Budget Brilliance or Budget Boondoggle?

Today, outgoing Governor Walker will introduce his FY 2020 budget. Headlamp questions the wisdom of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce in giving him a platform to present his budget policies that were overwhelmingly rejected in the November general election. His words with our commentary are below:

“Alaska LNG is in the home stretch: our administration gave the project the leadership it needed to put it on the international stage”.

Our Take:   Alaska LNG has made progress with FERC and other technical detail under the Walker administration. It is NOT in the home stretch. Even those working intimately on the project know that they must have the private sector companies involved for it to progress.

“We need to kick-start our economy, protect our assets, and create jobs and job training by tackling our deferred maintenance responsibilities and making sure that Alaska’s workforce is prepared to benefit from the many opportunities on our horizon.”

Our Take: Government doesn’t create permanent, high-paying jobs. They often subsidize temporary jobs through a capital budget. Government also shouldn’t be in the business of workforce development, using government funds to compete against private sector companies and union training programs.

“We need to invest in growing our sustainable industries, including tourism, fisheries infrastructure, and critical research that helps us adapt to changing fisheries.”

Our Take: Governments grow industries by providing a stable fiscal climate, reasonable regulations and building necessary infrastructure.

“That and more is what you’ll find in the Walker-Davidson budget. We’ve crafted it as a tool to show what comparison, to show what a responsible vision for Alaska’s future looks like.”

Our Take: Governor Walker’s “vision for Alaska” led him to be one of the most unpopular Governors in the nation. His ideology was soundly defeated by the voters.   Headlamp looks forward to a new Governor who appreciate the roles of government and respects the private sector.