Wyoming Liberty Group
If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free.
Choosing to expand Medicaid is like deciding to marry for the sake of a dream honeymoon when disillusionment is the likely outcome. Fortunately, seven members of the Joint Appropriations Committee rescued Wyoming from a looming and ill-conceived entitlement marriage by voting to strip Medicaid Expansion from the 2017-18 budget appropriations bill.
When politicians justify handing out public dollars for private benefit, they use the word investment to spin this spending into something more palatable to voters. However, state directed spending in the economy is nothing more than economic central planning in disguise. To stop the growth in central planning in Wyoming, we must bring the state’s role back to that of an umpire, rather than a participant, in the economy.
During Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal’s visit to Wyoming in November 2015, he discussed his strategy to put Louisiana’s fiscal house in order. His basic philosophy of government is that we can grow the American economy or we can grow the government economy, we can’t do both. If we want to grow the American economy we must shrink the government economy. This economic growth strategy worked in Louisiana and it will work in the Wyoming too, if given the chance.
A Rainy Day Fund Raid with a Twist of Sour Lime
Wyoming stands at a fork in the road. Throughout the 2000’s, politicians played Santa Claus with a severance tax bonanza. Saving some of that windfall in a variety of savings accounts mitigated this pork-fest.
Now, as the minerals boom turns to bust, many of our elected representatives look covetously at those savings as a way to shield themselves from the difficult choices involved in limiting government to a level remaining taxpayers can afford to fund.
Cheyenne residents were upset when they learned that City of Cheyenne officials had sent a notice of violation to a homeowner at the corner of Warren and 3rd Avenues demanding that she remove a cottonwood tree stump that is located in the City’s right-of-way. According to the Cheyenne Urban Forestry Division’s Assistant Director, “in the case of stumps, it’s often an aesthetic issue when the stumps need to be removed. City regulations require the stump to be removed and ground up to a depth of 8 inches.” However, the landowner claims that her stump is special because she had it carved into a statue. So is it a stump or a statute? And a quick look around Cheyenne raises an even more fundamental question, should it even make a difference?
The state of Wyoming earmarks tobacco settlement funds to certain programs — and guess what. The programs cost more than the revenue they receive. As you might expect, the knee jerk reaction to this is to raise tobacco taxes to cover the shortfall. But let’s take a closer look.