When people ask me what being a conservative means, my first response is always that people are more important than government. The last four years we had a state administration that didn’t think that way. Instead of using a glide slope approach to decreasing the huge budget, the largest per-capita in the U.S., it refused to make the hard decisions and kept trying to squeeze blood out of Alaskans with a litany of taxes. They succeeded in implementing a tax on the Permanent Fund Dividend, which mathematically affects those with a lower income more than those with a higher income.
This last year, the voters had had enough and elected Gov. Mike Dunleavy to protect Alaskans from an insatiable government, to be the adult in the room and bring us a sustainable, balanced budget. He kept his word, and brought forth a budget that doesn’t require dipping into savings. Because he had to do in one year what should have been done in five, it is a very different, smaller budget than anyone is used to. This has created stress among the affected user groups, and they will all be testifying to the Legislature on how they’d like that changed. That is representative government, and they should be encouraged to do so.
What I’d like to recommend is that those who voted for Dunleavy, because they wanted an honest politician with that kind of approach, is to send emails or call the Legislature and ask them to keep the real fiscal goals in mind: a sustainable, balanced budget, a full PFD and no new taxes. You don’t have to agree with every decision the governor made in the budget; don’t worry, the Legislature will surely modify it and end up taking money out of savings to cover the difference. In the end though, we have to keep moving toward the goal or we’ll always have a government that thinks the people are only there to supply it money.
• My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire.