Monthly Archives: August 2016

The Alaska economy is headed toward a shock: This week (August 30, 2016) on The Michael Dukes Show

As most readers know, each Tuesday morning at 7:20 am Alaska, I join KBYR AM700‘s The Michael Dukes Show to discuss the latest in Alaska oil and fiscal issues.

This week’s discussion is a bit different than most.  One of the reasons we use the sustainable budget model developed by Dr. Scott Goldsmith to analyze state fiscal issues is because it is an excellent tool for identifying the consequences of current decisions on Alaska’s future fiscal situation — and by extension, overall economy.  Looking at the consequences through the lens of that model, I believe Alaska received at last week’s #AKLNG hearings before the Joint Senate and House Resource Committees some very, very … very … bad news about the outlook for the state’s fiscal situation and economy .

In a sound bite, I believe both Alaska’s state budget and economy are headed to a very difficult place if the direction that emerged from those hearings comes to pass.

I outlined the reasons why in a piece posted on the blog over the weekend — “Why the #AKLNG hearings have us thinking about Don McLean’s ‘the day the music died’”.  This week’s conversation with Michael Dukes expands on that piece, and in the second segment focuses on what I think that means also for the current debate around cutting the #PFD.

Some — especially in the current election cycle those wanting to minimize the effect of continuing down the current road — will suggest that my concerns are overblown.  In response I offer this recent observation from Casey Reynolds’ political blog, The Midnight Sun:

Fiscal conservative advocate Brad Keithley spent … his own money two years ago in a campaign to convince lawmakers that the state was on the verge of a budget crisis, only to see Republican candidates and radio hosts alike declare loudly he was being an alarmist. They of course then acknowledged he was right the day after the election.

Based on last week’s hearings, I believe we are headed to an even more difficult place than I thought then.  For the reasons I believe why — and what that place may look like when we arrive — pick up my discussion with Michael at 15:00 into the segment.

Listen here or at the widget below and for past episodes, go here.

Why the #AKLNG hearings have us thinking about Don McLean’s “the day the music died”

As readers will know, in addition to this blog we also regularly publish more frequent, shorter pieces on our Facebook, Linked In and Google+ pages.  Links to those pieces are available in a box down the right hand column of this page, but on infrequent occasions we also have published them here when we believe they have more than the usual significance and want to ensure they have the widest possible distribution.

Yesterday’s piece summarizing our view of the two days of legislative hearings this week on the #AKLNG project is one such instance.  The piece follows:

Friday’s “First Post” from Alaskans for Sustainable Budgets: We are considering nominating Don McLean’s “The Day the Music Died” (official title, “American Pie”) as the official theme song for the last two days of hearings before the Joint Senate and House Resources Committees on the#AKLNG project.

For those of you that weren’t born when the song was popular (a larger segment of the population than used to be the case), the song is McLean’s early 1970’s reflection on the day three idols of late-1950’s pop music died in an Iowa plane crash. It was, in his terms, “the day the music died.” Continue reading

This week (August 23, 2016) on The Michael Dukes Show …

Each Tuesday morning at 7:20 am Alaska, I join KBYR AM700‘s The Michael Dukes Show to discuss the latest in Alaska oil and fiscal issues. This week we discuss what the results from last week’s primaries mean for #AKfiscal policy going forward, and my view that the #AGDC is taking a huge step backwards on the #AKLNG project. I join Michael at 14:55 into the segment.

Listen here or at the widget below and for past episodes, go here.

This week (August 16, 2016) on The Michael Dukes Show …

Each Tuesday morning at 7:20 am Alaska, I join KBYR AM700‘s The Michael Dukes Show to discuss the latest in Alaska oil and fiscal issues.  Because today is the Primary Election Day edition, we started at the top of the hour (the 7:00 am segment).  I join Michael at 1:00 into the show.

Since it is election day, the discussion focused on what I think is the most significant issue facing voters this year — how we go forward on the PFD.  While the issue itself isn’t on the ballot, it is showing up in various ways in several primary races because of the positions various candidates have taken.  We discussed how the old Hickel v. Hammond debate is resurrecting itself in the current PFD debate, the role of the PFD in the Alaska economy and the importance of this election to the future of the PFD.

The recent piece by Charles Wohlforth on the differences between Hickel and Hammond on the role of Permanent Fund earnings that Michael and I use to start the discussion is here.  The guide to candidate positions on the PFD that I reference in the second segment is available here.

Listen here or at the widget below for today’s discussion; for past episodes, go here.

There are two state fiscal issues that matter this election cycle and many candidates are getting one badly wrong …

fiscal-cliff-pulling-backAs we close in on the end of the first round of this election cycle — the primary is this coming Tuesday, August 16 — it is important to remember that there are two state fiscal issues that matter this year.

The first is how the candidate stands on state spending levels.  The second — injected into this cycle by the Governor and the Senate — is how the candidate stands on cutting the PFD.

Some try to minimize the second, arguing to one degree or another that the state’s financial condition is too far gone to be salvaged without permanently cutting the PFD and converting the difference to support state spending.

But that attempt to minimize the importance of maintaining the PFD is wrong and overlooks the fundamental reason both issues are important. Continue reading

This week (August 9, 2016) on The Michael Dukes Show …

Each Tuesday morning at 7:20 am Alaska, I join KBYR AM700‘s The Michael Dukes Show to discuss the latest in Alaska oil and fiscal issues. This week we discuss how fiscal issues are playing out in the state primary electon campaigns, ‪whether the #‎AKLNG project will still be alive this tme next year‬ & is the University of Alaska ignoring explicit directions from the #AKLeg? I join Michael at about 15:00 into the segment.

Listen here or at the widget below and for past episodes, go here.

The start of my 2016 Independent Expenditure effort …

Fiscal Cliff (pulling back)Starting today I am running some radio ads and, on Monday, will be putting up a digital campaign to support two candidates in the coming Republican primary. The ads will run through election day next week.

I explain my support for David Eastman in the House District 10 (Susitna River Drainage and Wasilla) Republican primary here.

I explain my support for Craig Johnson in the Senate District L (South Anchorage) Republican primary here. Continue reading

Craig Johnson in Senate District L (South Anchorage)

300x250 CJI am supporting Craig Johnson in the Republican Primary in Senate District L.   Here’s my radio spot — that goes up today and will run through the election — to prove it.

The script, if you would prefer to read the ad rather than listen, is here.  A digital campaign, which links to this piece, will go up Monday.

Why am I supporting Craig?  Here’s the longer piece I published last week at Alaskans for Sustainable Budgets to explain it: Continue reading

David Eastman in House District 10 (Susitna River Drainage and Wasilla)

300x250 DEI am supporting David Eastman in the Republican Primary in House District 10.   Here’s my radio spot — that goes up today and will run through the election — to prove it.

The script, if you would prefer to read the ad rather than listen, is here.  A digital campaign, which links to this piece, will go up Monday.

Why am I supporting David?  Here’s the longer piece I published last week at Alaskans for Sustainable Budgets to explain it: Continue reading

Alaska’s Fiscal Situation: Past, Present & Future — an update

As regular readers will realize, at the request of Daniel Hamm, its Chair, we occasionally brief the Alaska Republican Assembly on the current status of state fiscal issues and our thoughts on how to deal with them.

We did that again this week, with a focus on what happened this past session(s), where that leaves the state’s fiscal condition, what the current outlook is as we start to think about FY 2018, and alternatives for dealing with that, admittedly somewhat initially dismal, outlook.

As explained in the presentation, I continue to believe there is a solid fiscal future ahead for Alaska — without resorting to permanent PFD cuts or significant taxes.  But it requires taking steps to implement Jay Hammond’s vision for Permanent Fund earnings and getting immediate control over what has become one of the biggest current expenses in state government — reimbursed oil credits.

This coming session may provide the last great chance to bring the state’s fiscal situation under control before more drastic measures become necessary.  The presentation outlines how we think that can be accomplished.

The update is above, or also available here (video) and here (slidedeck).