When are our lawmakers and political leaders going to get off their partisan sidelines and start thinking about what is good for Alaska? They have spent most of our main savings account (Constitutional Budget Reserve), but have not put a fiscal plan in place to provide continuing revenue for future state expenses. Next they will have to tap the Permanent Fund earnings reserve, which will whittle away at the fund as a whole (our last savings account) by not allowing us to inflation proof it, and will reduce the likelihood of continuing any kind of long-term dividend distributions to Alaska residents.
Economists around the state are predicting the recession will last at least another year now because no fiscal fix is in place. Job losses continue, and businesses are leery of investing in the state. People are leaving Alaska for other states with better economies. The state’s credit rating has been downgraded again. Alaska residents are ready to pay a tax and allow measured use of permanent fund earnings, but our lawmakers are not listening. If they keep fighting and delaying action, they might as well just turn out the lights and close the door.