The governor’s major accomplishment so far appears to have been an unintended consequence. His budget vetoes and his position on the Permanent Fund dividend have united a majority of Alaskans in support of state services that are an integral part of the quality of life we enjoy in Alaska.
It seems pretty clear that a majority of Alaskans, with the possible exception of an enclave in Wasilla and the governor’s posse, did not come to Alaska because of the dividend, and were prudent enough not to build their lifestyle around it.
The argument that “the state can’t be all things to all people” is meaningless. Draconian reductions in spending might be rational if they were driven by a vision of how these elements of the state ought to look. It’s pretty clear that there is no vision, only an obsession with a $3,000 dividend. The old formula should be trashed.
Is the governor perceptive enough to now recognize this, and can he and the Legislature get together on some level of cooperation, or are we going to have to wait for the next round of elections to start repairing the damage done to our state?
— Steve Hartung
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