Republicans pushing regressive taxes, not downsizing government

Posted: Monday, March 22, 2004

We get the Legislature we vote for, or we got this Legislature because some of us failed to vote. As a group, the Alaska legislators are a pretty sorry lot. They are totally ineffective in dealing with the long-term financial health of the state.

The Republican leaders are falling all over themselves in trying to see who can avoid dealing with a state government that costs more than the nonoil economy of Alaska can support. Neither Murkowski or the Republican leadership has put forth a plan for the honest and orderly downsizing of state government and state-funded entities and programs.

This should be the first step to take while we still have the reserve funds to make it happen. I guess honest orderly downsizing requires more intestinal fortitude than they have.

Led by the splinter (Ben Stevens does not even rate chip status) off the old block, Republicans are pushing a variety of regressive taxes that will hit Alaskans the hardest.

Are Kenai Peninsula residents ready for a 9 percent sales tax? How about that school tax? People supporting their families on $10 an hour jobs will pay the same tax as a half-million-a-year tort lawyer. Heaven forbid that we should even consider increasing taxes on the oil industry. The rented hands in Juneau would tax us 100 percent first!

Including our Kenai-Soldotna state representative, the people of Alaska have placed the power to govern in the hands of about the sorriest group that Alaska has ever seen. The scary thought is that we likely will re-elect this sorry bunch!

William J. Phillips, Kenai

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