Where are the big, bold, and impressive ideas? Where is the optimism, courage, and leadership? Where is the Happy?
Years of doom and gloom is getting old; news of the fiscal crisis ad nauseam, propaganda saying the PFD is the only solution, and finally – an economic recession. Gray clouds abound.
- The fiscal crisis is a result of a bloated, overspending state government and lack of creating diversified revenue streams. Downsize more. Get frugal. Live within your means. Create fair and balanced revenue streams. A right-sized government is one where spending is equal to revenues – that’s it. The state is still spending about $1.5B more than it expects in revenue. Downsizing is needed. New revenue is needed. It is a math problem, not doomsday!
- The PFD restructure and raid is the current political environment lawmakers have been trying to create for years. I don’t buy it. I don’t support any permanent change to the PFD without a vote of the people. A raid hurts low to moderate income families much more than wealthier families and it’s just not right. Also, PFD spending is a huge boost to local economies. When the PFD checks are reduced, the impact on smaller-than-Anchorage cities and villages across Alaska is terrible. This devastating impact on small cities has gone under reported. PFD raiders make your case to the public, take a vote, and live with the consequences.
- A recession can be minimized by job creation. Consider, for example, moving some money into one big capital project. One that most benefits the entire state and creates the maximum number of jobs (not the gasline or other boondoggle). Or, consider moving some funds to a statewide program like the old Coastal Zone program. This program created many local jobs which injects revenue directly into small economies. Do something bold. Think big. Be fearless.
Alaskans are known for their resilience, love of family, neighbors, and state. I’d like to see this spirit rise up and out of Juneau. I’d like to see elected leaders join in an effort to lift all Alaskans. A tall order, but badly needed. It is doable. Without guts, there will be no glory.
LeadDog, April 2017© No Guts, No Glory
LeadDog is an independent perspective written by Tara Jollie, long time Alaska resident and state employee – retired. Opinions here are based upon years of state government experience and are strictly the author’s own. More articles from LeadDog
Published Sunday, April 16, 2017; Alaska Dispatch News, Opinions