Monthly Archives: September 2013

Sean Parnell’s budgets … and mine

Looking beyond 10-year horizon (tax quote)

Click on graph to enlarge.

Let me be absolutely crystal clear about one thing.  The budgets which Sean Parnell has proposed, the legislature has passed and Sean Parnell has signed over the last three years, combined with what he has said on the record about the budgets he intends to propose over the next five years are leading inevitably to one thing:  statewide income or sales taxes, if not both, and use for government spending of a portion of the earnings of the Permanent Fund.  Period, end of sentence.

As far back as 2011, the University of Alaska-Anchorage’s Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) had this to say about Alaska’s fiscal future:
Continue reading

Alaska Fiscal Policy| Robbing Peter to pay Paul and why Alaska government is wrong to do it …

Fiscal CliffYesterday I had a discussion about Alaska fiscal policy that brought into the open something that I only had heard murmured about before.  It epitomizes the warped thinking that underlies recent Alaska budgets and explains why this generation of Alaska budget-makers increasingly is likely to be viewed as among the worst in the state’s history by those that will follow, beginning as soon as ten years from now.

The discussion was around the justification for the out-of-control spending Continue reading

A timely and important conference …

Investment in Alaska (6.7.2013)Next week (Thursday and Friday), Joe Perkins and I will co-chair a two-day conference on Investment in Alaska (formally known by its longer title as “A comprehensive two-day conference on investment opportunities in Oil & Gas Production and Mineral Mining in Alaska“).

The conference could not be any more timely. Continue reading

Morning in Alaska …

Compass (9.8.2013)My appreciation to the Anchorage Daily NewsJuneau Empire and Fairbanks News-Miner for running an op-ed piece I wrote.  The link to the online versions are  here (ADN),  here (Empire) and here (News-Miner).   I titled the piece “Morning in Alaska.”  The ADN ran it as “Alaska spending its way into poorhouse,” which is a quote.  


During the 1984 campaign, President Reagan’s team ran a 60-second ad that has become an all-time classic. Titled “Morning in America,” the spot focused on America’s sense of renewal during Reagan’s first term. It closed with the line, “Why would we ever want to return to where we were less than four short years ago?”

It is not yet “Morning in Alaska.” In fact, Continue reading

PERS, TRS and state fiscal policy …

PERS TRS baseline v injection (9.6.2013)piece in the Alaska Dispatch Wednesday on PERS (the Public Employee Retirement System) and TRS (the Teacher Retirement System) caught my eye.  The piece seemed to disappear from the “front page” of the Dispatch relatively quickly, but is still available on the back pages.

With one exception the piece does a good job of laying out the problem the state is facing with PERS and TRS.  (The exception, of course, has to Continue reading

The Alaska OCS and State Fiscal Policy (from the September 2013 Alaska Business Monthly)

September 2013 Alaska Business MonthlyIn addition to pieces on this page and elsewhere, I write what began as a bi-monthly, and now has evolved into a monthly, column on oil, gas and fiscal policy issues for the Alaska Business Monthly.  The following piece was originally published in the September 2013 print edition and is available online here.

Sometimes state officials and other proponents argue that oil tax reform is needed to keep the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) operational “until” oil from Shell Oil Company’s Chukchi Sea or other Alaska Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) projects come online in the 2020s.

The implication is that Continue reading