My disgust in the Legislature
By Samuel Bergeron
June 27, 2004
Each year the legislature fails to address our long-standing
fiscal crisis it means fewer services and higher local taxes.
Every year we send the same people to Juneau to represent us.
Now and for a long while these people have been Republicans.
We have a Republican Governor, a Republican Senate and a Republican
House of Representatives. Yet this majority has done nothing
to make your life and mine better. On the contrary, they have
said thru painful cuts to senior citizens' longevity bonuses
and revenue sharing to local governments, that until we get to
spend your permanent fund or tax you, this will continue. All
the while they are giving away the State's natural recourses
to large oil companies thru the economic limit factor and offer
up huge tax breaks and superfluous economic incentives. When
will this end?
It will end when we figure out that the best interest of you
and I, the voters of this state, are not being met. The way to
change the direction of the legislature is to change the legislature
itself. This year is the year we should make our voices loud
and clear at the ballot box; You've had your chance now we'll
try someone new . We should elect people with new ideas and the
wherewithal to implement those ideas not offer up more of the
The fiscal council policy of Alaska embraced a concept to secure
a percentage of the permanent fund to fund essential State services
while preserving a dividend to be paid to all Alaskans. (POMV)
I believe this concept has merit and should've been addressed
in the special session of the legislature. It wasn't. Instead
we were given the same excuses as why they weren't able to come
to a consensus and fund education, public safety, longevity bonuses,
transportation and all the other services we have come to rely
on. The net result of their inaction is a reduction or elimination
of some of these services, as well as passing along the cost
of these services to you and I at the local level thru increased
sales taxes, property taxes and user fees.
Instead they have criticized each other, mostly the Governor,
for calling a special session and their impotency towards the
fiscal gap continues. It's obvious to me that this set of players
will never get the fiscal gap fixed until they are able to tap
the perm fund or implement a state wide sales tax or reinstate
the income tax, all the while the great give away continues.
In the near term we need to implement the POMV concept and address
the economic limit factor and stop the great give away to large
outside interests. There was a point of view published in the
Ketchikan Daily News entitled: Before POMV, reverse effects
of ELF. I believe this concept has merit but it is not pragmatic
in the sense that the State's fiscal problem needs to be addressed
in the near term. We should do as the fiscal council policy of
Alaska has suggested and implement the POMV concept. At the same
time have discussion of what the ELF is exactly and ask ourselves
is it good policy for Alaska. If it's not, fix it.
You, the readers of this missive, are the ultimate authority
as to the direction the State government should take. You do
this by electing people who can and will make a difference. Not
by continuing the gridlock, but by embracing concepts such as
POMV, that are not perfect, but address our economic needs.
We need to elect representatives that will embrace the policies
that will address the needs of all Alaskans and who will leave
the excuses behind.
Thanks for listening.
Ketchikan, AK - USA
Note: Comments published
on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.
Post a Comment -------View Comments
Submit an Opinion - Letter
Stories In The News