Letter to the Editor: Dunleavy’s budget prioritizes profit over people

There is a popular saying in politics; “Don’t tell me what your priorities are. Show me your budget and I will tell you what your priorities are.”

Well, Alaskans have seen Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s budget, and now, we know exactly what he considers important: oil tax credits for the wealthiest multinational corporations and paying a full PFD.

Everything is on the chopping block except oil tax credits. His proposed budget eviscerates K-12, the university system, Pioneer Homes, ferry system, early childhood programs and countless other programs and services that help Alaskans from all walks of life, including the most vulnerable people in our state.

In short, the governor’s budget is immoral, cruel, mean-spirited and heartless.

Dunleavy keeps saying Alaska is open for business, but I wonder, what company would dare invest in a state where the public education system is short on teachers with overcrowded classrooms due to school closures? And any new business would want their employees’ families to have access to the best health-care providers who practice at fully staffed hospitals and clinics.

A new industry would expect necessary infrastructure like roads, bridges, airports, ports and the marine highway to be in top shape and fully funded because all of these things are crucial to running a successful business.

A full PFD would be great, and I know there are many who depend on it to pay for fuel, groceries and other essentials. So although I am personally willing to forgo mine, I am not willing to make that choice for others. I believe the simplest and easiest thing to do would be to eliminate the per-barrel oil tax credit immediately and implement a progressive income tax and perhaps a sales tax.

We must have other revenue streams so we can have budget certainty in years to come. The governor’s draconian budget proposal is bad for Alaska and extremely short-sighted. Alaskans deserve so much better than this.

— Michele Vasquez, Soldotna

More in Opinion

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Honoring the fallen on Memorial Day

As we honor the men and women who fell in service to our nation, we must keep their memories alive through their stories

Shana Loshbaugh (Courtesy photo)
History conference seeking input from peninsula people

The Alaska Historical Society will hold its annual conference on the central peninsula this fall

Coach Dan Gensel (left) prepares to get his ear pierced to celebrate Soldotna High School’s first team-sport state championship on Friday, Febr. 12, 1993 in Soldotna, Alaska. Gensel, who led the Soldotna High School girls basketball team to victory, had promised his team earlier in the season that he would get his ear pierced if they won the state title. (Rusty Swan/Peninsula Clarion)
Remembering my friend, Dan Gensel

It’s a friendship that’s both fixed in time and eternal

(Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: The false gods in America’s gun culture

HB 61 is a solution in search of a problem.

KPBSD Superintendent Clayton Holland
Reflecting on a year of growth and resilience

A message from the superintendent

Jim Cockrell, commissioner of the Department of Public Safety. (Courtesy photo/Office of Gov. Mike Dunleavy)
Honoring the 69 peace officers who have died serving Alaskans

Alaska Peace Officer Memorial Day honors the brave men and women who have given their lives in the line of duty

Rep. Maxine Dibert (Image via Alaska State Legislature)
Opinion: The economic case for a significant investment in education

As our oil production and related revenue have declined, our investments in education have remained flat

Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion
Smoke from the Swan Lake Fire impairs visibility on the Sterling Highway on Aug. 20, 2019.
Don’t let the abundance of snow fool you; Alaskans should prepare for wildfire season

Last summer’s 590 wildfires burned more than 3.1 million acres in Alaska, about 41% of the total acreage burned in the U.S.

Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File
Former Gov. Frank Murkowski in May 2019.
Opinion: Statewide sales tax just doesn’t make ‘horse sense’

Money for the dividend was meant to be sized after State government services obligations had been met

The Alaska State Capitol. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
Point of View: Big steps to strengthen child care system

Funding in the budget, statutory reforms and support from the administration are all necessary to strengthen the child care system in Alaska

Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks during a news conference in which options for a long-range fiscal plan were discussed. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Tax talk should be paired with PFD pragmatism

Alaska is 30 years into state budget deficits, borrowing billions from savings to pay the bills.

Opinion: Seafood Producers Cooperative responds to WFC ruling

“I want to convey our great disappointment…”