Don’t be manipulated by fear. The budget deficit is not an emergency. What we have here is not a budget crises, but a revenue source priorities crisis.
Here are some reasonable options for revenue:
• Do not back pay past Permanent Fund Dividends;
• Continue to split the PFD revenue between state citizens and state government;
• State income tax, we can start with 1 to 2 percent;
• Keep oil and gas tax credit repayments at its current rate;
• Don’t invest any more money in the oil and gas industry (no future in it). Instead invest that money in alternative energy (the future).
Yes, I know that Gov. Mike Dunleavy promised to give full PFDs, back PFDs and create no state taxes but he should not have done that. His unrealistic promises versus what is reasonable have created this “crisis.”
Yes, it would be lovely to get all that PFD money. However, I can’t start a ferry system with my share. For that, health care or education, we need the government to use some money from each of us to pay for big projects that we can’t afford individually.
Tighten your belts and hunker down does not inspire me. We can do better. Let’s create a vision for Alaska that moves us forward not backward.
My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire.