Our Republicans just don't get it. With our oil selling at over $50 a barrel, they have the gall to demonstrate that they are willing to tap the permanent fund when 80 percent of us told them, "Don't touch it." Democrats, now it's over to you. Our Republicans have failed us.
"The Legislature shall provide for the utilization, development, and conservation of all natural resources belonging to the state, for the maximum benefit of its people." So, introduce a 50 percent windfall profits tax and make it retrospective to when oil sold at $25 a barrel. There will then be more than enough money to spend on education and such pet projects as a gold-plated jet for our governor to keep on his retirement.
The oil of Alaska belongs to the people of Alaska, not to the oil barons who are now reaping a vast fortune from windfall profits, escaping even our minuscule 13 percent tax rate. Worldwide demand for oil is now rising rapidly. $50 a barrel for oil will sadly, soon, be just a foregone history. Hundred-dollars-a-barrel oil is now on the horizon.
Mantra: With a windfall profit tax, there is simply no need for Alaskans to reinstitute an income tax or touch the permanent fund, ever! Never, no not ever.
Stand apart. Take up the task. Democrats, get the job done.
John J. Kiernan