To the editor: Gov. Mike Dunleavy got elected by repeatedly promising cutting the budget by efficiencies but not services, increasing funding for education, Alaska State Troopers, not raising taxes, while increasing the dividend to $3,000. A surprising number of people believed him. It was, of course, a lie and a bribe.
Our important Alaska organizations and institutions took years to plan, build, and grow into maturity. The draconian budget cuts threaten the existence of some, while others will suffer setbacks that are likely to last for years. Institutions and organizations cannot be turned on and off like a faucet or switch; they take years to function effectively and efficiently. While Governor Dunleavy will go, and good riddance to him, the damage he will cause will be with us for years to come. I hope our Legislature has the wisdom and foresight to override his veto.
At Wednesday night’s meeting in Fairbanks, people generally tended to either speak favorably about community, the importance of the university, and public service or speak about themselves, their PFD entitlement and their dislike and distrust of all things government. When someone suggested an income tax, the room erupted in cheers and applause. These were the people who wanted strong community-building organizations and institutions, and are willing to pay for them.
Our tax burden is low, our community’s health is threatened by the budget cuts. If it takes raising taxes to support our communities, so be it. We cannot cut our way to prosperity; rather, we must be willing to pay to support health, safety, education, arts and good government. Please, legislators, veto the Dunleavy draconian cuts.