Promoting Responsible Government

C.L. "Butch" Otter

Promoting responsible government means focusing on leadership and innovative solutions developed at the local and state levels. After all, the states are the laboratories of our republic. The states are where real change must start if we are to restore our union to what the Founders intended.

My administration is committed to using common sense in ways that make better use of our tax dollars now and in the future. I am personally committed to working for states' rights and will continue to promote and defend policies that work for Idaho.

Fiscal Responsibility

One of the first things I did when I took office as Idaho's governor in 2007 was to impose a zero-base budgeting program.

That means every agency and operation of our State government must continually justify its spending and ongoing existence; there are no “grandfather” rights when it comes to taxpayer dollars. I've insisted that agencies stick to those jobs required of them by law or the Idaho Constitution.

Idahoans deserve a State government that gives them good value for their hard-earned tax dollars, and I am determined to see that they get it.


State government must live within the people's means. I have responded to the economic downturn and declining State revenues not by seeking to impose new and increased taxes on already struggling Idaho citizens and businesses, but rather by finding efficiencies and new and better ways of fulfilling our State government's important but properly limited role in people's lives.

Most importantly, I have insisted that State government programs and services be built on a foundation of fiscal responsibility and discipline – not only because the Idaho Constitution wisely requires a balanced State budget, but because I trust that individual Idahoans know how to use their own money more efficiently and effectively than any government ever can. It's our job in government to provide the stability and predictability in Idaho's tax base that employers need to invest with confidence in Idaho's future.

Standing up for States' Rights

From fighting the misguided efforts of D.C. bureaucrats to usurp state management of species under the Endangered Species Act, to speaking out early and often against the colossal expense and unprecedented extension of federal authority in the federal healthcare reform legislation, standing up for Idaho's rights to determine the best policies for our citizens remains one of my highest priorities.