Ted Stevens is dead may he rest in peace. The LA Times remembers him as "The 86-year-old Stevens, the temperamental, powerful politician who...won billions of dollars in federal largess for the region in 40 years as its U.S. senator."
Accurate Reality: He failed as an elected representative for the people of the United States to our government. Mr. Stevens should have voted for the good of the country as the elected representative of Alaska to participate in the governance of the country and only then worried about the good of his constituency. By failing to act in that way he will be remembered fondly by Alaskans, but not by the rest of us. In this he is not alone.
Alaska was the highest per capita recipient of federal spending in 18 of the 25 yeas from 1881-2005 and never out of the top 4 says the Tax Foundation. The last year reported, Alaska received $1.84 for every $1 paid in Federal taxes. Understanding Alaska says that this was $7.6 billion in 2002 of the $2,011 billion spent reported by the site USgovernmentspending.com. That is a bill for $225 to each American that makes over $161,000 in the US - just for Alaska.
"Any section which holds out more obstinately than the rest can compel all the others to adopt its nominee; and this superior pertinacity is unhappily more likely to be found among those who are holding out for their own interest than for that of the public. Speaking generally, the choice of the majority is determined by that portion of the body who are the most timid, the most narrow-minded and prejudiced, or who cling most tenaciously to the exclusive class-interest; and the electoral rights of the minority, while useless for the purposes for which votes are given, serve only for compelling the majority to accept the candidate of the weakest or worst portion of themselves.
That, while recognizing these evils, many should consider them as the necessary price paid for a free government, is in no way surprising; it was the opinion of all the friends of freedom up to a recent period. But the habit of passing them over as irremediable has become so inveterate, that many persons seem to have lost the capacity of looking at them as things which they would be glad to remedy if they could. From despairing of a cure, there is too often but one step to denying the disease; and from this follows dislike to having a remedy proposed, as if the proposer were creating a mischief instead of offering relief from one. People are so inured to the evils that they feel as if it were unreasonable, if not wrong, to complain of them." - John Stuart Mill