10.01.2008 0

Vetoing Porky Pig Politicians

  • On: 10/09/2008 11:43:44
  • In: Fiscal Responsibility
  • “And, uh, p-p-pardon me, but may I have my jackpot?” – Porky Pig, The Ducksters, 1950

    In years past, Americans were entertained every day by the antics of Looney Tunes’ Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Porky Pig. In one famous episode, The Ducksters, Porky Pig enunciates perfectly the attitude that pervades among state legislators throughout the nation: Where’s my money?

    You may remember the episode. He appears on a game show where every time he misses a question, he’s supposed to get an anvil, safe, or some other prop dropped atop him. Instead, the show’s host, Daffy, is the one who is pummeled for Porky’s own ineptitude. Well, replace Porky with the Alaska State Legislature, and replace poor Daffy with the taxpayer, and you have the budget that was recently approved in America’s northernmost state. For every wrong answer the legislators gave, the taxpayers got pummeled with yet another invoice.

    Fortunately, in a successful effort to save the taxpayer from a falling safe of tax bills, Governor Sarah Palin, a Republican, line-item vetoed about 10 percent, or $268 million, from the approved $2.7 billion budget. So reports the Anchorage Daily News:

    “This is the second year in a row Palin vetoed projects dear to legislators. She said lawmakers stuffed the $2.7 billion state capital budget too full.

    “‘There were things like dealing with killer shrubs and Zamboni blades that are not the state’s highest priority at the time,’ Palin said on Friday.

    “She cut $43,000 from the budget for landscaping at Klatt Elementary in South Anchorage. A legislative document justified the money, saying ‘the risk of a child impaling themselves is substantial.’ Palin also vetoed a Homer Zamboni blade sharpener.”

    That, however, is just the tip of the iceberg, however. Alaska’s Porky Pig politicians had also appropriated $1.5 million for artificial football turf, $3.5 million for a Ship Creek Salmon Learning Center, $160,000 for little league batting cages, $90,000 for a Dolly Parton Imagination Library, and $400,000 for a Hilltop Ski Area chairlift replacement. And the list goes on.

    As Daffy would say, “Alright, enough is enough! This is the final, the very, very last straw!”

    And in truth, the waste that occurs year in and year out in state legislatures across the country is enough to drive taxpayers batty with antipathy for government. It is no wonder why the public’s opinion of government is at an all-time low. It seems that no matter which party is voted in, that the waste never ends.

    The root of the problem is that politicians really believe that the money belongs to them, and not the taxpayers. Take State Senator Bert Stedman (R-Sitka):

    “Sitka Republican Sen. Bert Stedman said the state has a surplus that could expand by $9 billion over the coming year if oil prices stay at these heights. ‘There’s no fiscal reason for these heavy vetoes,’ said Stedman, who was the main architect of the capital budget in the Senate.”

    Here’s a ALG Newsflash for you, Senator Stedman: There is no budget “surplus.” That money belongs to the taxpayers!

    There should be a fair rate of taxation (and as economist Walter Williams says: “If 10 percent is good enough for God, it’s good enough for governments.”). And spending ought to not rise above that level. Instead, politicians like Mr. Steman believe it is the other way around: That there are grandiose services that government “must” provide, and that taxes should be set to pay for them, no matter how high those taxes become.

    These Porky Pig politicians may feel entitled to their tax-funded jackpots. But thank goodness Governor Palin had the courage to stand up to them and just tell them the truth, in the words of Daffy the taxpayer: “You’re despicable.”

    ALG Perspective: Governor Palin has set a good example to her own legislature, and to state houses throughout the nation, by trimming unnecessary projects out of the budget. As she said about the size of the budget: “It’s never big enough for some lawmakers, it’s never big enough for some local officials.” In truth, this massive government giveaway needs to come to a grinding halt, and the Governor has certainly put on the brakes.


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