The “My Turn” column by Doug Reynolds, titled “Be careful what you vote for,” that ran last week had a major error. In a democratic republic, an individual or a corporation does not have to do anything unless there is a court order requiring them to do so. The oil companies simply do not have to drill or produce oil in Alaska. As with other private contracts, the consumer pays what the producer demands or they don’t get the product or service. Try telling your doctor you are only going to pay X amount for this visit. Medicare is doing that, and doctors are refusing Medicare patients. As a private business owner, if you didn’t like our fee schedule, you were perfectly free, and even encouraged, to take your business to a competitor.
Oil taxes are a government taking of part of the oil company compensation. Take too much, and your oil stays in the ground. Pay the fees and oil flows down the pipeline. Oil tax reform won’t hurt the Permanent Fund nearly as much as governmental deficit spending.
It is time to stop politicking with oil taxes and use some good old-fashioned family budgeting. We as a state can not deficit-spend forever without going bankrupt.
John D. Cooper