One unofficial kickoff to Idaho’s annual legislative session is the Associated Taxpayers of Idaho conference. And it’s already here. On Dec. 5, the business group hosts its day-long conference, packed with national and local speakers.
One speaker from last year is returning for an encore talk. Greg Casey is the president and CEO of the Washington D.C.-based Business Industry Political Action Committee or BIPAC.
Last year, his high-energy, fiery talk, critical of the federal government, drew cheers from the standing-room-only audience. Casey was critical of Congress and the Obama administration, saying government “lurches from decision to decision.” He said lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are abusing the political system.
Casey called for a revamped tax code and more oversight of federal regulators, and he urged Idaho’s Attorney General to “sue the federal government more often.”
Associated Taxpayers of Idaho president Benjamin Davenport says the organization’s speaker selection committee decided to invite Greg Casey back this year to follow up on last year’s remarks.
“Last year Greg made some predictions in his presentation,” Davenport says. “And the committee that put together the conference this year, thought it’d be fun to have Greg come back in and talk about his predictions and whether they came to pass, and see what he predicts going forward.”
Casey was in the news earlier this month for a report commissioned by BIPAC that says employees want to receive political information — such as how the outcome of an election could affect their workplace — directly from their employers.
Forbes wrote about the report:
“This is all disconcerting because employees inevitably feel pressured if their bosses tell them that it’s in their business’s best interest to, say, vote for Mitt Romney instead of President Obama. That explains why, prior to 2010, federal law prohibited companies from using corporate money to endorse and campaign for political candidates. That legal bar also included urging employees to support specific politicians, according to a recent New York Times story.
It seems that Casey draws a line between offering information about a candidate and urging employees to vote a certain way.” – Forbes.com
Now, Casey stands by comments he made in Boise one year ago. “I think the federal government is out of control,” Casey says. “And it’s out of control primarily because it doesn’t follow its own rules.” That’s why, says Casey, states should show their disagreements with federal policy by filing lawsuits.
Casey believes Congress and the administration need “to get serious about governing rather than continually having a campaign.” The most obvious example of that, says Casey is the negotiations over spending cuts and revenue increases.
“We have to have tax reform, and that tax reform needs to bring in some level of increased revenue,” says Casey. “We have to have entitlement reform, and the sooner we do entitlement reform the less egregious those reforms have to be. And we have to do both those things while growing the GDP. Everybody else who says that’s just not the case, isn’t paying attention to reality.”