LIST OF ISSUES
State-Funded Financial aid for College Students
It is wrong for the state to make decisions about student aid for two reasons. Firstly, we have learned that this opens the door to corruption. Secondly, the resultant bureaucracy is an inefficient and expensive way to allocate taxpayer money.
My solution is to leave scholarship decisions where they belong – in the hands of the people who raise the money and who take the time to know the students whom they support. This eliminates bureaucracy and reduces the opportunities for cheating.
The tax savings of eliminating federal and state education aid would be available to both private donors and non-profit organizations to fund the needs of our students. If this is combined with less interference in college education at federal and state levels, it would reduce the cost of a college education and put it within reach of more students and their families without aid.
State Funding for Affordable Housing
Here again, government is the least efficient manner of deciding who receives aid and how much. It uses an expensive and, sometimes, corrupt bureaucracy to accomplish the goal.
My solution is to make it easier and cheaper to build affordable housing in the first place by reducing or eliminating the planning and permitting process which contributes to the high cost of housing in the first place.
Another part of the solution could be to offer tax incentives to builders of affordable housing to encourage them to increase the inventory available to those who need it. Allow private charities to choose the beneficiaries because they will be more careful in identifying those in real need and monitoring their situation going forward.
Private organizations will have an incentive to help people who need affordable housing to improve their economic situation and graduate from the housing to make room for new people. Bureaucracies only care about justifying their existence for the next budget review. The funds taken away from state bureaucrats will be available to local bodies for local solutions.
Management of Montana’s Public Lands
The Bureau of Land Management controls a large part Montana land from Washington. Decisions about Montana lands should be made by Montana residents at the lowest level possible. This means that not all decisions should be taken in Helena either.
Boards and commissions composed of citizens who live around the lands in question should be making the decisions which will directly affect them economically and environmentally. If they value the contribution to their lives and economies from public parks, they will have parks. If they prefer other economic uses of public lands, they will benefit or suffer from the consequences of their own actions.
Obviously, the budget currently available to the BLM should be redirected to the local bodies that will manage local lands.