Giving conservatism an 'ultra' bad name

Posted: Friday, April 19, 2002

Reading Vic Kohring's nonsensical claptrap on Tuesday at least gave me an answer to the problem Bill McAllister brought up a couple Sundays ago.

Related Column:

My Turn: Cut state spending by $1 billion

Arkansas had its Slick Willy, and Alaska has its Slick Vic (although I cringe at making the comparison, as it's insulting to Mr. Clinton).

Kohring slickly and dishonestly plies the glib assertion that Alaska can cut half its operating budget with no real effect. He smoothly writes the right fibs about funding roads, education and police. He pushes the deceitful idea that just some combined departments here and a trim there will make a billion dollar annual budget hole vanish.

What Kohring will never detail is exactly what yearly billion dollars worth of state functions and services he would eliminate from the budget. The cuts he details in his essay amount to only a small fraction of that figure.

However, Kohring is delighted to push a legislative move, which would cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and a capital move (even more mouthwatering to Slick Vic), which would run into the billions - pork from which Kohring, who is in construction, would personally benefit.

While whining about taxes (as if no one's ever heard the word before), Kohring doesn't mention that the "means" within which a government lives includes revenue from personal taxes of one kind or another in every other state of the union and in every industrialized nation. Only Slick Vic, it seems, expects a continued free ride.

While prattling on about the Founding Fathers, Kohring conveniently forgets that the 18th century government they brought into being didn't include permanent fund dividends, longevity bonuses or assistance for the needy or disabled. But there's not a word from Kohring about eliminating any of those trappings of 21st century government. The only harsh word he has is for the ordinary working people who make our state run. I guess Slick Vic doesn't get any campaign contributions from the public employee unions.

Anyway, about Mr. McAllister's problem. Apparently he had been taken to task for the prefix "ultra" when describing Mr. Kohring as an "ultraconservative." Slick Vic has nothing to do with the responsible, reality-based conservatism of a Bill Hudson, or the few others who are trying to seriously, realistically and responsibly to address Alaska's budget difficulties.

So, Mr. McAllister, please keep the "ultra." Just drop the "conservative" in reference to Mr. Kohring. I could suggest "ultrapolitical," "ultraslick," "ultradishonest," "ultraselfserving," "ultrawacko," "ultrachildish," "ultrawhiny."

Donald R. Douglas

Juneau



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