SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions


By David G Hanger  

March 22, 2016
Tuesday PM

By 1981 when the revenue agent stopped by he was pushing 80 strong, but still every year summer came around and off he and the wife were once again to the Yukon or the Klondike, where the nights are short and the legends long. And every year he would spend $50,000 to $80,000 on his mining operation, and every year he reported to the IRS -0- income, generating a massive loss that offset his wife’s and his other income sources, and got him a $10,000 to $15,000 a year refund.

So along comes the IRS with a gold-badge wearing full-fledged revenue agent, not your ordinary auditor he; out to collect $75,000 to $100,000 in taxes and penalties from a couple old fools and a naïve backwoods tax accountant. Yes, indeed.

To the scheduled audit session I tell them bring themselves and two specified items, then briefly rehearse the client on how and when to present them. Don’t even bother with receipts.

The Revenue Agent sits down and presents his credentials, immediately plays the standard little game of bypassing and ignoring the clients’ representation and going straight at the client; and naïve little old me lets him do it. After basic bio-data, etc. ‘ere long we come to the meat of the matter. “It is not the policy of the government to support people’s summer holidays even if they are out panning for gold.”

Rehearsal and timing really do pay.

Boom! “Panning for gold, who the hell is panning for gold?” the client loudly blusters. Out comes item #1, the operation’s photo album; giant sluices twisting up the mountainsides, bulldozers and cranes scattered about on the flats, camp equipage everywhere.

“This is definitely not what I expected,” the Revenue Agent says, “but there is no income, no revenue, from this operation. There is no apparent business intent.”

Then item #2 came out. Four vials of gold, two of dust, and two of nuggets, and gold fever is manifested first in the eyes of the victim. It is an immediate contagion that affects all age groups and both sexes, pretty much the same way.

The client concludes, “I have safe deposit boxes full of this stuff, but I’m not going to sell a dime of it until the price of gold exceeds $850 an ounce.” The audit was over and that easily won.

The point to this old man’s story is very simple: The gold remained unsold in a safe deposit box until the price was high enough. When it got sold, the government got their fair share; they had no real complaint.

So long as our oil remains in its own safe deposit box underground until the price is high enough the people of this state and its government both have the opportunity to thrive. Give the oil away for free, and we are all doomed.

What is troubling about that statement is it seems the exact opposite of that is true; but that is illusionary. We are in process of destroying a substantial portion of the economy of the state of Alaska to finance the economic well-being of the Anchorage-Fairbanks corridor for a period of time that cannot last longer than three years, and probably will not last two.

All one needs to do is to read the basic information on the internet to be aware that oil patches all over the world are in deep recession or even depression conditions right now. Wells are being capped all over the place to be left in nature’s safe deposit box until the price is high enough.

Everywhere that is except Alaska. Here production the last six months of 2015 was 20,000 barrels more a day, and is up another 5% so far in 2016.


Why? Why would anyone let this happen?

Free enterprise is not what the Anchorage-Fairbanks corridor believes in; its representatives to the Alaska state legislature are even more dishonest. With free enterprise taxes would have continued to be collected at the rate of $4 billion a year, which is exactly what these oil company thieves don’t want to pay, and in fact would not have paid in 2015 because they would have ceased production if the tax were still being imposed, the oil would still be safe-deposited in the ground, and the state would not have collected any tax in 2015. But at the beginning of 2016 the state of Alaska would still have a reserve account of just under $20 billion instead of the pittance that will run out as early as February next year.

The other thing that would have happened is that both Anchorage and Fairbanks would have gone into recession by the beginning of 2015. That is not a preferable event, but that is the event that would have occurred had free enterprise been allowed to take a more normal course. It should have been allowed to take that course, for as painful as it may have been, what will occur because of the course chosen is going to be immeasurably worse.

“Fear is the mind killer,” Frank Herbert said, and it is stunning how mindless these people are; or is it how selfishly irresponsible they are. There are two games being played here, not just one, and that is what everyone seems to be missing.

In Part 2 of this series we will discuss in greater detail the identities and the motivations of the writers of the article entitled “Alaska should not look to a sector that’s drowning in red ink to solve its fiscal gap,” but let it be noted for now these are not your ordinary oil company shills. I urge you to read and re-read that article several times, for through the multitude of lies can clearly be discerned the oil companies’ motivation. “WHAT WE NEED NOW IS THE COURAGE TO RESPONSIBLY CONTINUE TO DRIVE DOWN THE COST OF STATE GOVERNMENT AND UTILIZE THE PERMANENT FUND AS INTENDED—TO FUND STATE SERVICES.” That, of course, is a twisted lie. The true intent of the oil companies is to destroy the Alaska State Government by completely defunding it.

The residents of the Anchorage-Fairbanks corridor are patsies in this game, dumber than rocks, apparently completely unaware that when the next shoe falls it will fall hardest on them.

The oil companies are strumming away on these fools orgasmically.

Play on.

In the meantime former State Representative Ray Metcalfe has provided us with this short 7-minute film about the Alaska oil industry that will aid any consumer in understanding what is going on here and what the consequences are going to be. The film is available at Check it out.

“Oil Company” Walker and “Oilcan Dan” have earned their names and a history through the ages of contempt because they have crawled into bed with the oil companies and sold us all down the river. I am sure “Oilcan” Ortiz believes he is being statesmanlike by selling out, but tell me, “Oilcan Dan,” where was Anchorage and Fairbanks when Papa Pulp Mill shut down? Yet somehow you expect us to bail them out and are working fervently toward that end. Why don’t you just move to Anchorage? You are certainly not representing us.

Watch that short, very good film and stay tuned for Part 2.

David G. Hanger
Ketchikan, Alaska

Received March 21, 2016 - Published March 22, 2016


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