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Over the last couple of weeks I have pushed strongly on the need for major reforms to the Wyoming economy. Specifically, our state lawmakers and our governor must focus on two problems, which basically are communicating vessels and soluble only when addressed together:
- The looming deficit in the state budget, which is really a structural deficit unmasked by deflating minerals prices; and
- Our big government sector, with high levels of welfare-state spending and large ranks of state and - especially - local government employees.
While the structural deficit is being unmasked by a turn for the worse in severance tax revenue, the underlying cause is the state's over-commitment to entitlement spending. Generous spending on entitlements does not directly cause an expansion of government employment, but the two are sprung from the same roots: legislative commitment to spending with no regard to the long-term fiscal sustainability of government expansion.
I have been researching Wyoming juvenile justice issues for several years now, and I am still sometimes surprised at what I find. When I began this research, I will admit that I was predisposed to simply believe that our law enforcement community should just stop arresting so many juveniles.
After many interviews with law enforcement officers in several different Wyoming counties I realized that they have a valid position as well: they arrest juveniles who have broken the law. This is what law enforcement does. It is inappropriate to blame policy decisions on the people whose job it is to carry out that policy.
2016 is just around the corner. It looks like this is going to be an exciting election year.
Well, maybe not across the board. The Democrat field of presidential candidates is centered around a party-endorsed candidate. Democrat primary voters can vote for whoever they want, so long as the person they vote for is Hillary Clinton. Her inevitability is even more pronounced than Mitt Romney's GOP nomination was in 2012.
Can Wyoming Slay Fedzilla? Featured
By Bradley Harrington
Published in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle on April 3, 2015.
“Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.” - Howard Aiken, “Portraits in Silicon,” 1987 -
As anyone who follows my column knows well, I am a vociferous advocate for abolishing Wyoming’s reliance on federal funding for any of its internal operations. For what happens if and when those dollars disappear, or threaten to become substantially reduced?
Private-Built Roads Worked Before Featured
By Bradley Harrington
Published in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle on April 10, 2015.
“The legislative powers vested in Congress are specified and enumerated in the eighth section of the first article of the Constitution, and it does not appear that the power proposed to be exercised by the bill is among the enumerated powers...” - President James Madison, vetoing a federal public roads and canals bill, 1817 -
After last week’s recommendation that Wyoming turn its roads over to private enterprise, several readers questioned me on just how that could happen.