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LIMIT PRIORITIES TO BASICS

Rep. Vic Kohring
Jan. 29, 2006

“The State is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else.”
                   -- Frederic Bastiat 1801-1850

     Bastiat’s dictum is astounding. Each year Juneau spends too much of other peoples’ money. Reversing this is my highest priority. We get into financial binds by creating “make work” programs, and then money runs out. In the nick of time we get an avalanche of new money (high oil prices), and a new round of profligate spending begins.

      Our present abundance should pay off debts and be carefully spent on essentials: roads, schools, public protection. We should demand strict budget discipline. This isn’t attractive to most media, but private sector Alaskans understand.

      Regarding the proposed gas line: Why is it private companies haven’t built one yet...especially with high gas prices? Do obstinate, impossibly cumbersome regulations, and unexpected government interventions and taxes sound familiar? Would you risk billions if you could not depend on known, clear conditions?

      To build a gas line we must streamline regulations and limit taxes so business can proceed with certainty. If we keep taxes low and regulations clearly understood, then business will flourish and state coffers will wax rather than wane.

      Our Valley’s roads and schools are the legitimate province of state stewardship. We’ve made certain that building new roads and schools have proceeded as the Valley grows. These are the basics and should be given their due. Palmer-Wasilla Highway and Knik Road need to be widened. Seward Meridian will be improved and extended to Seldon. A new Settler’s Bay elementary school is underway.

      We would have plenty for basic, constitutional programs if we confined our effort to them instead of trying to please everyone with all things. One size fits all doesn’t work. Let’s go with what’s important and eliminate the fluff.


Representative Kohring is a six-term House member, and serves the Mat-Su in the Alaska Legislature.

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