More budget cutting ideas
Listened to Dave Stieren’s talk show Christmas week. He and his callers made a couple interesting suggestions on how to address the $3.5 billion budget gap.
Both of these involved personnel, state employees. The first was an immediate freeze on hiring at the state level. When a position is vacated for whatever reason, it should come off the books permanently. Do this for a few years and the state downsizes is workforce from the supersized Palin workforce to the more reasonable Murkowski sized workforce, or a reduction of about 10,000 people. Governor Walker took the hint and announced a hiring freeze January 5. Later is better than not at all, I guess.
The second is a version of a furlough. This would cut the workweek by some number of hours, with 4 – 6 being the most common numbers. Currently, the state work week is 37.5 hours. Crank that down to 33.5 or 30 hours and you have an instant 11 – 20% decrease in state payroll and retirement payments. The important thing about this would be that these folks would keep their jobs, though weekly pay would decrease.
A third technique would be set a series of large dollar grants and awards to any public employee or private citizen who proposes a workable substantial budget cut. If a cut or reduction gets written into law and is signed by the governor, the award is paid to the proposer. I would also pay it out for privatization / elimination of current state functions and programs.
Two things that we could immediately do away with would be to cut and eliminate any state activity associated with promulgating the fraud that is the notion of manmade global warming due to CO2 emissions. This would include all efforts in support of renewable energy.
The Alaska Tobacco Prevention and Control Program would be another. I for one have had a belly full of being lied to about the non-existent dangers of second hand smoke. Now that they are turning their sights on vaping, they have become even more worthless. People who lie to me ought to be doing it on their own dime rather than mine.
Any Department that is pulling a Washington Monument stunt like DOTPF appears to have underway has just self identified to be among the first available functions for privatization and downsizing. Abuse of the public trust must not be tolerated.
Finally, as the democrats, the unions and their media sycophants are setting us up for a raid on the Permanent Fund under the notion that we are all in this together, I would like them to belly up to the bar and ante up in the game. Perhaps it is time to shut down the publicly funded delay, obstruct and defeat game conducted by greens (backers of democrat candidates up and down the ballot every election) against resource extraction and infrastructure development over the last several decades.
When a lawsuit against a resource development or infrastructure project is filed, the filing party needs to post a bond equal to what the delay would cost the owners in terms of jobs lost, profits and revenues to the state treasury are expected to be. The bond would be payable upon the opposition’s loss in the lawsuit. After all, fair is indeed fair. Developers need to post bonds covering cleanup costs and take out insurance against accidents. Why not their opposition?
There are more suggestions and proposals out there. Unfortunately few of them are coming out of our democrat elected and backed Governor, his administration or the democrat minority in the legislature. They all have their eyes locked on their ultimate target, the Permanent Fund.
Remember that as you consider the various democrat campaigns in 2016 aimed at rolling back the conservative majority in the Legislature. They will all tell you they are better than their Republican opponents. Yet democrats refuse to cut. Democrats refuse to roll anything back, opting instead for continued payoffs to their union and green supporters. How that will make improve anything is beyond me.