When are we going to tell the Republicans enough is enough? Take Lew Williams' latest column in Sunday's Empire. He parrots the governor's position regarding the percent of market value formula for the permanent fund dividend, because the dividend wouldn't be subjected to stock market fluctuation.
Then in the same article he congratulates the governor and by extension the Republican majority in the Legislature for fixing (privatizing) the state's retirement system, the new Tier IV system. Let's not forget our Republican president is also pushing to privatize Social Security. I don't know about you, but I am more comfortable with the thought of my once yearly dividend being subjected to market fluctuations than my retirement benefit. For example the S&P 500 lost 49 percent of its value between Sept. 1, 2000 and Oct. 9, 2002.
Speaking of our president and Iraq - enough said. Instead of saying "thank you" to our fellow Juneauites who just came home from this century's version of the "Hatfields and McCoys," we should be saying "I'm sorry" that you had to give up a year of your youth and risk your life on this family feud.
Let's not forget Tom Delay, R-Texas, accused of money laundering to circumvent the campaign financing laws. Or Bill Frist, R-Tennessee, accused of insider trading, selling stock from his "blind trust" in the family business right before the stock tanked.
How about our state legislatures; they write legislation that will directly line their pockets. Take the Tier IV retirement system, the most vocal proponent of the legislation was Sen. Stedman, R-Sitka, of Stedman Insurance fame. Or how about Norm Rokeberg's move-the-Legislature bill - just so happens that when Norm isn't legislating he is a real estate developer. Surprise.
And finally back to Gov. Murkowski, boy, didn't the oil companies pull the wool over his eyes? Wasn't it just a few years ago he canceled the longevity bonus program because it saved the state $50 million a year? Granted those seniors spent that money on frivolous items like food, medicine and heating oil. Then the governor turns right around and gives $50 million a year to the oil companies to help them find more oil and create new jobs. One quick question: Does anyone know anyone who got one of those $50 million jobs?
Fred C. Dobbs
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