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With oil at $50 dollars a barrel, there should be no fiscal crisis and no plan to reduce permanent fund dividends. Instead Alaskans should enjoy health care for all, free college tuition and a guaranteed income with no reduction in state services.
Why are our state oil revenues for the safest oil and gas fields on the planet, the world's lowest? Why are there no windfall taxes on outrageous profits and no tax on oil and gas left in the tundra until the major producers feel like offering it up for a profit? Alaskans know the answers:
Our "representative" government is owned and operated by the natural resource industry. Over time, we have lost control of what we own to multinational corporations and their managers who use our state as their personal piggy bank and reliable cash cow. How else can we explain their failure to force a settlement of the Exxon Valdez judgment? How else can we explain the failure of our congressional delegation to create a tax shelter for permanent fund dividends awarded to children when it is so very creative in creating tax credits for the oil and gas industry?
There is still time to turn things around. We are still small enough to organize a righteous opposition to control of state government by the oil and gas industry. As a first step we must prove to our neighbors that our numbers are significant. We must give them courage and hope for the future. The way to do this is to make your Presidential vote count. Vote for Ralph Nader. Nader speaks out on the takeover of our national government by corporate America and the need for citizens to recapture control. An Alaskan vote for Populist Party nominee Ralph Nader will send the same strong message to our Alaskan neighbors.