Will Rogers on Gara, Guttenberg and Government

“I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.”
Will Rogers , Saturday Review, Aug. 25, 1962.

As Headlamp watches government we have this to report in light of a recent commentary by two legislators:

  • Fact: Reps Gara and Guttenberg join the administration and other legislators as they continue to mislead the public into believing that oil companies will get more money from the state than they pay to the state by only talking about 1 of the 12 revenue streams that come from oil to the state.
  • Fact: Reps Gara and Guttenberg claim that oil companies don’t pay “their fair share” to help with the state’s deficit, when in reality at extremely low oil prices, oil companies are paying 55-60% of the unrestricted revenue for the state budget.
  • Fact: Reps Gara and Guttenberg claim they supported cutting the budget last year to the tune of $700 million, while in reality their caucus forced two special sessions that cost nearly $1 million, because they demanded the state increase spending by tens of millions of dollars.
  • Fact: Reps Gara and Guttenberg claim that “we should all work together for a fair and balanced approach…” but in reality only are looking to the oil industry (which, for 30+ years has provided the overwhelmingly majority of Alaska’s general fund revenue) to solve the budget deficit.
  • Fact: Reps Gara and Guttenberg claim that abiding by a law which 90,000 Alaskans voted to uphold, a law that was passed by the legislature, and signed by the governor, is a “special interest exemption” for an industry that is, again, paying 55-60% of the unrestricted revenue for the budget.
  • Fact: On a day when the private sector was laying off hundreds of people, the State of Alaska gave their employees a paid day off. 21,753 full time employees who cost the state $422.98/day.* In other words, the state spent  $9,201,052.44 yesterday on….nothing. The number is actually higher, since many of the people who did have to work got extra pay. Is this the fair and balanced type of budget that Reps Gara & Guttenberg support?

*Numbers taken from FY 2016 approved budget.