Questions to Ask When Deciding Budget Priorities

Now that Governor Barbour has released his budget plan for next fiscal year, the work begins in earnest to find a way to accomplish the immediate goal of creating a balanced budget in the reality of the current economy.

We’ve prepared some questions to guide policy makers as they go through the budget process so that they not only accomplish that immediate goal of balancing the budget but also the more important, long-term purpose of enhancing freedom by reducing the role of government in our daily lives.

The first question about an existing or proposed program or service should always be: Is this something government has the legitimate authority to do under our constitution? After some other basic similar questions, apply the “yellow pages test”: If a product or service can be found in the yellow pages of a phone book, the government doesn’t need to hire employees and compete with private business.

These questions and many more are presented in our Governing by Principle booklet, which you can receive at no cost to you. Go to mspolicy.org or call 601-969-1300.