Thursday, January 14, 2010

Cutting government

We now know that Gov Otter is proposing shrinking Idaho state government by several agencies, probably most notably Parks and Rec and Idaho Public TV. He acknowledges that these cuts won't save a ton of money, but they're in line with his philosophy that in lean times, government must focus on what it needs, not just on what it wants. In other words, Parks and Rec and IPTV are luxuries. Essential functions, like education and police, should not have deeper cuts in order to maintain luxuries.

State Sen. Nicole LeFavour says that Otter is just being mean, cutting these tiny agencies that don't cost enough to really make much of a difference.

I can see both arguments. The luxury/necessity argument makes sense to me, but I'm also sympathetic with the idea that cutting small agencies will hurt various people and not save much money. If IPTV gets cut, it could well stop broadcasting in small communities. I heard Peter Morrill, IPTV Director, say that 80% of their fundraising comes from SW Idaho. So, cutting IPTV could mean that its programs won't be available to folks in small towns across Idaho. After all, TV is a luxury. No more Sesame Street in Rupert or Salmon or Grangeville, I suppose.

One thing I am pretty sure of. It looks like Gov Otter is using this opportunity to shrink government, something he and his fellow conservatives are always seeking to do.


fortboise said...

(The Senator says she spells her last name LeFavour.)

Interesting thing about SW Idaho doing most of the funding. We've got a red state/blue state thing going on within our state. The dang librals down here in Boise pay for a lot of the government goods and services that the state provides to rural areas.

Maybe. I don't know specifics beyond what's been said about IPTV, but the parallel occurred to me while reading your post.

Anonymous said...

Take a walk thru IPTV's digs sometime- not exactly a model of frugality, and a far cry from their Public origins at BSU.

Alan said...

TVA (fixed; thanks)

Yes, this valley supports rural areas in many ways. Just look at the tax receipts and distributions some time.