Imagine a poor farmer returning home from the village with a few moldy scraps of bread to feed his hungry sons. Upon his return, he searched hard to find his boys to share his meager bounty with them.
While looking for them, he discovered that half of the seed for the coming year’s corn crop was gone and the smell of corn muffins hung in the dead air.
Outraged, he snatched up the sagging seed bag and found his boys cowering behind the outhouse. In tears, he exclaimed, “Fools! Don’t you understand that by eating your meal of corn muffins, you have also eaten half of next year’s harvest?!”
This story pretty much sizes up Governor Walker’s relationship with Majority Caucus members who are willing to gut our state’s infrastructure and endanger the viability of the Permanent Fund in order to trick voters into re-electing them.
During this last legislative session, dithering lawmakers have studiously avoided doing their job. Doing their job would have meant explaining to voters that if we want to have future dividends, we have to settle for smaller checks this year and that in the future, when it comes to funding state government, the free ride’s over.
Doing their job would also have involved developing a new oil production tax scheme which would replace the current bonanza for producers with a program that would leave just enough money on the table to keep producers at the table. In business lingo, that’s called being shrewd and smart.
Doing their job would have included beginning a statewide discussion concerning the economic and social direction for Alaska as we enter the post-oil phase of our development.
My wife recently encountered some folks collecting signatures to recall Governor Walker. She asked them some pointed questions about the state budget – like why do we continue to give $30 million dollars annually to prosperous multinational refineries at the same time we are killing our children’s Pre-K programs and eviscerating university programs that have taken decades to develop?
One of the fellows she was talking with said, “Well, I really haven’t studied up on this.” Her reply? “Okay, well, you should study up on it before recalling the Governor who is acting like the only adult in the room.”
He responded, “But if we recall the governor, it will put the Legislature on notice that we want them to straighten up!”
I’ve got an idea. Why don’t we deal with the legislators, themselves, and here on the peninsula, let’s start with replacing Rep. Mike Chenault and recalling Senator Peter Micciche. They were strong supporters of SB 21, the law that dictates that we actually pay oil producers to pump our oil fields dry. Let’s replace them with people who will be loyal to us, not oil company shareholders.
And instead of recalling Governor Walker, we need to thank him for saving us from ourselves! His courage and loyalty are extraordinary in comparison to that of the self-absorbed opportunists in the legislature.