Budget & Tax
Trent England | October 1, 2017
Cost Avoidance #8: Make low-priority agencies non-appropriated
#8) Make Low-Priority Agencies Non-Appropriated: TV shows, space travel, and old guns are not core services If hopes, dreams, and good intentions are the only limits we place on government, then there will never be enough money and politicians will never have enough power.
The American way of government, thankfully, has been to limit political power and leave most everything to private people and voluntary organizations. After all, government is force. In the end, “public policy” is a nice phrase that means, “give us your money and do what we want, or else.”
Three small Oklahoma state agencies offer examples of low priorities that could easily be removed from the state budget. They could even continue to operate mostly as they are today, just as “non-appropriated” agencies without direct state subsidies. From OCPA’s list of special session cost avoidance recommendations, here is how this would work for each one.
Spaceport Authority: Attempts at space travel are not a core function of government and should not be subsidized by state taxpayers. The spaceport should operate entirely on fees as it is an intensely non-core function of government. Because this agency has other sources of funds in addition to legislative appropriations, it can continue to operate even if the Legislature eliminates the appropriation, as it has done recently for other state agencies.
OETA: Because this agency has other sources of funds in addition to legislative appropriations, it can continue to operate even if the Legislature eliminates the appropriation, as it has done recently for other state agencies. Previous legislative studies have revealed that 17 states do not use taxpayer dollars to subsidize public television.
JM Davis: The JM Davis Museum is an intensely local attraction that should be entirely funded by local funding and tourist visits. Because this agency has other sources of funds in addition to legislative appropriations, it can continue to operate even if the Legislature eliminates the appropriation, as it has done recently for other state agencies.
David and Ann Brown Distinguished Fellow
Trent England is the David and Ann Brown Distinguished Fellow at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, where he previously served as executive vice president. He is also the founder and executive director of Save Our States, which educates Americans about the importance of the Electoral College. England is a producer of the feature-length documentary “Safeguard: An Electoral College Story.” He has appeared three times on Fox & Friends and is a frequent guest on media programs from coast to coast. He is the author of Why We Must Defend the Electoral College and a contributor to The Heritage Guide to the Constitution and One Nation Under Arrest: How Crazy Laws, Rogue Prosecutors, and Activist Judges Threaten Your Liberty. His writing has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Times, Hillsdale College's Imprimis speech digest, and other publications. Trent formerly hosted morning drive-time radio in Oklahoma City and has filled for various radio hosts including Ben Shapiro. A former legal policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation, he holds a law degree from The George Mason University School of Law and a bachelor of arts in government from Claremont McKenna College.