The rhetoric is different, but Alaskans should recognize that our new Valentine’s Day (almost) budget echoes the Kansas tax experiment of Gov. Sam Brownback. In 2012 and 2013, he signed historic tax cuts for Kansas. Arthur Laffer (recognize the name?) earned $75,000 as a consultant for the Brownback plan. Economic growth slowed and job growth fell to less than that of neighboring states. Services suffered. A web search will provide the unfortunate details if you are interested.
The difference between Kansas and Alaska is that we have no taxes left to cut. The Parnell administration took care of that. We have some savings left to spend but not much. Also, we have a Permanent Fund dividend.
This Alaska experiment will take years to play out and it is not very likely to end well here either, so brace yourself if you are working in Alaska, especially if you are among the working poor.
— John Jensen
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