Raid on permanent fund not justified

Borough Mayor Mike Navarre has been traveling around the state all winter attending meetings to actively promote Democrat Gov. Bill Walker’s Permanent Fund raid.

Navarre and other high government officials insist they can spend our (the people’s) share of Alaska’s oil wealth better than we can. Their argument is “the people want the bloated government that many of these same high government officials created.” The majority of regular people reject this fairy tale as the nonsense it is.

To be fair, one asks if our oil wealth is being wisely spent. They often point to schools, roads, airports, harbors and other public facilities as being important. Oddly enough they never point to the “perks” of office or other government waste.

For example, last summer Mayor Navarre took ten friends, relatives, and administration staff to Japan on holiday. Is Navarre now promoting this Permanent Fund raid, so these “good times” can continue?

Several people in this group, including the mayor did pay for their round-trip airfare to Tokyo. Taxpayers (us) paid for the rest, plus all hotels, in-country flights, ground transfers, tours and bullet train tickets.

When asked, the Navarre administration was unable to produce a cost to benefit analysis or even a statement in support of this spending. In fact they didn’t tell the public anything about this trip or how freely the Mayor uses taxpayer’s money. There was a very brief discussion at an assembly meeting prior to the trip. Local politicians agreed that cultural exchange is a good public investment.

Now Navarre wants us to give up our Permanent Fund so the serious business of running the government can continue until there is no money left and only big bills for future generations to pay. All rational thinking people must seriously consider whether the current level of city, borough, state or federal government spending is sustainable. Meanwhile our administration continues to push for more.

When the public voted on this question in 1999, 84 percent said no to government spending of the Permanent Fund. Had we allowed them access to the fund then we’d have significantly exhausted our oil savings and now be forced to make draconian cuts. We can make the needed cuts now or wait until later when there is no money left. We must demand state and local budgets that are sustainable. Proposing new taxes or a Permanent Fund raid to fill the current shortfalls is unacceptable at this time.

Help by sharing your kind thoughts on this subject with the Mayor, the Legislature and the Governor.