"Freedom works best when the individual is allowed to flourish without government getting in the way."
- Rep. Kohring
I have re-introduced my 10-Point Budget Plan that downsizes the state government bureaucracy. It eliminates the deficit over time and promotes a strong private-sector economy based on natural resource development. The plan is an alternative to raising taxes and spending the Permanent Fund. We successfully cut government $200 million this year and Alaska did not fall off the edge of the cliff as many predicted. Let's continue the trend in a select and careful way that prioritizes essential spending such as roads, schools, police and fire protection. To accomplish this I propose:
Decrease Spending; Reduce Bureaucracy; Limit Legislature: Let's decrease spending an additional $300 million this year and $100 million in each of the next five years (all sources, federal, state and other). Cap spending to prevent budget increases of programs not constitutionally mandated. Reduce legislative sessions to every other year, and restrict them to 60 days as in other states.
Reject New Taxes; Protect Permanent Fund; Privatize Services; Eliminate Unneeded Laws and Regulations: Place a moratorium on new taxes, prohibit spending the Permanent Fund, and contract out numerous government services including road maintenance and Division of Motor Vehicle functions. Remove superfluous laws enacted since statehood and eliminate regulations that hinder the economy.
End Subsidies to Special Interest Groups: Eliminate tax dollars to special interest groups such as fisheries, agriculture, government TV and radio. Encourage private funding through tax incentives.
Incentives for Economic Growth; Land Transfers to Alaskans: Move aggressively forward with oil and gas development through increased leasing, royalty reductions and streamlined regulations. Release state land to the public, create tax incentives and reduce fees and regulations to spur private-sector, small-business growth.
Transform Education: End the government-controlled monopoly on schools through competition by giving parents vouchers or tax credits for sending their children to the school of their choice be it public or private. Consolidate expensive school districts to eliminate costly administration and achieve economies of scale.
Trim Government Work Force: Trim government work force through attrition. Place an immediate hiring freeze, and cap expensive salary and benefit packages.
Merge and Eliminate Departments and Agencies: Merge departments and agencies including Natural Resources, Environmental Conservation, Economic Development and Fish & Game. Eliminate the Department of Administration.
Cut Welfare and Tax Subsidies to Cities: Cut welfare sufficiently to inspire able bodied people to work, and eliminate tax subsidies to cities for government social engineering programs.
Re-Prioritize University Spending: Build an endowment by developing university-owned real estate so higher education is more independently funded. Merge money-losing rural campuses into the main campuses and cut redundant highly paid administrative positions. Re-direct savings to classes and degree programs for the benefit of students.
Close Office Buildings; Move the Capitol; Contract out Prisons: Close unneeded government office complexes throughout the state including the Capitol and the State Office Building in Juneau. Relocate capitol into the state-owned Atwood Building in Anchorage along with all department headquarters. Close money-losing incarceration facilities and contract them out to less costly private prisons.
Freedom works best when the individual is allowed to flourish without government getting in the way. Unlike government, freedom allows individuals to use their own initiative and suffer the consequences of a loss or keep the profits of success. An economy that encourages entrepreneurs and individual workers instead of growth in government is in Alaska's best interest. This 10-Point Plan will help achieve that. Let's join together to accomplish these ends!
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Vic Kohring is a fifth term Republican, representing Wasilla in the Alaska State Legislature and is Chairman of the Special Committee on Oil & Gas and serves on the Transportation, Budget & Audit and Ways & Means Committees.