted, Bundy is a long shot — and, more importantly, no liberal actually intends to leave the country and/or state if someone they don’t like is elected. They may whinny like a stuck hippo for at least four years, but they’re staying put. That said, I’m not dismissing Bundy’s proposal out of hand, but not because I believe states can spend money to make money by socializing U-Hauls for disaffected lefties. Government always promises us that it can make us happier if it can just spend some of our money (and a lot more of someone else’s, they always insist) how they want. Here, for once, is a program that delivers. Next Thanksgiving, if Aunt Janet — the one with the pink hair who can’t stop raving about John Oliver — insists that if [insert Republican here] is elected, they’re going to leave the state, let her know it’s on the house. Go on, do it. If she accepts the dare, you’re rid of a nuisance. If they don’t, you have four years of humbled silence from Aunt Janet. No current program that I can think of currently administered by the state or federal government provides that level of dollar-for-dollar satisfaction. Bon voyage! This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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