Since announcing his theft of $666 million of the People’s Permanent Dividend Fund several weeks ago, Governor Bill Walker has been doing a victory lap around the State of Alaska, presumably on the People’s dime. His message is self-congratulatory and goes something like this: “The legislature wouldn’t act to resolve the State’s budget crisis, so I did.”
Just like Governor Walker’s promise not to “steal” (his words, not mine) from Alaska’s Permanent Fund to provide revenue for our bloated state government, his self-congratulatory message is false. Rather than making the tough calls on the State’s budget, the governor took the easy way out by offending the constituency he’s apparently least concerned about: the People.
Let’s think about this for a minute. The governor claims he cut the PFD in half, by a thousand dollars. In reality, he cut it by about $1200 for every qualifying man, woman and child in Alaska, as the expected PFD absent his illegal act would have been $2200 rather than the governor’s decreed $1000. That’s a direct, 55% cut to the People.
And what did the governor do with respect to government agencies? Most were cut 5% or less. What does that tell you? He fears the lobbyists and bureaucrats more than he fears you. That’s the message. He’s done little heavy lifting to correct the budget deficit, taking the lazy way out by grabbing the easy money. Rather than really cutting the state budget, he cut hard-working Alaskan families’ budgets instead.
To make matters worse, now the Governor claims the ability to unilaterally determine the amount of all your future PFD’s with the mere stroke of a pen. He can pretty much take whatever he wants from you, perhaps so he can hire a few more crony consultants at a few hundred thousand dollars per whack.
Keep in mind, many Alaskans favor the recall of Governor Walker not because they are absolutely opposed to ever using the Permanent Fund for state government. Rather, they want to get rid of him because he failed to make the hard decisions and instead grabbed the easy money. And he lied to them.
Even after “stealing” your money, Governor Walker’s budget plan does not solve the crisis. It just puts a band-aid on it, putting off the hard decisions for the next governor.
Governor Bill Walker is no leader. He’s a charlatan, loyal to the same old corrupt forces behind most Alaskan politicians.