Anchorage Daily News - Letter to Editor March 14, 2005
"The question, should rock 'n' roll listeners have to pay taxes so classical music supporters can hear symphonies? The answer is no."
- Rep. Kohring
Steve Lindbeck's March 4 remark, saying I was opposed to public radio because I disagreed with its politics, was wrong ("Sense of restraint," Alaska Notebook). Had you taken time to read your own newspaper's archives, you would know my opposition is based on my oft-stated philosophy, the role of constitutional government. That role is to accomplish limited functions ---- police, roads, courts and schools. Most everything else government does can be done better by the private sector.
Moreover, I argued this consistently for the last 10 years in public office, taking great heat from arts managers who never saw a tax or government program they didn't like.
To reprise: Public radio is not necessary, even as a function of education, weather or emergencies in the Bush. Privately funded Internet and satellite radio do just fine.
The argument that the Bush should have the same amenities as Anchorage is then reduced to the absurd. Should Bush towns have tax subsidized performing arts centers and sports arenas? Obviously not because of low demand. You live in the Bush to enjoy the wild, not suburban amenities.
The question, should rock 'n' roll listeners have to pay taxes so classical music supporters can hear symphonies? The answer is no. Why can't people pay for what they want and only what they want? There is no longer any constitutional or practical reason to subsidize public radio.