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January 21, 2022



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Sunday, November 14, 2021

Reverse Robin Hood Economics

I’ve watched a particular boat for the last several years. It’s a 15-and-a-half-foot wooden boat built decades ago by my neighbor Dick Dunn. The little boat sat submerged, tied to a piling, during most tides. Barnacles and blue mussels took up residence and seemed quite happy shacked up from bow to stern.

See, another neighbor had acquired the boat and got pretty busy with a million projects. It happens.

Every time I drove past that forgotten vessel, it made me a tiny bit sad. The boat had been built for a wonderful woman here on the bay who has since died.

This winter the neighbor’s girlfriend called me and the little boat came up during the conversation. I told her if I walked past a dog tied up in someone’s yard every day and could see he wasn’t loved or taken care of, I’d be tempted to untie him and take him home and name him Mookie.

The next day the neighbor called and the process of adopting the little boat with three holes and a crustacean refugee problem began.

What does this have to do with the state of politics today? Well, maybe nothing. But it seems like our governor has put his elected position on a running line out into Gastineau Channel and it’s sinking fast. I’m having that sad feeling again. This time for Alaska.

The Senate has voted to keep giving $700 million a year to the oil companies. Then senators voted to take $700 million a year away from Alaskans by cutting their Permanent Fund dividend checks. The House will vote on it next week. The governor seems fine with this idea.

Has he bought the oil company and chamber of commerce propaganda that Reverse Robin Hood is the way to solve our state’s fiscal problems? Their track record is pretty pathetic when it comes to what makes or breaks our economy. Apparently Gov. Bill Walker has been lobbying to raid the very fund he promised two weeks before his election to protect. That’s worse than barnacles on your boat. It’s more like a gaping hole in the bottom.

Alaskans, because of our Legislature and governor, are being forced to check the “Pick. Click. Give.” box for the oil industry. It’s bizarre. Our Permanent Fund dividends have been cut in half by that pirate ship known as the Alaska Senate, and now they’re just waiting for House give permission to sail away. That may seem fair to oil industry lobbyists and a few folks in Juneau, but not to the average Alaskan. Not by a long shot.

Because every one of you are about to be forced to contribute a portion of your PFD to the richest corporations in the history of the world, think of what else we could be doing with it. According to our representatives, you could donate it to a new building for these part-time, citizen lawmakers. Or continue funding the gigantic money-suck called the Susitna Hydro project. You know, so we can have fewer salmon for generations to come. How about millions in refinery credits to an industry that has been price gouging you for years? Yeah!

I’d rather be fishing off my dock than watching this train wreck. Hell, I’d rather go into town for a root canal. Wonder if laughing gas would make watching Gavel to Gavel less painful.

I don’t know what phase of mourning I’m in, but it’s somewhere after anger and before acceptance. It’s almost a shrug, but more sad.

Gov. Walker is going to do something even our former oil lobbyist governor didn’t try. Times are tough, but you keep your promises, governor. That’s why we voted for you.

Unlike the recently rescued Mookie, our politics need a lot more scraping, sanding, patching and painting before they have the integrity to float again.



3 Responses to “Reverse Robin Hood Economics”
  1. Dagian says:

    By the way, what the heck is going on with Track Palin’s hearing/trial?

    “Fitzgerald told the judge he intends to transfer the Palin case to Anchorage Veterans Court, a program for veterans charged with misdemeanors who may need behavioral health treatment.

    The next Veterans Court hearing date is Tuesday, he said. “My client intends on attending that.”

    But Palin is not officially participating in the court program yet, according to Anchorage District Attorney Clint Campion, a military veteran who oversees it.

    “We’ve been in negotiations,” Campion said. “Ultimately, a few things have to happen. The biggest thing is No. 1, Mr. Palin has to decide he would want to go down that path. He hasn’t officially yet. I think he’s trying to gather information.”

    Anyone eligible for benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is eligible for the program.

    The VA would need to evaluate Palin’s needs and present him with a treatment plan, Campion said. Then Palin could decide whether he wants to participate.
    The hearing Tuesday Palin is expected to attend would be part of his decision process, Campion said.
    I still don’t understand why all of the charges he faces are misdemeanors. I would have thought at least one of them was more serious than that.

  2. Dagian says:

    Wow. How depressing. Do none of the members of the legislature have a heart?

  3. mike from iowa says:

    Walker was a longtime wingnut, was he not? Have wingnuts replaced lawyers as the” go to” lab rats for icky lab experiments,yet?

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