While the crisis is difficult to accept, it is very easy to understand.
It is a ‘zero sum game’ quickly boiling down to reality. We cannot spend what we do not have. One result of your time in office seems to be that more and more Alaskans are becoming aware that the fiscal crisis is real and must be dealt with.
There really are only two possible solutions:
- raise more revenue (TAX), or
- cut spending.
Alaska State government spends far more per capita than any other state. Spending advocates have again prevailed in our most recent budget process, now the Governor has the opportunity to use his veto power to eliminate wasteful spending. Article 2.15 of our constitution is very clear – the Governor can simply veto to balance the budget, unless the legislature musters super majority to override… something highly unlikely when many have worked very hard for cuts.
A veto of the appropriation for permanent fund dividends, however, is a terrible idea!
This particular veto would not reduce the budget deficit because the vetoed funds would simply stay in the Earning Reserves account (the source for PFD checks) until the legislature re-appropriates. Veto power does not extend legislative power to the Governor to ‘restructure’ the permanent fund… that belongs exclusively to the legislature. Besides, even if the entire PFD appropriation were vetoed, Alaska’s spending per capita would still be the highest in the nation. Alaskans would be deprived of inherent personal property rights and we still have the world-class overspending problem.