It ain’t us
It is interesting to watch the budget process unfold before our very eyes. No matter what happens, ordinary Alaskans, as usual, will get to shoulder whatever the budget burden turns out to be.
It might be substantial. Gov. Mike Duneavy’s audacious budget proposal would trim $1.6 billion from state spending. The shocked howls have been ear-splitting as unions and others who profit from government spending demand their oxen not be gored. Gore somebody else’s, they say.
Schools will close, they say. The economy will implode, they say. Jobs will be lost, they say. The hogs at the government trough are quick to tell you that cutting state spending would be utter disaster.
Not to be outdone, municipalities – and those who profit from local government spending – scream that Dunleavy’s budget is no more than cost-shifting; that municipalities would have to pick up the slack caused by less state funding. That, of course, means more property taxes and all manner of service cuts.
It would be an utter disaster, they say.
So, the bureaucrats and elected officials at the state and local level, in the end, will turn their eyes to the only place left – us. In their view, that means taxes and/or reduced Permanent Fund dividends.
Make no mistake, government – and the usual suspects at the trough – will fight tooth and nail to preserve spending. They have been successful for years, causing the budget mess the state now finds itself mired in. When push comes to shove, when it is a choice between cutting government or business as usual, ordinary Alaskan will be shorn like sheep.
With apologies to Pogo: We have met the enemy and it ain’t us.