‘Tis the season where we take up, once again, the question of the South Dakota State Fair. Huronians and those in the nearby areas are certain that it should continue to be funded by the state. Others are not so certain. The Huron Plainsman has a fairly detailed article on the matter:
South Dakota legislators are heading into the last five days of the main run of the session preparing for yet another familiar fight – the state budget.
And once again, District 22 lawmakers are finding themselves seeking allies to defend funding for the State Fair. After about $380,000 was sliced from the appropriation two years ago, the Republican plan unveiled last week recommends cutting another $100,000.
I realize that to many, the following statement will sound unnecessarily simplistic; nonetheless, here it is. If the state fair is constitutionally required, then the state ought to fund it. If it is not, then the state has no business funding it–regardless of perceived or supposed benefit to any. Unfortunately, the principle of limited government won’t be discussed much (if at all) in the coming battle over funding.
No, instead the discussion will be over things like whether the money spent on the fair is an investment–considering how much money the fair brings to the surrounding part of the state–and whether other programs should be cut this year because the fair already had its funding reduced, and . . . well, you get the picture. The assumption underlying all of these pieces of the argument is that the state can fund the fair if it (the state) has the money–making the argument about cost rather than principle.
If all of the legislators would vow to cut those portions of state funding which are not required by the constitution (of either the state or the federal government), then I’ve a strong feeling that balancing the budget wouldn’t be much of a challenge at all.
Is it too much to hope that such a scenario is within the realm of reason?