Contributed by Bruce Walden, www.oldsargebooks.net
Perhaps that title is misleading. The governor and many others dig levying taxes. Business is dead or dying. The state isn’t as great as it was or as it could be. Love him or hate him, Richard Nixon once spoke a profound truth. “When America ceases to do great things, we’ll cease to be a great nation.” Coincidentally, though the vision was JFK’s, every moon-landing happened on Nixon’s watch… Then we just stopped.
We used to call our state, “The Great State of Alaska.” I love our state. I would die for my state. But are we indeed great? Certainly we are great big. Our state is blessed with great beauty. But those things are true whether we are here or not. We were once great because we did great things. The Trans-Alaska Pipeline took five years of bickering and two years of construction according to Wiki. Nowadays we can’t build a four-lane highway between the Glenn-Parks and Palmer (five miles) after all these many years.
Is this because our people can’t or won’t work? Is it because there is no money? Maybe, but why is that? One of the main impediments to… well, about anything you may wish to do is the government of our state. We’ve gotten so bound up with over-regulation that we cannot build a business without begging to 40 different bureaucrats. While America is in the business of becoming great again, we are still starving on the crumbs falling off the national table. I’m reminded of that cow standing in clover and stretching her neck through a barbed-wire fence to crop a half-dried blade of grass on the other side.
President Trump has promised to push $1 trillion into infrastructure. If Alaska got its fiftieth of that ($20 billion), it would take about five minutes for the government to figure out how to get their thumbs in that pie, so that after paying off some senator’s brother in law, who happens to be the president of the left-handed yellow-line painters’ union, then said senator receiving his kickback, there’d be enough money left over to pave a bike path from one end of Wasilla to the other. And trust me, the bike path will be built before any roads are.
This governor wants to tax us. I asked at the Borough Assembly recently, “How many of you own your own home?” Several hands raised. I then said, “No, you don’t. You rent your home from these people." Billy, you want a new tax? Okay, give us a sales tax and let’s make property tax go bye-bye. Thus we can let the tourists to whom we’ve prostituted ourselves for, pay for our way of life. How about we make a real effort to get the oil, coal, gas, what have you to market and let that pay for things? But paying protection money to not be thrown out of our homes is unjust, and therefore must be abolished in my book.
What is more, if the state would take the yoke of bondage off our necks, we just might be able to open new businesses, maybe even new and undiscovered industries and thus widen the tax base. We are smothered in resources, but we’ve gotten so used to being told no, that we’ve come to accept it. I do not. I hope you do not either.
Folks, you’d better consider very carefully who you will support for governor next year. Unless Mike Dunleavy re-enters the race, you will have a three way race between Mark Begich, Bill Walker and Charlie Huggins. Meaning very likely your next governor will be Mark Begich. God forbid.
I do not yet know who I’ll support for governor, though I’m leaning toward Huggins by default. But I will tell you quickly who I support for lieutenant governor. Edie Grunwald you all know. And I will not open up wounds that are far, far from healing. I’ll put it very simply. If you are ready for law and order to prevail again in our state, if you are ready to see SB91 replaced with something much, much better, then you’d best hitch your wagon to someone with a personal stake in that game. Murder, illicit drug pushing, flesh pedaling and such has become the order of the day in Alaska. Does this make you proud? It makes me hang my head in shame.
It is time to stop sending the same people to the Assembly. Juneau and DC have not had an original idea in decades. I hear the same tired old ideas from the same old faces over and over until my stomach turns. Isn’t it time to try something new? We deserve better than this.