Representative Harriet Drummond tossed the first of what is expected to be many hand grenades for the upcoming legislative campaigns this summer with a cute little piece in Alice Rogoff’s fish wrapper entitle “Raiding the Permanent Fund threatens Alaska’s economy and future.”
The irony is rich from a woman who, for her entire political career has gloried in voting for bloated budgets all in the name of The Children, is now wrapping herself in the trappings of a fiscal conservative.
Harriet claims her vote on increasing taxes on oil producers was done in the spirit of compromise and good will, but those nasty Republicans in the Senate simply won’t work with her well-intentioned and sensible minority on the subject. The real question that Harriet and her democrat cronies ought to be answering is, How will increasing taxes on the producers get a single barrel more out of the ground and into the pipeline? Basic bit of economic education to economic illiterates like Harriet, her democrat cronies and her union backers: If you want less of something, tax it more.
As to raiding the Permanent Fund, a charge I do expect out of Harriet, Tom Begich and all democrat campaigns for the legislature statewide this summer and fall, I would point out that you don’t need more money if you are spending within our means. And Harriet, her party, and its backers from the unions and the media have steadfastly refused to cut spending, the size of government, or the number of people dependent on the government.
The larger the state government, the more money it will spend.
Harriet and her minority have blocked attempts to cut education spending, freeze hiring, and freeze COLAs for state employees and retirees. They have supported the outrageous expansion of Medicaid by their governor, Bill Walker. I remain mystified how dumping another 60,000 Alaskans into Medicaid will save us any money. Finally, Harriet and her minority have refused to support using the Constitutional Budget Reserve unless spending is kept at current levels. They did it successfully last year. They are doing it again this year. And they plan on turning right around and blaming the majority for putting the Permanent Fund at risk.
It is the democrats and the unions that are poised to raid the Permanent Fund. Their plan appears to keep the state government spending well above its means and slam into the fiscal wall just as hard and fast as possible, so as to create enough chaos to force that raid. This is why they adamantly refuse to cut spending anywhere.
And they are gleefully backed by statewide media. Note to Harriet and her minority (this means you, Chris Tuck), the state economy is already in recession. The longer you screw around fighting all efforts at fiscal sanity, the worse it is going to get.
Alex Gimarc lives in Anchorage since retiring from the military in 1997. His interests include science and technology, environment, energy, economics, military affairs, fishing and disabilities policies. His weekly column “Interesting Items” is a summary of news stories with substantive Alaska-themed topics. He is a small business owner and Information Technology professional.