15 December 2006

Budget Timeline

You sure don't get a break when you become governor of Alaska. First, you have to win the primary, then the election, then appoint a staff and a cabinet, then make your first few days look productive, and, within two weeks, you have to figure out how to spend a couple billion dollars.

Governor Palin unveiled her plan today and it reminds me of her campaign - sounds good but kind of vague. "Funding to help local governments"? How will it be distributed? Is it permanent? Where is the money coming from? Is it shared per capita or weighted? "Cut a $150 million"? What programs are going to be cut to make that happen.

But leaving the actual budget aside (for now - things only start to matter when the lawmakers get their hands on it), doesn't the timeline strike you as a bit rushed? What's the hurry to put a budget out so quickly, when lawmakers aren't in session and the entire cabinet and staff isn't even appointed yet? Does the Palin administration even have a director of the office of management and budget yet? Does the Palin administration even know the workings of the government well enough yet to decide what to cut, what to add, and what to leave untouched?

Seems to me the process here might be undercutting the product.

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