Steve Russell: Tribal governments falling on edge of fiscal cliff

"Tribal governments that disdain being “domestic, dependent nations” should prepare two budgets, similar to the “shadow governments” that opposition parties compose in a parliamentary system.

The Plan A budget would be the one expected. The Plan B budget would be if federal funds dried up like water on a hot rock, every dime. Excepting those perpetual payments required by treaties would not help very many tribes.

The Plan B budget is not a necessity, but it’s a political document that might cause people to ask where we stand if the Indian fighters ever get their way and tribes are reduced to voluntary associations with no special legal status? How many of us would volunteer?

Unions and clubs have dues and Indian tribes should collect taxes. Those few that do so normally tax non-citizens, which misses the point.

Should the U.S. hit the fiscal cliff set up to deter the gridlock in Washington, the BIA will take a hit along with a lot of government. I will complain, you will complain, but everybody will be hurting."

Get the Story:
Steve Russell: Dual Citizens on the Edge of the Fiscal Cliff (Indian Country Today 10/6)

Related Stories:
Steve Russell: Maybe Mitt Romney is just a really mean person? (10/1)
Steve Russell: A voter's guide to gaffes on the campaign trail (9/26)
Steve Russell: Health care and Barack Obama on train ride (9/17)
Steve Russell: Torts a positive tool in tribal governance systems (9/4)
Steve Russell: Using 'patriotism' against the first Americans (8/20)
Steve Russell: America is on the losing end of the war on terror (8/8)
Steve Russell: Voting not in conflict with my tribal citizenship (8/6)

Join the Conversation