The Institute's recent report, "Get Out the Veto Pen: XX," was featured in a Scott Reeder column published in the Quad Cities Dispatch, with commentary from the Institute's Kristina Rasmussen:
[T]he political waters in Springfield have been roiled lately over the question: Should it be government that teaches youngsters how to fish?
In a recent report, the Illinois Policy Institute criticized the state for spending $365,000 a year to teach city kids how to be anglers.
I can't help but believe the institute has hooked a solid issue worthy of further consideration.
After all, government is like algae on a stagnant pond -- if it grows too fast -- it will smother out everything else.
And our pocketbooks are dangling bait for those who believe government can spend money more wisely than we can.
. . .
Since the policy institute issued its report, state bureaucrats have been raising a stink smellier than cheese bait sitting in the sun.
They argue that the money from licenses goes into a fund that can only benefit hunting and fishing activities in the state -- and that it can't go to benefit the rest of state government, which is drowning in debt.
Sadly, some of my colleagues in the media have bought that argument -- hook, line and sinker.
Here's a thought: How about spending less money on government programs so licenses aren't so expensive and more folks can afford to take a child fishing on their own? After all, state government confiscated a whole extra week of pay this year when it raised the income tax 67 percent.
"Teaching kids to fish should be the responsibility of parents, relatives, neighbors or volunteer groups -- not the government," said Kristina Rassmussen, executive vice president of the Illinois Policy Institute.