Contributed by Beth Fread
Two of the many games we played as children on our tree-lined gravel road in Ben Lomond, CA were Kick the Can and Red Rover Red Rover Send Someone Over. Since we keep hearing that the 2016 29th Legislature’s blocking of budget increases, taxes of all kinds, PFD raids and redirecting dollars to government was ‘Kick the Can’, we need to add a new street game: Red Rover, Red Rover Send Citizen Defender Over!
Citizen Defender, aka Private Sector Sleuth, is still paying attention and beginning to think that our legislators need to start surviving on the average Alaskan household income. Citizen Defender has read Diapering the Dinosaur by Jay Hammond and recognizes the out-of-control spending going on in Juneau. Private Sector Sleuth has studied the Legislative Information Office’s fiscal summaries from 2014 through 2018 and knows that we are not in a fiscal crisis. In fact, permanent fund earnings, constitutional budget, statutory budget and other reserves are reported at about $16 billion. These funds are available to the legislature for use to offset deficits for necessary services. Citizen Defender knows that these are enough reserves to carry us through 10+ years of $2-$3.5 billion deficits.
Citizen Defender has read the reports of 9,000 job losses and Alaska’s ongoing recession as well as legislation to close down oil companies through an unstable government/business environment and wonders when balance will be achieved. Citizen Defender has also recognized that Juneau is the home of Government Grabber and that most of the legislature, disregarding their in-house Red Rover squad, is working very hard to protect Government Grabber. Citizen Defender is cheering on that insider team.
Citizen Defender’s non-Juneau squad leaders, Brad Keithley (Keithley Consulting) of Alaskans for Sustainable Budgets, David Boyle (AK Policy Forum) and Michael Chambers (Alaskan Artist) of MissionCriticalAlaska.com and AlaskaTruth.com have been working hard for two and a half years to muster the troops, point out the narrowness in Government Grabber’s thinking and light the way to truth and understanding on the streets. Unfortunately, Government Grabber’s squad leaders stream out of Juneau and spread misinformation called a fiscal crisis (fake news) while waving the banner of, “… we work for you!”
It is time for Citizen Defender’s team to recognize that we are armed with telephones, pens, social media, email and not-in-Anchorage newspapers to assist our squad leaders in again achieving the victories of freedom, prosperity and individuality Alaska once enjoyed. We need to start using the weapons at hand and aim them at Government Grabber’s weapons of proximity and censorship.
Private Sector Sleuth has uncovered that budgets for fiscal years 2017 and 2018 are being legislated to over $22 billion, thus establishing a “need” to conduct the ultimate and forever Permanent Fund raid. Private Sector Sleuth also sees that income taxes, tire taxes, higher licensing fees and other so-called revenues are all a part of Government Grabber’s battle plan.
Citizen Defender urges us to watch, listen, read, speak and publish our findings as a member of Citizen Defender’s team and then point your frustration at Juneau. Citizen Defender can become King of the Mountain if we join his team and work together to stop Government Grabber’s disingenuous and slight-of-hand shenanigans. Citizen Defender recognizes these tactics in Alaska’s street game.
Citizen Defender has seen the impact that the governor’s refusal to pay for the schools that the Government Grabber promised to help finance and the roads that were supposed to be co-funded has had on our desperate towns, cities and boroughs.
Citizen Defender is calling, “Red rover, red rover send Alaska citizen(s) over.” He has been arming us with information and providing us with battle cries. We need to help change the game from Kick the Can to Kings and Queens of the Mountains that we enjoy and love so much. We need to lock arms, form circles and spread the word. To paraphrase a campaign slogan, “Alaska is great and can be greater.”
Citizen Defender needs his allies in Government Grabber’s halls to speak on the floors of our legislative bodies against income taxes, Permanent Fund changes and budget increases. We have to stop increasing our reliance on the oil industry through increasing taxes. Citizen Defender has heard that there are greener oil fields outside Alaskan lands and is working to retain our friend and partner in the oil industry.
We will not win Alaska’s street game without joining forces to limit Government Grabber’s budgets and secure the sanctity of our Permanent Fund.
Join the battle. Call, email, write and use social media to contact your legislators daily. Do not succumb because nothing is inevitable.