Comment of the day: We need more than ‘politically expedient smoke and mirrors’

Courtesy of Lynn Willis on the story about four Democratic legislators calling on Gov. Bill Walker to re-appropriate $20 million that was budgeted for Anchorage’s U-Med road:

Memo to these four legislators: Good idea to maintain infrastructure we already have built or actually use the money to replenish our cash reserves; however, simply re-apportioning funds for maintenance or other expense is not preventing them from being spent and therefore does not reduce state spending.

Notice that there is a strong sentiment against actually saving the $20 million, as opposed to just not spending it on this particular road. Is this what we can expect this session as we attempt to live within our means – partisan bickering over individual projects without actually cutting spending significantly? If all this does is spend the money on something else, is it now the Republican’s turn to re-apportion $20 million in an equally meaningless gesture meant to confuse motion with progress?

While I encourage this step in the right direction to save the money, if they actually wanted to cut this amount of spending between the two parties they need to find another 49 projects worth $20 million then they will have saved a billion dollars. Next go find another 100 projects worth $20 million each and you have saved the three billion we need to cut.

We need comprehensive solutions to provide the maximum benefit to Alaskans over time, not politically expedient smoke and mirrors.




4 thoughts on “Comment of the day: We need more than ‘politically expedient smoke and mirrors’

  1. Brent Crude

    There’s nothing smoke and mirrors about reappropriating money from wants to needs. We won’t be able to cut 3 billion to balance the budget but we can cut some fat. There will still be plenty of needs in the capital budget besides that project.

  2. Lynn Willis

    I have nothing against spending money if you can afford to do so and the expenditure makes sense. Support for funding these “economic engines” without serious analysis is getting us nowhere fast. I don’t see every issue as a personal one . Perhaps instead of figuratively flailing your arms using broad generalizations often directed at the messenger, why not focus on a coherent argument supporting your position. Make sense and I will agree with you on any issue.

  3. AH HA

    @Derp.. Quite correct. Odd how that works.

    At the end of the day, Lynn really has nothing against spending money…. as long as it’s not involving any sort of project, road, pipeline , mine or anything that might someday become an economic engine.

    In his (or her) defense, a while back he provided a succinct augment for how providing expanded socialized medicine would be a major economic boon….

  4. Derp

    +1. They don’t like the road bc it threatens property values of e anch homes next to trails. (Who are Ds) Understandable … But it’s not about fiscal restraint. Lynn shows why very well

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