Thursday, January 22, 2009

Alaska's Budget

There is no solution in sight for the fiscal shortsightedness practiced by our state government since the completion of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System in 1978. Once oil started flowing, the State of Alaska became an oil junkie that cannot seem to wean itself clear of satisfying every special interest that holds out its hand.

Ignored completely in this frenzy to satisfy these demands to NGOs are the requirements set forth under the Constitution of the State of Alaska regarding the duties and responsibilities of government.

The Constitution of Alaska requires that state government provide for education, use of natural resources to the best benefit of all, to provide for the public welfare—such as public safety, roads, airports, bridges, and harbors--and the public health, and to expend appropriated monies in these regards to the benefit of all Alaskans. More particularly, monies can only be appropriated by the State for the public purpose. (Art IX, Sec. 6)

I believe that it can be reasonably argued that in giving money to every outstretched hand, the Legislature violates the intent of the Constitution of the State of Alaska.

Where is the public purpose in giving money to the every NGO that stretches out its hand or has a purpose that has a focus or requirements that confer the benefit of those funds upon a few rather than the many?

I do not believe that the State of Alaska should be appropriating money or giving grants to any entity other than government subdivisions, and then only for the purpose of funding education, public safety, building and maintaining infrastructure, and public health considerations--meaning inoculations against disease, clinics, health aides, doctors, nurses, equipment, and, maybe, subsidizing health insurance for children.

These public health considerations should be designed to promote health and preserve life, not to provide for abortions or to support those NGOs feeding off the killing of the unborn.

The issue of public welfare should be served by creating jobs through the use of our resources, the creation and maintenance of infrastructure—roads, harbors, and airports—and providing for public education and public safety.

The idea of public welfare was never intended to include gratuitous grants to any NGO or other entity that stretched out its hand for a purpose that focused mainly to promote or otherwise benefit a few. Let these people gather monies from their own members, and not the State.

The same restrictions should apply to subdivisions of the State that receive state funds. There should be no passing on of any State funds for any purpose other than that which is intended by the Alaska Constitution.

Gov. Sarah Palin campaigned on a constitutional foundation. If the expenditure was not provided for in the constitution, then she stated that she would oppose that use.

The Legislature cannot be trusted to be so objective. The legislator stays in office by pleasing his/her constituents. Some of whom use those very monies granted to these NGOs to influence our politicians at every level of government. A use that is both illegal and unconstitutional.

Any budget item should first be scrutinized as to the constitutional validity of the expenditure, and then face scrutiny regarding any spending priorities as the second test. If the constitutional test fails, then there can be no further argument regarding that expenditure.

To focus upon the constitution first in examining a budget item would relieve the governor of criticism for those line items that are clearly intended to buy favor by benefiting a few, and not benefit the State as whole.

It is time the government of the State of Alaska gave priority to the Constitution of the State of Alaska in all areas of funding determinations.

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