Opinion: Dunleavy’s complete fiscal irresponsibility

Governor shifts public attention to culture wars as he gives state’s resources to corporations

  • Monday, April 24, 2023 3:21pm
  • Opinion

Dunleavy’s state budget simply does not add up. Never did. It is rife with deception, obvious exclusions, delusion, increased federal involvement, rampant speculative promises — while buying off the public with PFDs that would create huge deficits and loss of basic services. His re-election strategy.

Complete fiscal irresponsibility. Real leaders are supposed to deal with problems, not shrink away under a cloak of deception.

His education funding simply ignores cost increases of up to 21%. That’s a favorite budget strategy of governors and their OMB — for many items. They claim cuts and savings, knowing full well they do not exist to begin with. Not simple politics, outright lies.

And the supposed “carbon management bill” package materializes exactly how into State of Alaska cash? A federal promise for nothing more than complex entangled federal regulation and control. Through favored corporations in Alaska; who mostly own the Legislature and will call the shots.

Why not pay PFDs in “carbon management bill” payments and vouchers? If they are simply equal to dollars, give them the full dividend that way?

Dunleavy again offers a full dividend bribe as his budget-busting program; ignoring reality. Bombarding us with Internet advertising about PFD mechanical security, etc. that has nothing to do with PFD-caused deficits, long-term return, or clear necessary alternatives.

Although Walker and Gara campaigned on budget responsibility, they were rejected for it. But to many conservative Alaskans it’s irrelevant when the greed, avarice and Dunleavy socialism promised them more free cash.

ConocoPhillips, a Texas corporation, has reaped billions in profits that belong to the Alaska Permanent Fund. Parnell got his payoff for his giveaway oil tax law in a University of Alaska Anchorage position.

The Alaska Permanent Fund and dividend are now nothing more than a political slush fund under Dunleavy. It should be reintegrated into the Alaska state treasury system. Far less costly and less of a political play-toy Dunleavy has made of it. After all, its new director came from long-term government service; the excuse to hire him.

Tolls for the ferry system. Why no tolls for all of Anchorage, Fairbanks and rural roads which the state maintains. Simple unfairness. Revenue requirements for Southeast, not for Anchorage, Wasilla, Palmer. His destruction of the AMHS has led to massive shipping cost increases in Southeast; wonder much how more commercial shippers have made on this one?

Or the “feasibility study” for Cascade Point, or the second Douglas crossing, to eventually milk vast amounts of public money for road access to private corporation lands. That’s why the corporate model (versus tribal elsewhere) was chosen for Alaska Natives to begin with; to pay the management responsible to nobody really.

According to Sen. Lisa Murkowski, about $285 million in infrastructure grants based on federal requirements and control of funding is available for AMHS. Federal control of the ferries.

Yet, in order to get this money, Alaska must appropriate separate amounts to obtain the federal monies.

Don’t worry Fairbanks, UAA can do a lot of that Fairbanks teaching and research stuff now done in Fairbanks. Dunleavy can move Fairbanks jobs to Anchorage that are easily done 250 miles away up the rail line, cheaper, to Anchorage.

Dunleavy seeks a silly internet “404” redirect for clean water action permits. More adults are needed to solve Alaska budget and regulatory issues.

Dunleavy is focused on culture wars, authoritarianism, preventing others from exercising precisely the free will demanded by God, and especially a woman’s right to chose and the Alaska Constitution’s privacy rights. Radical right-wing activism and fascism is growing like a wildfire among conservatives, the GOP and the religious right.

Freedom and privacy are only the providence of a political minority now as ordained by the Federalist Society-run U.S. Supreme Court. The courts now want to override science, the FDA and medical decisions to suit their personal religious bias.

For Dunleavy personal ideology outweighs everything. Encouraging hate, derision and giving public resources away to socialist Alaska crony corporate capitalists as they snuffle at the government trough makes state finances even worse.

Are there any back-boned adults left in Alaska government?

• Anselm Staack, registered non-affiliated, is a CPA and attorney who has been an Alaska resident for 48 years. He was state treasury comptroller for Gov. Jay Hammond, and worked on the creation of the Alaska Permanent Fund and the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation. He resides in Juneau.

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