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Cost Avoidance #8: Make Low-Priority Agencies Non-Appropriated

October 2, 2017 - 3:22pm CDT

#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.

Photo by Sroemerman / CC BY-SA 2.5