Can Alaskans call legislators 'tax-and-spend conservatives'?

Posted: Wednesday, April 30, 2003

I reviewed my crystal ball predictions of 40-plus days ago. Sad, but true, the predictions are coming to pass.

Republicans promised us if we elected them into full control, problems would be solved without any pain. I wonder how many out there still believe them.

I predicted the attack on the Longevity Bonus was a misdirection ploy to hide behind while they did other dastardly misdeeds. In these last days of the session, the misdeeds are flying!

This last week they refused to consider a tax on cruise ship passengers because the cruise ship lobbyists did not like it. Then they announced a fast track plan to pass a sales tax on Alaskans. "See, we kept the bonus, but we have to have $250 million from you in sales taxes to pay for

it!" Isn't the bonus only about $47 million?

I predicted that nothing in the way of an orderly process for an honest downsizing of state government would be started. Sad, but true! They have made the helter skelter cuts to programs they (or lobbyists) don't like as predicted.

Another prediction was that their goal was to beef up the Constitutional Budget Reserve to be able to pass the fiscal problem onto the next governor's watch! That way they can keep on spending. Is the extra $203 million from the sales tax to beef up the CBR? What will the money they'll raid from the permanent fund be used for?

Gee, can we now start calling them "tax and spend conservatives"? Goes along with the ones in Washington who should be called the "borrow and spend our grandchildren into bankruptcy conservatives." What we have are a bunch of opportunists who claim they are "conservative and for family values" in order to dupe enough voters to get them next to the money. It works!

It should be noted that the legislators are repealing an initiative passed by voters to curb lobbyists. Lobbyists write up bills and legislators introduce them and pass them. Bills that get through are the ones lobbyists want. Bills lobbyists don't want, get blocked! Do our legislators owe their souls to the lobbyists' stores?

It is not comforting to me to see the discomfort of those people who cheered for Republicans and derided Democrats before the 2002 elections. They are getting what they bought false empty slogans and pain! I have to endure it, too!

William J. Phillips, Kenai



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