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What does “Mission Critical” mean?
Over the years State government has drifted from its essential mission. Currently, each department of State has substantial programs which are outside its mission scope. Mission Critical defines the areas of each department which are essential to the mission.
What is the motivation behind the “Mission Critical” Project?
The "Mission Critical Project" is designed to assist the general public in discussion and encourage debate regarding what is the essential mission of government.
Does the Mission Critical project advocate for various budget plans presented by the Governor, State Senate, or State House or other special interests?
No, Mission Critical is a stand alone project directed at the citizens of Alaska. We encourage all legislators to dialogue with citizens regarding our project and proposals.
What is mission drift?
Upon close inspection of the departments of the State, it is common practice that departments have adopted substantial missions which are outside their specific scope. Mission drift waters down the essential mission and increases substantial costs in redundancy.
Does the Mission Critical Project examine mission drift as part of its review?
Yes, one of our mission assignments is to recommend realignment of programs to their proper department.
Should Alaska have the budget the Governor and legislature continue to propose or the budget the people can afford?
No, while there has been cuts to the State budget, the majority of cuts have occurred in the Capital Construction Budget. Currently the operating budget is in massive deficit and very little little cutting has been done. This year the Governor and many legislators will be calling for a cap on the PFD and an array of taxes in order to protect a bloated operating budget without with very small reductions.
What is the proper role of government?
Our constitution defines the role of government to provide for a public education component, provide for the general welfare, protect and develop our resources for all Alaskans and provide for a climate of private economic development.
Is a sustainable budget the same thing as a Constitutional budget?
No, one must be careful using the definition of a "sustainable" budget because this can mean different things to different people. Currently, the governor is recommending additional taxes to maintain his definition of a "sustainable budget." On the other hand, a Constitutional budget contains only those programs defined in the Alaska Constitution. Today's State government finances substantial programs which are highly suspect to their constitutionality.
Should reductions in spending be done before new revenue sources are sought?
The entire conversation regarding capping the PFD and incorporating tax streams are a result of ineffective legislating to identify the excesses and redundancy of government. Don't be fooled. look at this chart again...
Is adding $55,000,000(million) to the Medicaid program during a time of a fiscal crisis without sharing a clear plan or the details of this experiment with Alaskan appropriate?
No, this program is there to subsidize a select group of medical patients (500) to experiment if they are subsidized, will this lower costs. Has the government ever subsidized anything which resulted in a lower medical cost?
Should politicians be looking for reductions in the state budget by identifying harmful cuts in services as the governor and many legislators are proposing? Or should policy makers identify areas of efficiency, duplication, waste, and optional spending?
This is a no-brainer. Too many times cuts are made solely for political expediency. We call this the "Close the Washington Monument syndrome." Last year the Department of Transportation had difficulty clearing the Parks Hwy at first snowfall. DOT indicated it was due to budget constraints. Do you believe this or was this merely an effort to get the government's message across by cutting vital services? The correct question should be, can an inherently inefficient government identify and reduce duplication, waste, and excess? What should "We the People" expect from our legislators?
Should the government prioritize the public sector or the private sector?
This is an essential question as Alaska has the highest per-capita public sector than any other state in the nation. It is very clear that a responsible, efficient economy will always come from the private sector. The private sector creates jobs whereas the government sector creates overhead. Alaska must begin to prioritize developing a vibrant private sector or we will continue to languish in boom and bust economic cycles.
Should the government promote responsible resource development or revenue enhancement?
This should be an easy question but it is not. Alaska has a history of capital investments which were extremely bad investments. Currently, the governor is proposing a State funded Gasline which would be the most expensive construction project in the history of the world, with the idea that in 2025 some analysts are projecting an increase in the price for LNG. The real question should be, if this is a viable project, why is the private sector unwilling to invest, and more important, is this a function of government, in our form of government? Alaska happens to be the most diverse resource rich state in America so certainly there are abundant projects the State can promote without such economic exposure. Red Dog mine is a perfect example of responsible resource development. Ambler could be another. We have to be able to determine what projects are realistic and which are pipe-dreams. We should not be making complex decisions based on visions which are not viable.
Ronald Reagan famously stated:
"Government is not the solution, government is the problem!"