WC will say at the top that he is not a fan of Representative Lynn Gattis, (R, Self-Interest). WC thinks Rep. Gattis is a thief, a crook, who stole $65,225 from the Mat-Su Borough. She dodges questions, ignores facts, engages in straw man and ad hominem fallacies and refuses to recognize the realities of Alaska’s fiscal crisis.
But Rep. Gattis’s most recent opinion piece in the Anchorage Daily Dispatch sets new benchmarks for dishonesty and pandering. The first example:
I am simply not willing to vote for any new taxes or reductions to your PFDs until Alaska makes significant structural changes to Alaska government and further reduces spending. More government has never been the solution in Alaska, and it certainly won’t be this time.
What “significant structural changes” are you talking about? Generalities don’t cut it. We’ve been through a session, a first special session and were headed to a second; the fifth of the 29th Legislature. The time for platitudes is long past. It is dismaying – not surprising, but dismaying – that Rep. Gattis is still producing this meaningless drivel. Governor Walker vetoed more out of the current budget than the Legislature cut. He’s always offered specifics; Rep. Gattis has only offered platitudes and election slogans.
In every other state in the Union, citizens pay state taxes. Only Alaska gives its citizens a free ride. Rep. Gattis’s glittering generality about “ne new taxes” is asinine. There are no taxes. “New taxes” implies you’re adding to something already in place. Not even close.
And the reduction Governor Walker is making to PFDs is nothing compared to path the Legislature has chosen. In another couple of years, after it has burned through the Constitutional Budget Reserve, the only way it can sustain government is by burning through the Alaska Permanent Fund.
A second example:
Additionally, I’m extremely troubled by Walker’s recent attacks on our oil industry. Alaska’s North Slope is still a world-class, resource-rich basin. The best way to solve Alaska’s financial problems is to stop the decline of our oil production. With the right tax and regulatory policies, the Slope can and will be the answer to Alaska’s financial woes.
SB 21 is a fiscal disaster. It’s hard to show it has produced meaningful quantities of oil, it was designed for a period of much higher crude oil prices and survived a citizen referendum only because the oil industry outspent the referendum’s proponents 100 to 1. Rep. Gattis is toeing Big Oil’s line, not reacting sensibly to the epic costs of SB 21. If there are commercial quantities of crude oil on the North Slope or under Cook Inlet – and the ongoing series of oil patch bankruptcies suggest they aren’t presently economic – then those new resources will get developed when crude oil prices rise sufficiently.
It is deeply ironic that an avowed Republican, a fiscal conservative, is clinging to a government subsidy for the richest industry in America, rather than government services to her constituents and support to the Alaska economy. It’s about an un-Republican as you can get.
Rep. Gattis says “we cannot tax our way to prosperity.” Yeah, but we can’t slash our way to prosperity, either. Governor Walker is right and reasonable to insist that argue that it takes both spending reductions and revenue increases. Rep. Gattis only demonstrated the extent of her incompetence, the complete absence of useful suggestions in opinion piece blather.
Lord knows WC has low expectations of the Alaska Legislature, even lower expectations of the Republican Majority coalition, and the lowest possible expectations of Rep. Lynn “I got mine” Gattis. But she continues to sink to new, even lower depths. The citizens of Mat Su Borough would be better served if the seat was empty.