To the editor: I would like to thank Karl Monetti (Daily News-Miner, May 6) for giving me credit for the fact that Alaskans have not had to pay state income tax for the last 39 years. That has left approximately $50 billion in the pockets of Alaska families to spend or invest as they saw fit, a fact that I’m very proud to have had a significant part in achieving. If the political system had had that $50 billion, it would have been used to build an even bigger unsustainable bureaucracy, and we would be in a deeper hole then we are now.
Contrary to Karl’s so-called fact, Alaska does have and has had a major spending problem since the advent of immense surplus wealth going directly into the public treasury and being allocated politically, not subject to rational market forces. This has left us with by far the most expensive state government per capita in the United States. The state of Alaska has a surplus of wealth, roughly $80 billion-$90 billion, and the people are struggling to pay their bills. There is something wrong with this picture.
I also disagree with another of Karl’s so-called facts. Socialism or democratic socialism, to use a more current vernacular, is bad and up until recently the vast majority of Alaskans and Americans knew that and were aware of the untold suffering those systems ultimately lead to. The only way that the socialistic programs that exist in the United States today can survive is because of what’s left of our traditional capitalistic, free-market system that supports them. Ask yourself this: What wealth does socialism produce? All socialistic programs spend money, they do not create it. Margaret Thatcher’s famous quote, “The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money,” fits our circumstances perfectly.
Another question to ask yourself: After spending incalculable billions of dollars, what has the current Alaska system created that is economically sustainable once the oil money is gone?
The bottom line is that capitalism creates wealth. Socialism, of all stripes, spends wealth.