This editorial was published in 2006 while in the Alaska Legislature. It's a good overview of my political philosphy. Articles on other subjects can be accessed above by scrolling over and clicking on your selection.
Liberty and Freedom -
By Vic Kohring
The idea that has most inspired me and moved me to action over my entire life is ''liberty'' or ''freedom.'' It's when people can best produce what they need to live, exchange values with each other and be happiest in an atmosphere where they know government will leave them alone and where laws are few but clear. This is the very center of our Forefathers' vision for America.
Kings and other rulers of Europe and Asia scoffed at the notion of an entire continent living without the ''strong hand of leadership from above.'' But it was the very absence of this strong top down statism that made America rich, great and the envy of the world. As such, America is a 230-year old successful experiment in self-government.
As a new and most robust state, Alaska has inherited this precious legacy of freedom, and to the extent exercised, has become rich and prosperous. Of the many growing cities here, my hometown, Wasilla has become an example for all others. It's a city of entrepreneurs, small business owners and active volunteers where I've lived since 1976.
From Mayor Charlie Bumpus in the 80's, who for the most part prevented government growth from spoiling Wasilla, to former Mayor Sarah Palin who shoots rifles and supports iron dog races, we have a young, vigorous population, talented and still free to pursue our own interests in a free market society.
As such, Wasilla is an inspiration to all Alaskans. The city is not perfect, but has a pedigree of freedom. That is what made it flourish and is what is needed to nourish and make it the open and deliberate center of limited government philosophy.
I wish to see Wasilla become an even freer city. How should Wasilla keep up this good fortune? We could enact a formal resolution or written declaration to remain free and limit taxpayer handouts. In other words, we could create a formal ethic of merit. We could praise the men who earn their own living in the private sector and scorn big government. This was in fact our way of life for most of the 19th Century in America, the century which raised the standards of living for all the world to see and look upon with envy.
How could this be made real?
We could require cities to cap taxes and restrict spending. We could encourage streamlining of government agencies, both state and local, with the notion that if the private sector could do the same job easier, then it should be allowed to. My House Bill 40, which merged two state departments, passed in 1999 and should be repeated. We should encourage the idea that government ought not be an agency of spreading around other peoples' money to do good works. That's the role for private charity.
We should pass laws to reduce government’s tendency to come up with all sorts of ''make work'' which reduces real business efficiency. And finally we should set a goal of reducing government spending so that people can enjoy the fruits of their labors instead of waiting around for government to decide what to do with their own money. With this should be a policy of having few, but clear laws that protect men's individual rights but do not intervene in their lives.
I believe this is what our Forefathers' envisioned. It's the logical extension of the Declaration of Independence and it's what most people of the Mat-Su understand and want. It's most decidedly what I want too. If certain big city media sneer at liberty and a limited government, then we know clearly who our friends are and who are not. It's our right and place as individuals to be on guard to know who is what.
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The following are guest columns published from my legislative years (general topics):
Paid for by Vic Kohring for U.S. Senate