Alaska…learning the wrong lessons
The state government of Alaska must be taking lessons from our national government on how to balance its budget. (Alaska Dispatch 11/03/2013) — “It has gone almost unnoticed in Alaska, but in a three-year period, the state has said so long to billion-dollar surpluses and hello to billion-dollar deficits. The big cut in oil taxes and the continued decline in North Slope oil production are catching up with us. By one measure, the state deficit is already at $959.5 million, the difference between the spring revenue forecast of $6.2 billion and the budget of $7.1 billion. The Legislative Finance Division calls this the “projected pre-transfer fiscal deficit,” to be covered by moving money out of savings accounts.”
And all Alaskans know what this means, our representatives in Juneau will dip into our states savings so they can continue to spend more than they take in. If this sounds familiar we don’t have to look farther than our representatives in Washington when they first ‘borrowed’ money from the social security trust fund to finance any and all projects. Now with the social security fund empty they just ignore the deficit and continue to spend by just printing more money. Fortunately or maybe unfortunately our representatives in Juneau can’t just print money to cover expenses.
Karen Rehfeld the state budget director said the withdrawal of $374 million from one of the savings accounts should not count as deficit spending because that account was set aside for capital projects funded in the budget, such as work on an in-state gas line. I would argue that for the average Alaskan, it counts because it is an example of taking money out of our savings to fund the budget.
FYI…In a state finance committee meeting it was noted that by 2022, public employees retirement system, public schools and Medicaid will take up 94% of the states budget, leaving virtually no money for the capital budget or anything else.
It looks like the people we voted to represent us in Juneau
are no different than those we put in power in Washington.
How hard is it to understand you can not spend more than you take in?